Courtney Hadwin won’t be back on “America’s Got Talent” till August 14 at the earliest. That is because she got the Golden Buzzer from Howie Mandel after her audition on June 21 and was sent straight through to the live shows. This means she doesn’t have to compete in the judges cuts round, which kicks off on July 17.
According to our poll of “AGT” viewers, Hadwin is far out in front to win season 13. That she is from England hasn’t hurt her in the minds of American fans of this reality competition series. They are won over by her powerhouse talent, which she first showed off on a TV show back home: “The Voice Kids UK.”
Surprisingly, she didn’t win that competition in 2017. She did make it to the final, where she stopped the show with the searing power ballad “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” from the musical “Dreamgirls.” But it was Jess Folley who prevailed with “Love on Top” by Beyonce.
Throughout the series, Hadwin and Folley had been fighting for the approval of the judges. Hadwin had first caught their attention with her audition song, Tina Turner‘s “Nutbush City Limits.” After winning her battle (where she sang “Dancing in the Streets”), she impressed again with her version of “I Got You” (“I Feel Good”) in the semi-finals.
James Brown wrote and recorded this tune in 1965. It was the biggest-selling record of his career and peaked at number three on the Billboard 100. Watch above as Hadwin makes this song, so associated with the godfather of soul, her own.
Before Mandel pressed the Golden Buzzer, he compared Hadwin to another 60s singing legend, Janis Joplin. And “AGT” head judge Simon Cowell was just as impressed by this talented teen, praising her tenacity and likening her to lion.
On the live quarterfinal, Hadwin will compete against 11 other acts. The dozen of them will perform on the Tuesday episode with just seven being told on the Wednesday results show that they made it through to the semi-finals.