Angelica Hale broke down in tears as she got the golden buzzer through to the finals of America’s Got Talent: The Champions on Monday night.
The 11-year-old runner-up from the show’s season 12 in 2017 came back for the champions show, saying: ‘I’ve always been a fighter. Never stop fighting because you never know what will happen.’
She quickly had the audience on its feet with Rachel Platten’s Fight Song, with Heidi Klum calling her ‘the little boss lady that you are.’
‘You show up and you rip the ceiling off of this theater, you really do,’ Howie Mandel then told her.
‘That was your fight song, and if I can do anything I’m gonna help you win this fight,’ he said, reaching over to press the golden buzzer.
The youngster – who had a life-saving kidney transplant aged 4 – wiped tears away as she was left open-mouthed with shock, finally saying: ‘I can’t believe this is actually happening to me.
‘I never expected this to happen. I want to thank you so much this is a dream come true.’
Before getting the golden buzzer – making her the first of the night through to the finals – Mel B got boos from the audience as she suggested the ‘firecracker’ did not put her ‘Angelica twist’ on the song.
‘Well well well that told me, didn’t it,’ Mel said as she got through, with Simon Cowell thumbing his nose at her and Howie insisting: ‘That’s a champion.’
She will be joined in the finals by Paul Potts, the opera singer won the first season of Britain’s Got Talent in 2007, who got through thanks to the votes from superfans in all 50 states.
The 48-year-old Brit has been one of the biggest successes in the franchise’s history, going from a phone salesman to singing ‘something like 1100 concerts in the last 11 years.’
‘The thing that makes me think back to this show with a huge amount of fondness and gratitude is the fact that I walked onto that stage as nobody – and left it as somebody.’
Further recalling how it changed his life, he recalled singing for the Queen and releasing five studio albums.
‘Normally they wait until your dead before they make a movie about you, so I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t,’ he said, insisting he is ‘still shy.’
‘I obviously would love to America’s Got Talent: Champions. That for me is the ultimate dream.’
His performance had easily the biggest response from the audience, with Mel calling it ‘mind-blowingly beautiful.’
‘You just reminded us that you can still be famous and amazing but still be humble and have your feet on the floor and down to earth. So thank you for everything you’ve just done.’
Saying he was ‘not a fan of opera, Howie said: ‘I am the biggest fan of your talent and singing.
‘You deserve to win.’
Simon said he ‘defined what the show was meant to be – people with extraordinary talent who just weren’t given a chance.’
‘I’m really, really happy that you came back,’ Simon added.
Angelica and Paul now join Susan Boyle and Preacher Lawson who got through on night one, along with Spanish operative rock singer Cristina Ramos and knife throwers Deadly Games from the second.
Daredevil act Ryan Stock and Amberlynn had one of the most horrifying accidents in AGT history – with Ryan getting shot in the neck by a flaming arrow shot from a high-powered crossbow.
‘Your wife essentially nearly killed you on one of the live shows,’ Simon recalled of the accident on AGT’s season 11 in 2016. ‘It was one of the most shocking moments we’ve ever seen on one of these live shows.’
The judges were all horrified when the common-law couple confirmed they would repeat that same act for the first time since it almost went fatally wrong.
‘I think that’s what makes a champion. If you fall down you pick yourself up, brush yourself off and do it all again,’ Amberlynn told the judges.
Ryan called it their ‘chance for redemption,’ while Amberlynn admitted: ‘We go into this with full knowledge that the danger is still there. Worst case scenario something could go wrong – something could go very wrong. So going into this is actually really scary.’
After Ryan set a mousetrap on his tongue, he wet back his hair with Heid joking: ‘So he looks good if he dies.’
The judges were all shown looking away in horror as she finally shot the burning arrow – this time hitting it’s target and lodging in a metal object in Ryan’s throat.
‘That was the scariest thing I’ve done in a long time,’ Ryan admitted, with Simon saying: ‘And for us.’
‘I couldn’t watch it,’ Mel admitted, while Heidi told them: You are so crazy. And unique, but mostly crazy.’
After calling them ‘nuts, brilliant, brave, gutsy, champions,’ Simon said: ‘I’m really really happy that this time it went right.’
Former NFL pro Jon Dorenbos, 38, also seemingly came back from the dead – talking about the open-heart surgery that saved his life last year.
The magician, whose dad murdered his mom when he was 12, insisted: ‘I didn’t win last time. So I’m here to win.’
He played a giant game of tic-tac-toe, proving that he had guessed words and colors that the judges wrote on cards – ending the act by shouting: ‘It is a great day to be alive!’
‘Oh I wish that I had a golden buzzer right now,’ Simon said, telling him: ‘You inspire people. You deserve to go through to the final.’
Heidi agreed, saying: ‘What you did right before our eyes is pure, pure magic. You’re brilliant, absolutely brilliant.’
Jon was shown wiping away tears as he hugged his wife backstage, telling her: ‘Last year has been a long road, baby.’
Amazingly, Angelica was not the youngest – with DJ Arch Jnr, the 2015 winner of South Africa’s Got Talent, appearing aged just six.
A.J., who was just three when he appeared on the South African show, is unsurprisingly the youngest winner of any of the shows – and also the world’s youngest DJ in the Guinness World Records.
‘I’m here to get back my title,’ he had said in his pre-recorded interviews.
‘I didn’t want it t stop!’ Mel said as the youngster got a huge ovation, while Heidi called him ‘by far the coolest six-year-old I have ever met. And I have four kids, I know what I’m talking about.’
Although he did not make it through, Simon had told him: ‘You and I need to be talking after this show. I’ve got some plans for you, trust me.
‘I think you are a total, total little star. I absolutely love you. You are everything this show is all about.’
Billy and Emily England, the extreme roller-skating duo made it to the semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent as well as 2017’s AGT, have since landed a headlining Vegas.
But Billy insisted: ‘I just had a burning feeling inside of me of unfinished business.’
‘We kind of feel like we’re training for the Olympics because it’s a competition of the best,’ Emily said.
They stunned with their high energy act, with Billy getting swung around at high-speed just by his beard.
‘Every time this act comes on they go a stage further,’ Simon said. ‘I think these guys define the word “champions.”‘
Howie agreed: ‘We can’t say this enough – you’re a champion.’
Magician Darcy Oake, who came fifth on Britain’s Got Talent in 2014, promised an act that would ‘literally defy the laws of gravity.’
He got help from Howie, who also selected a random member of the audience to assist, with them both laying on benches and holding a wooden board.
He then ultimately pulled away both men’s hands – looking like Heidi was floating in air. ‘That was s cool – I was floating!’ Heid said as she walked back, calling it ‘one of the coolest things I ever got to do.’
Howie joked: ‘I wonder if you’re magical or that’s how much a supermodel actually weighs?’
‘You are immensely talented, charismatic, good looking and have magical powers,’ Simon told him.
‘But I’m going to be honest with you. What you did was incredible, but you lacked showmanship tonight.’
Comedian Tom Cotter, 55, joked about losing out to the Olate Dogs as the runner-up on AGT season seven in 2012, saying: ‘I’ve been doing a lot of writing – mostly suicide notes because lost to a dog act.’
He then walked out with a dog, calling it Simon Growl and joking: ‘I am not taking any chances this time.’
However, Simon stunned everyone by buzzing for him to leave, insisting afterward: ‘To me, this was just ordinary. I’m really, really sorry.’
‘I may not be your cup of tea – may make you hate tea – but still respect the hell out of you,’ Tom told the judge, admitting later it was ‘shocking.’
It also terrified the night’s other comedian, Samuel J Comroe, the funnyman who used his Tourette’s Syndrome for punchlines in his performances that came fourth on season 13 last year.
Samuel, who talked about how ‘crazy’ it is that he is now ‘booked out for the next two years,’ managed t get through his set without a similar interruption.
‘Isn’t everyone glad that he came back?’ Mel asked, calling him ‘the perfect husband material.’
‘You know women inside out, your respectful, you’re funny, you’ve got swagger … Boom! I love you to bits.’
‘You’re a champion, Howie told him, with Simon praising his ‘extra glow.’
Theatrical opera singer Prince Poppycock admitted he gave up on his character after coming fourth on AGT’s season five 2010.
‘I went back to my life as John because I always had trouble believing myself,’ the performer, real name John Quale, said.
As for his return, he vowed: ‘I’ve been working nonstop to make it the best act of my life. I still have a lot of dreams left.’
‘That was too short – I wanted more and more and more,’ Mel insisted of his performance of Lady Gaga’s The Edge Of Glory. ‘I could see that show in Las Vegas in a heartbeat. I would buy tickets to that show.’
Howie also insisted: ‘Truly, you are amazing, on so many levels. You are the person that’s gonna be remembered.’