America’s Got Talent competitor Grace VanderWaal just scored a major celebrity endorsement that could make her the front-runner on the NBC reality competition. Justin Bieber, another singer who became a web sensation at a young age, recently gave Grace his seal of approval.
The America’s Got Talent judges were so wowed by Grace VanderWaal’s performance of an original song titled “I Don’t Know My Name” that Howie Mandel decided to use his Golden Buzzer to send the 12-year-old, ukele-strumming singer straight through to the live shows in Las Vegas. The episode of AGT that Grace was featured in aired almost three weeks ago, but it just recently caught Justin Bieber’s attention. As Gossip Cop reports, Justin acknowledged Grace on Instagram.
“Love this,” Justin wrote. His post was accompanied by a video snippet of Grace’s America’s Got Talent performance.
As Fox News reports, America’s Got Talent judge Simon Cowell called Grace VanderWaal “the next Taylor Swift” after hearing her original tune. The “Shake It Off” singer hasn’t responded to this comparison yet, but the Daily Beast reports that Taylor Swift has started following Grace on Twitter. However, getting an Instagram shout-out from Justin Bieber was a slightly bigger deal — now his 72.7 million Instagram followers know Grace’s name.
Before Bieber discovered VanderWaal, one of the AGT competitor’s Twitter followers asked her what she thinks of the “Never Say Never” singer. In her response, Grace hinted that she’s learned how not to behave from the bad boy singer.
“I like his music and wish him the best. I know from young entertainers like him that I need my family around me,” the aspiring star tweeted.
Justin Bieber’s rise to stardom began when he was around the same age as Grace — he was a baby-faced 13-year-old when Usher signed him to his record label. However, Justin wouldn’t remain the squeaky-teen clean that his fans first fell in love with. As the Washington Post reports, Bieber’s long list of controversies include urinating in a janitor’s bucket, getting arrested for a DUI, and throwing punches at a few different people.
Grace VanderWaal isn’t the only young America’s Got Talent star competitor who has to worry about the possibility of becoming a huge star and having her life forever changed by fame. The AGT judges have already advanced numerous underage singers on the show. As BuddyTV reports, these include two other Golden Buzzer acts, 16-year-old cancer survivor Calysta Bevier and 13-year-old opera singer Laura Bretan. The fourth Golden Buzzer act is 20-year-old Frank Sinatra sound-alike Sal Valentinetti.
It will be some time before America’s Got Talent viewers get to see Grace VanderWaal and the other Golden Buzzer acts again, but fans have plenty to look forward to during the upcoming Judge’s Cut rounds. As Rickey reports, this intense stage of the competition begins on July 12, and each week a celebrity guest judge will join Howie Mandel, Mel B, Heidi Klum, and Simon Cowell on the AGT judging panel. The guest judges are reportedly country singer Reba McEntire, comedian George Lopez, R&B singer NE-YO, and One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, a fan who attended the live taping of Louis Tomlinson’s AGT episode reported that the Louis got to watch a man pull a car with his nipples. This was likely sideshow act The Baron of the Universe, a man who spun around with a heavy weight hanging from his nipple piercings during his audition. After watching a quick-change act, Louis reportedly cracked a joke about how long it takes his girlfriend, The Originals star Danielle Campbell, to get dressed. This act was likely married couple Sos and Victoria Petroysan.
The America’s Got Talent auditions continue Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
[Image via NBC/YouTube]