When Lavender Darcangelo last stood on the America’s Got Talent stage, she was covered in golden glitter.
On that occasion last month, the 27-year-old contestant stunned the judges with her performance of “Out Here on My Own,” originally sung by Irene Cara for the Fame soundtrack. It was a rendition that earned her a standing ovation not only from the crowd, but from all four of the judges on the panel.
On Tuesday night (Aug. 22), Darcangelo took center stage once again, this time in the AGT qualifiers.
The Fitchburg, MA native, who is autistic and blind, left nothing to chance as she belted out a cover of Foreigner’s mid-‘80s ballad, “I Want to Know What Love Is”. Bathed in the light of a laser show, and with the lights dimmed in the room to create the vibe of a planetarium, Darcangelo showcased her vocals with a stripped-back version.
The cameras caught Simon Cowell smiling as Darcangelo tugged on the heart strings. Heidi Klum, who had awarded Darcangelo the Golden Buzzer in July, appeared to be holding back tears.
The result – another standing ovation from everyone in he room, including Cowell, Klum and their fellow judges Howie Mandel and Sofia Vergara.
“Lavender, I’m so proud of you,” responded Klum. “They love you Lavender. I feel you when you are singing, I feel you, I hope everyone in this room felt you. I hope everyone at home felt you.”
It’s simply “the most amazing feeling,” Cowell enthused, “when a contestant who everyone loves nails it, and you can feel it.”
The song should be a embedded in Cowell’s DNA. Following its release in 1984, the single spent seven weeks in the U.K. top 10, including a three week run at No. 1. It was a similar story in the U.S., where the single logged two weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The second half of Darcangelo’s performance, Cowell noted, “the whole song, the lyric took on a completely different meaning for me, and that was beautiful.”
Now, it’s America’s turn to vote.
Watch Darcangelo’s performance below.