‘America’s Got Talent’: Simon Cowell compares ‘superstar’ saxophonist Avery Dixon to Carrie Underwood [WATCH]

The Qualifiers 1 episode of “America’s Got Talent” aired Tuesday, August 9 on NBC with 11 acts performing live on the big stage for the first time. One of those acts was host Terry Crews‘ Golden Buzzer act, a 21-year-old saxophonist named Avery Dixon who persevered despite being bullied throughout his life. After his passionate musical performance of Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground,” which included background band members and flashing lights, judge Simon Cowell gave him the ultimate compliment by comparing him to one of the biggest reality TV show stars of all time: Carrie Underwood. Watch the “AGT” video above.

During his intro package, Avery and his mother went into detail about how his “lungs didn’t fully develop” and he had a “hole in his vocal cord” because he was born premature. Avery found out at a young age he couldn’t talk back to his bullies, so that’s when he decided to try out the saxophone. After receiving the Golden Buzzer earlier this season on “America’s Got Talent,” he now realizes he does “belong,” calling his live performance his “soul song.”

Following the act, Simon was the first judge to speak, and he gave a whopper of a compliment. “I promise you, Avery, since the time we first met you to now, something’s changed,” he began. “I’m gonna predict something. I said this about Carrie Underwood years and years and years ago on [‘American Idol’], which is, you’re gonna be a superstar. I promise you, Avery. I actually believe it’s gonna happen, because this was so different. You were great the first time, but this was incredible. Your confidence and your talent, everything is brilliant. I’m so happy for you.”

In case you never watched Season 4 of “American Idol,” Simon made headlines when he told the fresh-faced country singer she was going to “win this show” and “sell more records than any other previous ‘Idol’ winner.” He was right, of course.

SEE ‘AGT’ deaths: Remembering the contestants we’ve lost on ‘America’s Got Talent’

As for the other “AGT” judges, here is what they had to say about Avery Dixon’s live show performance:

Sofia Vergara: “This has been an amazing night and to finish with you is spectacular. The way you look, the way you sound? I mean, there’s nothing better that you can do.”

Heidi Klum: “I love you. America, let’s bring this kind of music back. Vote for him, vote for him, vote for him.”

Howie Mandel: “Listen, the first time we heard you, you’re a star. You have the talent, you shine. But you as a human being, watching you perform tonight, you have grown by leaps and bounds. You are a superstar. You are a different person, Avery, and I love you and America loves you.”

Be sure to make your “AGT” predictions to influence our reality TV racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the results episode airs live on NBC. You’ll compete to win a $100 Amazon gift card and a spot on our Season 17 leaderboard. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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