“You speak truth.” With those three words, Julianne Hough gave singer-songwriter Sophie Pecora some of the strongest reviews so far in “America’s Got Talent” Season 14. During the live Quarterfinals 1 episode, Julianne teared up while listening to Sophie’s original song “Happy in LA,” a hybrid rap/spoken word anthem about how material objects can’t bring happiness. Did Sophie, age 15, silence all of her bullies by earning enough votes to advance to the Semifinals? Watch the performance video above, read the judges’ comments below and make your predictions before Wednesday’s results show.
Julianne Hough: “Wow, I literally don’t even know what to say and I think Simon’s right, he’s continuing to clap. Two things: one, that video package with the lyrics on already brought me to tears so thank you for writing that song. And two, you’re speaking to, whether it’s a 9-year-old or a 60-year-old, you speak truth. And that’s all I have to say, you speak truth. Thank you.”
Howie Mandel: “Oh, I agree. You are wow. And not only are you an interesting singer, but you are the most important thing so far on this stage tonight. People need to listen, they need to learn, they need to vote. And you need to continue to be here.”
Gabrielle Union: “I think we ask of our artists to be truth-tellers and culture-shifters. Every time you hit this stage, you have something incredibly poignant and important to say to so many people. Never stop. You are such a rock star. So needed.”
Simon Cowell: “I was thinking during the performance, and I agree with [Julianne] about the package beforehand, that we live in a very crowded world with a lot of information going on around us. Sometimes people come on here with all the bells and whistles and everything else. You, a guitar, a beautiful lyric, a beautiful song, an immaculate performance silenced the whole room in the perfect possible way. I am slightly in awe of you right now.”
In his “AGT” live blog, our recapper John Benutty had this to say about the performance: “Fifteen year old singer songwriter Sophie Pecora was the next artist to take the stage, this being her first time since Brad Paisley hit his Golden Buzzer for her. Despite a slightly upbeat moment of rapping, her performance was very low energy tonight and she had a noticeable slip up at the end, likely due to nerves. That being said, the judges are all-in for Sophie and support her anti-bullying and teen angst lyrics so much that they urged the audiences to give her the votes to advance.”
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