Simon Cowell‘s Golden Buzzer, child violinist Tyler Butler-Figueroa, returned to “America’s Got Talent” during Tuesday’s quarterfinals episode and blew the roof off the Dolby Theatre with his cover of Ariana Grande‘s “Break Free.” Guest judge Sean Hayes (“Will & Grace”) was so impressed that he said the talented young cancer survivor’s violin performance “blew my mind away.” Do you think Tyler has what it takes to win NBC’s reality TV show? He’d be the only violinist to prevail, though Grace VanderWaal won Season 11 with the help of her ukulele. Watch the live “AGT” video above, read the judges’ comments below and then make your predictions before Wednesday’s results show.
Simon Cowell: “Tyler, I just want to say something very, very quickly. Your story is unbelievable and we’ve talked about this a lot. But now I want to talk about your musicianship. Tonight you showed just what a brilliant musician you are, what a great showman you are, and just how gutsy you were just then to put on a performance which defines the word joy and talent. My huge congratulations. I think that’s gonna put you in the final.”
Gabrielle Union: “Oh my gosh, Tyler, what you have done for this audience, to fill it with so many kids, survivors like you, this has been truly, truly magical. Everything you get you absolutely deserve. You are brilliant, young man.”
Sean Hayes: “The fact that you can jump up and down and still hit the right notes while you’re playing blew my mind away. I play the piano and when you play the piano the note you hit is the note you get. But I hope people understand how difficult it is to find the note on the violin and you make it look so easy. You’re brilliant, absolutely.”
Julianne Hough: “I agree with Simon. Your story’s incredible but tonight your performance went above and beyond what we’ve seen. I just want to say that your greatest trial has now become your greatest triumph. And I hope that other people watching this can relate to that and know that they can have that, too.”
In his “AGT” live blog, our recapper John Benutty had this to say about the performance: “For tonight’s performance Tyler Butler-Figueroa began in the audience to make his way to stage for an energetic rendition of Ariana Grande’s ‘Break Free’ on his violin. The judges were enthusiastic about his performance and reiterated how great his story is, but all agreed that tonight’s audition was a perfect fit for him and a smart choice.”
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