She may only be 15, but Makayla Phillips is going to Hollywood.
The Canyon Lake, Calfornia, native wowed judges on NBC's "America's Got Talent" Tuesday with her booming vocals in a rendition of Demi Lovato's "Warrior." Strutting across stage, she seemed a natural star reveling in her element that left even judge Simon Cowell impressed.
It was all nerves and hugs before Phillips went on stage. This was a lifelong dream, her parents said backstage. The daughter of a firefighter and a drama teacher, Phillips has watched "AGT" since she was 3 and wanted to be on the show ever since. She honed her singing skills, driving her parents crazy by practicing at even the most inconvenient hour of3 a.m.
One of the judges, Heidi Klum, gave Phillips a standing ovation, gushing over the young contestant's talent.
"I love you. I think you're absolutely incredible," Klum said. "I love the whole package. I love your smile. I love how you project to everyone. Your voice is incredible. Know what I'm going to do for you?"
Klum then pressed the coveted Golden Buzzer, showering Phillips and the stage in confetti. Introduced in Season 9, the Golden Buzzer allows each judge to move one contestant straight to the quarterfinals.
The gesture left an overwhelmed Phillips shell-shocked, as her parents and little brother rushed to congratulate her.
Standing onstage beside Phillips like a proud mentor, Klum beamed to her fellow judges, Howie Mandel, Mel B and Cowell: "I think I just found the winner."
And that concluded the audition round of summer's top TV series.
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3 June 2018