Lifestyle & Human Interest

'AGT' Contestant That Earned Golden Buzzer from Brad Paisley Eliminated in Quarterfinals


By this point in the 2019 season of “America’s Got Talent,” viewers have had time to develop favorites and watch as the contestants prepare for the quarterfinals.

On Wednesday, the judges made their choices, and then it was up to viewers to decide which of the bottom-placing acts to save. The choice was between the Emerald Belles, Ansley Burns and Sophie Pecora.

Pecora was guest judge Brad Paisley’s Golden Buzzer pick. Though all the judges were impressed with the teen’s abilities, it was the country music star who likened her to a young Taylor Swift and then made the leap of faith to send her to the quarterfinals.

“I don’t think there’s maybe a more important issue now that social media is this thing that’s pervasive, everywhere we look,” he said, referring to Pecora’s original song about being a misfit.

“Young people not understanding that isn’t that big a deal when you look back on your life. You have schooled so many people in this moment.”

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“And I think I’m doing it,” he said, as he pushed the gold buzzer.

Pecora was ecstatic to be sent through and gained even more fans on her Facebook page.

“Hi! My name is Sophie! I’m currently 15 Years Old,” her Facebook page reads. “I love singing, rapping and dancing to songs I really like. I also compose and write my own songs. I love performing in front of crowds and making people happy!”

She sang another soul-searching original during her quarterfinal performance and left the judges stunned.

“Two things,” Julianne Hough began. “One — that video package with the lyrics on already brought me to tears, so thank you for writing that song. And two, you’re speaking to — whether it’s a 9-year-old or a 60-year-old — you speak truth … and that’s all I have to say. You speak truth.”

“I agree,” Howie Mandel added. “You are ‘wow.’ And you are probably — not only are you an interesting singer and an interesting — but you are the most important thing so far on this stage tonight. People need to listen, they need to learn, they need to vote, and you need to continue to be here.”

“I think we ask of our artists to be truth-tellers and culture-shifters and every time you hit this stage you have something incredibly poignant and important to say — just so many people never stop,” Gabrielle Union said. “You are such a rock star. So needed.”

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But it was Simon Cowell who seemed truly impressed.

“I was thinking during the performance,” he said, “and I agree with you about the package beforehand — that we live in a very crowded world with a lot of information going on around and sometimes people come on here with all the bells and whistles and everything else… you, a guitar, a beautiful lyric, a beautiful song, an immaculate performance silenced the whole room in the perfect possible way.

“I’m slightly in awe of you right now.”

Despite the judges’ high praise, Pecora was marked for possible elimination. When it came to voting, it was Ansley Burns, two years Pecora’s junior, who was saved by the voting, according to AOL.

Despite the heartbreaking defeat, Pecora has maintained a good attitude, thanking her fans for their support on her Facebook page.

“Thank you all so much!” she wrote. “I wanted to perform more, but it’s not meant to be. I’ll keep going. I love music so much and you all too.”

“Wow,” she added in an update. “You all are making me feel so good. I’ve seen more hate comments than normal during AGT. These comments make up for it. Thank you for being so kind. I love performing. I’ve never been on a big stage before. I did my best. Thank you thank you thank you.”

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