Makayla Phillips is a frontrunner to win season 18 of “American Idol.” This talented teen is a veteran of reality TV. Two years ago she reached the semi-finals of “America’s Got Talent” before being eliminated in the audience vote. She got that far in the competition courtesy of one of the “AGT” judges, Heidi Klum.
Klum had been so taken with Makayla at her audition that she pressed the Golden Buzzer, sending this soft-spoken teenager straight through to the live shows. Watch that moment in the video above. You’ll see how nervous Makayla is before she raises her voice in song. Miraculously all her shyness slips away as she nails her rendition of the Demi Lovato hit “Warrior.”
She sounds like a singer who has been performing for years. Her confidence even overwhelmed head judge Simon Cowell, who was grinning throughout her show-stopping number which ended with the crowd giving her a standing ovation. Before any of the judges could vote, Heidi singled her out for special treatment, using up her one Golden Buzzer. As she explained to Makayla, “I think you’re absolutely incredible. I love the whole package. I love your smile. I love how you project to everyone.”
A confident Klum then took to the stage to hug and kiss Phillips. After congratulating her new discovery, she turned to her rival judges — Cowell, Mel B and Howie Mandel — and boasted, “I think I just found the winner.”