Lifestyle & Human Interest

Jay Leno Gives Golden Buzzer to Age 10 Opera Prodigy: 'I'm a Witness to Something Extremely Special'


America’s Got Talent contestant Emanne Beasha from North Port, Florida, has made quite a name for herself thanks to her impressive vocal skills.

“Since I was very little I always loved to sing,” Beasha said during a pre-performance interview. “My grandma told me, ‘You’re gonna be an opera singer.'”

Looks like grandma was right, and Beasha has been stunning viewers ever since she hit the spotlight.

After being passed onto the Judge Cuts by all four judges — Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough — Beasha appeared before all four judges again, plus guest judge Jay Leno, in an episode that aired on Aug. 6.

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The 10-year-old gave a stunning performance of “Caruso” and impressed all the judges — but her talent spoke to Leno in particular.

“We are seeing acts come out here, and they’re sweating and they’re not performing to par, they’re not stepping it up,” Howie Mandel said, complimenting the girl on her performance. “And they’re double your age! Then you come out here and show them how it’s done.”

“You’re just, like, a normal person,” Cowell said. “To have a voice like this is not something you can train to get, it genuinely is a gift.”

After a few other judges commended Beasha, Leno got his turn to heap praise upon the young singer.

“Just the fact that from a child comes an honesty and a truth,” he said, “I feel like I’m a witness to something extremely special.”

But he wasn’t done yet.

“At some point in my career people will say, ‘What do you remember most?’ And I’ll say, ‘I remember giving the Golden Buzzer,'” he said as he slammed the coveted buzzer.

Beasha was absolutely ecstatic as the gold confetti rained down, scooping up the fallen pieces and throwing them back into the air again before greeting Leno with a big hug.

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“Emanne was amazing,” Leno later told PEOPLE. “It’s just fascinating to me to see young performers at this point in their careers who are so excited and just relying on their own raw talent.”

“They haven’t had all the advice and polishing from studios, networks and PR teams. There is no machine behind them. They are just up there doing it with what they have!

“When I was on ‘The Tonight Show,’ I always loved giving advice to the young comics, I really liked the mentoring process,” he continued. “So when they asked me to do AGT, I thought, ‘Oh that would be fun!’ I worried a bit, how I would handle it if an act wasn’t very good, what would I say?”

“I was in the ‘championship’ series and everybody was so good.”

“It was just fascinating,” Leno said during a recap. “It’s one of those talents that comes along, well, I don’t know — once a decade, maybe, if even that.” He added that he knew within a matter of seconds that he would be giving Beasha the Golden Buzzer.

After being moved on to the live rounds, Beasha posted about her win on her Facebook page.

“Thank you Mr. Jay Leno,” she wrote. “And yes [of] course … Haha … Anytime without notice you can walk it for an opening, I will honored. Thank [you] for such a supportive commentary.”

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