Jackie Evancho exit interview: It ‘meant the world to me’ to compete on ‘America’s Got Talent: The Champions’ [WATCH]

Even though she was eliminated early on “America’s Got Talent: The Champions,” teenage opera singer Jackie Evancho says that it “meant the world to me” to compete against such legendary acts from around the world. In her NBC exit interview (watch above), Jackie adds, “I wanted to do ‘Champions’ because at this point in my life as an 18-year-old I wanted to kind of go on this journey of self-discovery, and what better way to start it than to take a look back at where it all began for me.”

Jackie first appeared back on Season 5 of “America’s Got Talent” when she was only 10 years old, ultimately losing to singer Michael Grimm. She became one of the reality TV show’s most successful runners-up, releasing seven albums over the decade. When she returned to the “AGT” stage for the “Champions” spinoff, Jackie performed “The Music of the Night” for judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Mel B and Heidi Klum.

“I sang ‘The Music of the Night’ from ‘The Phantom of the Opera,’ the show that got me inspired to sing to begin with,” Jackie revealed about her song choice. All of the judges were on their feet following her performance, with Simon telling her she’d gotten better with age and Mel B raving that she has “the voice of an angel.” Despite the accolades, Jackie was sent home as sand artist Kseniya Simonova and card magician Shin Lim made it through to the Finals.

Jackie continued, “I wanted to be able to be a part of this big celebration of all of these amazing, talented people from around the world. It’s truly amazing to see it. To be competing on this stage compared to all of the other talents, it’s scary. But it’s also really exciting and I’m honored because I’m considered to be a part of those people. That really hit me here [in my heart]. That meant the world to me.”

The Finals of “America’s Got Talent: The Champions” air Monday, February 11 on NBC. In addition to the five Golden Buzzer recipients and the five Superfan picks that have already made it through, two wild card acts are also set to return. Find out who’s named the ultimate “Champion” when the results episode airs Monday, February 18.

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