We’ve all got to start somewhere. For 19-year-old Summer Rios, a native of Brunswick, Ohio, that start is the pizza trade. Not everyone can go somewhere with music, however. For Rios, an impressive audition on America’s Got Talent might’ve wedged that door open.
Currently, the teen is a manager at a Pizza Hut. “I make pizzas for a living,” she admits, regularly working morning-to-closes trying to pay bills and keep her head above water. “I hope this will get me out of pizza cutting and pizza making.”
Rios has been singing since the age of four, she explained, “but I haven’t really performed.” There’s no time like now, or quite like the AGT stage. She’s “trying to make music a thing, and try to put myself out there and not have so much anxiety.”
After displaying some of those nerves, which manifested as giggles, Rios set about showing the nation her true talents with a performance of Zach Bryan’s “Something in the Orange.”
Her performance married depth with power and a touch of grunt, without a hint of those early nerves.
She was visibly thrilled when the audience stood for an ovation, as did Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara. Read those lips: “Oh my god” she said to herself.
“You know Summer, I think you should be doing this more than slicing pizza,” remarked Howie Mandel. “I feel like we’ve just got a peak at what you can do. And you needed to open this door a crack and you’ve opened it more than a crack to just take off.”
“I loved it,” praised Klum. “To me it sounded a little bit like you swallowed Rihanna. You have a beautiful, beautiful tone in your voice. I think it was absolutely incredible.”
“Your voice is spectacular,” remarked Vergara. “You belong on a stage. Don’t waste more time, live your best life. Don’t be scared anymore.
Cowell wrapped things up. “Summer, what a great choice of song. I think every single person in this room wanted you to do well. Yeah, we all like you,” he said with a hint of emotion in his voice.
It was four yeses from the judges. Onwards, upwards.