‘America’s Got Talent’ tearjerker: Sophie Pecora wins Brad Paisley’s Golden Buzzer after fighting back against bullies [WATCH]

America’s Got Talent” singer-songwriter Sophie Pecora returned during the first Judge Cuts episode to perform in front of Simon Cowell, Julianne Hough, Gabrielle Union, Howie Mandel and guest judge Brad Paisley. The last time Sophie performed, this shy 15-year-old reminded me of singing ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer, who won Season 12. The good news is Sophie is now on the right track to win Season 14 as she just earned Brad’s Golden Buzzer following her original song, “Misfits.” Watch the “AGT” performance video above and read some of the judges’ comments below.

In her pre-performance package Sophie proclaimed, “There’s been times in my life when I wish I wasn’t so quiet and I wish that I was more outgoing. I am a quiet person but I do have a pretty loud mind. A lot of the time I get stuck in my head and I just overthink it a lot.” She continued on, “I just love writing songs. It’s really special to me because they’re my words.” This time around, her original tune was the “most personal” of them all and told the story of her struggles with bullies.

As for why Brad made the bold move of anointing Sophie with his Golden Buzzer, he told her, “I know you from that one song. That’s incredible. To stand up there with just a guitar, I mean that takes incredible cajones. I don’t think there’s maybe a more important issue now that social media is this thing that’s pervasive everywhere we look — young people not understanding that that isn’t that big a deal when you look back on your life. You have schooled so many people in this moment and I think … I’m done.” The country superstar then slammed his hand down on the Golden Buzzer, covering Sophie in confetti.

By receiving the Golden Buzzer, that meant Sophie immediately advanced to the live shows at the Dolby Theatre. The other successful performers from this week’s episode were Emerald Belles, Berywam, Messoudi Brothers, Lukas & Falco, Ndiovu Youth Choir and Chris Klafford.

In his “AGT” live blog, our recapper Denton Davidson had this to say about the performance: “Next up is Sophie Pecora, a young singer-songwriter who is more like a rapper/spoken word artist who plays guitar. She’s performing an original song and she starts off singing in a bit of a folk style before segueing into her rap. I like her genre-bending style and she is truly an original. The judges give her a standing ovation. Simon gives her some fatherly advice and tells her not to sing about bullies ever again because they don’t deserve her attention. Brad takes things one step further and gives Sophie the Golden Buzzer! Sophie is headed to the quarter-finals.”

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