It’s shaping up as a golden season of America’s Got Talent, if the early action is anything to go by.
As the second week of auditions rumbled on Tuesday night (June 6), armchair viewers everywhere were introduced to Putri Ariani, a gifted teenage singer from Indonesia. It wasn’t so much an introduction, but a lesson in pure talent.
The 17-year-old is blind, an obstacle she overcomes when she’s performing. “When I’m singing I feel like a superstar,” she said in the preamble.
Putri chose the right reason, and the right time to make her first trip to America. “My dream is to become the biggest diva in the world, like Whitney Houston, and win a Grammy Award,” she told the audience. “I hope I can win America’s Got Talent so I can reach my dream.”
With her parents watching on in the wings, the youngster kept the dream alive with a performance of an original song. Playing the piano, Putri melted hearts with her ballad, which she balanced with perfect-pop tones, vocal maturity and unreal control.
As the crowd roared to its feet, Simon Cowell leapt from his chair, headed for the stage and introduced himself to Putri. At his request, “because he enjoyed Putri’s voice so much,” she performed a second song, “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word.” The contestant dedicated the Elton John and Bernie Taupin classic to Cowell.
There could be no doubt: the kid has got it.
“My god,” is how Cowell summed it up. He spoke for everyone, as the crowd stood as one and applauded.
There were tears on stage, and off it, as Sofia Vergara remarked “we were all mesmerized by you. Your voice, you’re an angel.”
Howie Mandel followed up, “a lot of people don’t believe in angels, but I think one just landed on our stage. You’re a superstar.”
“You sounded so beautiful tonight,” remarked Heidi Klum.
As usual, Cowell saved his thoughts for last. “I think we’re all feeling the same thing,” he explained. “You’re 17, you write songs, you’ve got an amazing distinctive voice, and I mean really, really good. You have a kind of a glow about you.”
There was a glow coming from the rafters, too, as Cowell triggered the Golden Buzzer. It’s the second glittering prize in as many weeks, following South Africa’s Mzansi Youth Choir’s inspired tribute to the late AGT album, Nightbirde.
Watch Putri’s performance below.