The golden buzzer is a concept first introduced to America’s Got Talent during Season 9. Each season since, every AGT judge gets one opportunity to press the golden buzzer. When a judge presses the golden buzzer, it automatically sends the contestant through to the live shows. Howie Mandel used his golden buzzer early on in Season 13, making the decision to send Courtney Hadwin to the live shows.
As talented – and loved by America – as Howie predicted when he hit that buzzer, Hadwin has wowed her way to finals week. The question is – how does Mandel think his golden buzzer compares to the other AGT finalists? Does he think she can win?
With the Season 13 finals and finale fast approaching, Howie sat down with NBC’s Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb today to share his thoughts on how Courtney compared to her competition as well as whether he thought the young singer could win AGT Season 13.
“Courtney, I think is going to be a huge star,” Mandel said as he explained that with so many great performers anyone could win. He, however, believed regardless of the outcome this young singer was going to go on to do great things.
“I think that she could possibly win it. But the truth is — when it comes to these finals and it’s live — it could be anybody.”
As those who follow AGT know, Courtney is competing against nine other finalists including:
- Shin Lim (magician)
- Michael Ketterer (singer)
- Zurcaroh (aerial dance group)
- Duo Transcend (aerialists)
- Samuel J. Comroe (comedian)
- Daniel Emmet (singer)
- Brian King Joseph (violinist)
- Glennis Grace (singer)
- Vicki Barbolak (comedian)
“What is about her, though, Howie?” Hoda inquired as she attempted to dig a bit deeper on the judge’s thoughts on Courtney as a performer.
Wow I want to thank every single person that voted for me I’m so grateful tonight and in shock thank you guys for believing in me and @howiemandel you have believed in my from right at the beginning can’t thank you enough ❤️❤️ #agt @AGT pic.twitter.com/kpQskjwfsU
— Courtney Hadwin (@CourtneyHadwin) September 13, 2018
Mandel admitted that he believed she was the “second coming of Janis Joplin.”
“I’ve never seen a 13-year-old, little, shy waif of an adorable child…as soon as that first note hits she just is unbelievable, and she’s a superstar. But, we have a lot of superstars,” Howie explained.
Howie has made the connection between Courtney and Joplin before. After pressing the golden buzzer for Courtney, Mandel told the story of how Joplin was discovered by Clive Davis.
“Oh my gosh, you are not from this era. You’re from a whole different era.”
Howie did admit that Courtney had her work cut out of her as there was a lot of impressive competition this season. Mandel referenced violinist Brian King Joseph and magician Shin Lim as being just as talented and having just as great a chance of winning as Hadwin.
Tune in for the Season 13 finals week and finale on September 18 and September 19 to find out whether Howie’s golden buzzer will win.