Child ventriloquist Ana-Maria Margean advances to ‘AGT: All-Stars’ finale thanks to superfan voters

During Week 5 of “America’s Got Talent: All-Stars,” the superfan voters made their choice for who they want to see in the finale, and it was good news for child ventriloquist Ana-Maria Margean. The talented tyke initially rose to fame when she won “Romania’s Got Talent” 2021, but now she’s taken her puppet skills to the U.S.A. where she’s hoping to prevail again. The only other act from this week that advanced to the finale was Tom Ball, a singer from “Britain’s Got Talent” 2022 who earned the group Golden Buzzer.

Over the years, ventriloquists have found wild success on the American version of Simon Cowell‘s worldwide talent search. Terry Fator (Season 2 winner) is perhaps the most well-known, thanks to his eye-popping $100 million contract on the Las Vegas Strip. He was followed in later years by Paul Zerdin (Season 10 winner) and Darci Lynne Farmer (Season 12 winner). Ironically, Terry returned during the first episode of “AGT: All-Stars,” but didn’t receive enough support from the superfans. Thus, Ana-Maria Margean will be the only ventriloquist in the finale.

When Ana-Maria first stepped out onto the big stage, she introduced the audience and judges (Simon, Howie Mandel and Heidi Klum) to her rescue dog puppet, Waldo. The two argued about who’s really “in charge” of whom, and then they went into a powerful rendition of Lesley Gore‘s “You Don’t Own Me.” Everyone jumped up to their feet at the conclusion of the performance, with host Terry Crews shouting “Incredible!” from the sidelines.

The panelists took turns heaping praises onto the young girl, with Heidi proclaiming, “Wow! I mean, no wonder you won. You are incredible. You’re gorgeous. You can sing so beautifully. I love your furry friend. And it was funny, too — I love all the banter and the jokes.”

SEE All Golden Buzzers on ‘AGT’ through the years

“I was laughing,” Howie chimed in. “And I cannot believe your story that you just started doing this during lockdown. Like, you don’t even have two years under your belt. That is amazing.” He concluded, “You are an ‘AGT: All-Star.’ The superfans are gonna love you.”

Simon admitted that he thought Waldo was a real dog at first, and when he found out the truth, he revealed, “Still like it.” All kidding aside, Simon added, “For me, I love seeing someone who’s won from another country come to America to compete again. It’s just really, really exciting when you see the best of the best compete with each other. You are really funny, and I really like your dog.”

Get to know all of the “America’s Got Talent: All-Stars” finalists by scrolling through our photo gallery below (or click here for direct access).

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