This week, America's Got Talent found its newest diamond in the rough with 12-year-old singer and songwriter Grace VanderWaal. While VanderWaal amazed America's Got Talent judges and mesmerized the audience with her original song, "I Don't Know My Name," Howie Mandel predicted it wouldn't be long before everyone knows Grace's name. Even Simon Cowell seemed floored by Grace's performance, but that was nothing compared to the shock on Grace's face, as she received an overwhelming round of applause.
Grace Vanderwaal Shares Her Hidden Gifts On America's Got TalentShows like America's Got Talent are responsible for giving us the latest music sensation and Tuesday's episode certainly did that for Grace VanderWaal. The young singer amazed audiences with both her songwriting abilities and with her singing, which was accompanied by her own ukulele playing. The song, "I Don't Know My Name," will more than likely be heard on radio stations across America in no time at all, with more to come from VanderWaal, but first, Grace will undoubtedly take the time to adjust to her newly found fame.
Prior to delivering her performance, Ms. VanderWaal revealed to the judges that, other than the family she brought with her to America's Got Talent, most people that know her were unaware of her interest in singing. That certainly changed, after Grace's Tuesday night recital.
"I believe miracles can happen, so possibly," VanderWaal replied, when Simon Cowell asked if she thought she had a chance to win the competition.Even Grace VanderWaal herself seemed surprised by the reaction to her performance, as the entire audience cheered her on, and she received a standing ovation from Cowell, among others. The young singer's amazement could be seen in her smile, even as she continued to sing "I Don't Know My Name" to the America's Got Talent audience.
Howie Mandel Predicts Big Things For Grace VanderWaalPossibly the judge most impressed by Grace's singing was Howie Mandel, even though it was Simon who declared Ms. VanderWaal as the next Taylor Swift.
"This is a show about surprises," Mandel praised. "I think you are a living, beautiful, walking miracle. Your original song about people not knowing your name... I think the world is going to know your name."
Mandel followed up his predictions for Grace's fame by hitting the show's golden buzzer and running up on stage to greet and hug VanderWaal. The young singer wept tears of joy as golden confetti rained down upon her, and her family rushed out on stage to share in the proud moment.
"I feel like I'm daydreaming and just getting ready to wake up," Grace VanderWaal replied, when asked who she felt at that moment.
Even after Grace left the stage, the applause continued on in the background, as the judges all agreed that America's Got Talent had found its next star. The pre-taped competition was only the first stop on Grace VanderWaal's road to fame. She will next return for a live America's Got Talent segment, in which the best talents will face off in a second round competition.
Also worthy of note on America's Got Talent was 82-year-old John Hetlinger. A former Navy pilot, Hetlinger shocked audiences with a cover of Drowning Pool's 2001 hit, "Bodies."
"I thought you were going to come on and sing 'Fly Me To The Moon,'" Cowell told him, after the performance. "You are an animal. I absolutely love you, John."
D.J. Demers brought a laugh to America's Got Talent with his stand-up comedy routine, which was based on his real life experiences with hearing loss. Howie Mandel commended the comic for being able to find comedy in his troubling circumstances.
"Up until now, this season, as far as comedy goes, you are my favorite," said Mandell.
The next episode of America's Got Talent airs on Tuesday, June 14 on NBC.
[Image by NBC]