Susan Boyle made a stunning comeback on the new “America’s Got Talent: The Champions” on the show’s Jan. 7 premiere. She was welcomed back by the judges as a legend and her performance garnered the golden buzzer.
The audience and all judges gave her a standing ovation for her rendition of “Wild Horses.” After the applause died down and the judges gave their praise, Mel B. hit the golden buzzer.
“You know what Susan? I can’t think of any other contestant who has defined this show better than you,” said Simon Cowell. “You made a huge difference in a lot of peoples’ lives and I’m absolutely thrilled you’re here.”
“That moment of watching you sing and watching you show up is the epitome…we use that as vernacular here at America’s Got Talent—I said ‘you know what I want? I want that Susan Boyle moment. I want that jaw-dropping moment’—because you are what the show is,” said Howie Mandel.
After hitting the buzzer Mel B. told Boyle “You should have got that the first time around.”
Boyle rose to prominence after her second place finish in the 2009 edition of Britain’s Got Talent, when she rose into the spotlight after shocking the judges and the audience with her voice. They didn’t take her seriously at first due to her homely, overweight appearance.
But once she starts singing things change, and she gets a wild reaction. She got a standing ovation before she finished singing “I Dreamed a Dream,” and became a viral hit on the internet, as her YouTube videos were watched over 100 million times, IBT UK reported.
“It sounds like a cliché but she made me realize that you can’t judge a book by its cover. When she came out I remember thinking: ‘God, I hope you’re not going to sing because I just…’ And then it was amazing!” Cowell said, via IBT UK.
She was unemployed at the time she first appeared on the show, and feared losing the home where she lived alone with her cat, but within the year she became a multimillionaire, The List and IBTimes UK reported.
Her debut album came out that year and became the highest bestselling album in the UK. “I Dreamed a Dream” and “Wild Horses” were the singles that spurred the album’s success, according to IBT UK.
Boyle, along with other notable contestants from previous seasons of America’s Got Talent, Britain’s Got Talent, and offshoot shows in various countries can now compete against each other as they return for the show’s new format, according to the NBC website.
Boyle getting the golden buzzer means she’ll jump directly to the live shows and be exempt from the intervening rounds of competition, People reported. The judges can only hit the golden buzzer once per episode.
Along with Boyle, comedian Preacher Lawson is advancing too, after fan voting. Lawson competed on Season 12 of America’s Got Talent, in 2017. Like Boyle, he also ended his season as the runner up. He lost to Darci Lynne Farmer, the young ventriloquist, Metro reported.
Other competitors on the season premiere included an acrobatic sword swallower, a dance crew, a contortionist, another comedian, a stuntman that does ladder tricks, including a stunt that sent him to the hospital the last time he attempted it, a lady who performs tricks with her dog, a mind-reading couple The Clairvoyants, and Bianca Ryan, America’s Got Talent’s first winner ever, who made a comeback after suffering vocal cord paralysis in the intervening years.
This season features the usual America’s Got Talent judges: Simon Cowell, Mel B., Heidi Klum, and Howie Mandel. Hosting duties are now undertaken by actor Terry Crews.