Simon Cowell gives opera singer Daniel Emmet an impossible challenge on ‘America’s Got Talent’ [WATCH]

Classical crossover singer Daniel Emmet thought that he was sure to sail through his audition for “America’s Got Talent.” But as we saw on the June 19 episode of “AGT,” head judge Simon Cowell had something else in mind for this 25-year-old singer, who intended to perform an original song that was a mashup of opera and pop. He had barely begun this tune, which came across as bland and boring, when the curmudgeonly Cowell cut him off and demanded that he sing a different song. (Watch his audition video above.)

When Emmet admitted he had not come prepared with an alternate, Cowell was cross. He dispatched him from the stage and gave him just one hour to learn another song, the Il Divo hit “Passera.” The visibly nervous neophyte returned in the appointed 60 minutes and proceeded to wow the audience, the panel and even himself with his rendition of this Italian aria. 

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The difference between the two songs was startling. While both were sung in Italian, Emmet brought a fire and fury to the second one. Perhaps the fact that it was all so new to him allowed him to be freer with his interpretation, to show his natural passion for performing. When he was done, all four judges rose to their feet as one. The other three “AGT” judges — Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel — begrudgingly admitted that Cowell was correct. Simon simply ate it all up.

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In his “AGT” live blog, our recapper John Benutty admitted, “Hate to say it, but Simon was so right. And, needless to say, that Daniel managed to perform it so well with only an hour to learn it is just ambitious and incredible. It was an undeniable clean sweep of YESES for Daniel so we’ll be seeing him again in the next phase of the competition.”

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