The latest season of America's Got Talent is just beginning, but a 13-year-old girl's performance last night proved she could walk away with the show's grand prize.
Courtney Hadwin, a shy and reserved girl from the U.K., admitted to Mel B that she was nervous about performing on stage, then turned around a dropped one of the show's most memorable performances ever.
And it earned her a Golden Buzzer straight to the live rounds.
"From a whole different era"
Hadwin was all nerves when she took the stage. She was able to tell Mel B that music was her favorite subject. But when the judge asked what kind of music, she could only shrug.
But when her song came on, it was like Hadwin was completely transformed.
She belted out Otis Redding's "Hard to Handle" with so much intensity the judges could only watch with their mouths open.
Howie Mandel was quick to compare the young singer to Janis Joplin. "You're not from this era," he said, "you're from a whole different era."
Mandel slammed the Golden Buzzer, sending Hadwin straight to the show's live rounds. Both Courtney and her father looked shocked as the gold confetti rained down on the stage.
With the advantage from Mandel, Hadwin has a serious chance at winning the competition. Entertainment Tonight reports that she was a finalist on The Voice Kids UK in her home country, where she electrified the crowd performing to James Brown.
The pint-sized singer with the huge voice took to Twitter after the show, thanking Mandel for giving her a second chance.
"I didn't know what to expect when I auditioned for [America's Got Talent] but the golden buzzer was more than I ever could have dreamed of," she wrote.
"Thank you so much [Howie Mandel] I am so happy and can't thank you enough xx"
Third Golden Buzzer of the season
I'm not afraid to put my money on Hadwin to win the entire season right now, but the teenage singer already has some tough competition.
The gravity-defying dance troupe Zucaroh got a Golden Buzzer from host Tyra Banks after their dangerous acrobatics routine.
Banks didn't even wait for the judges to weigh in, sprinting across the stage to slam the big gold button during Zucaroh's standing ovation.
Surprisingly, famously stingy judge Simon Cowell was the next person to hit the Golden Buzzer.
Father of six and mental health nurse Michael Ketterer earned his pass to the live rounds after performing "To Love Somebody" by the Bee Gees.
Ketter's inspiring story was even better than his singing skills. He revealed to the crowd that five of his six children were adopted from foster care.
"My family's my reason why I'm here," Ketterer explained to the judges. "My wife and my six children."
Do you have a favorite performer from this season so far? Check out these other incredible performances:
- Deaf singer moves the audience to tears, grabs a Golden Buzzer.
- America's Got Talent winner did an incredible cover of Ed Sheeran's biggest hit.
- Young girl dedicates her incredible performance to her dying father.
[H/T: Country Living]