Grace VanderWaal was back on America’s Got Talent Tuesday and proved yet again why she was worthy of Howie Mandel’s golden buzzer and Simon Cowell’s comparisons to Taylor Swift.
The 12-year-old stood at the center of a jazzed-up stage, complete with fog and a twinkling pink tree, but she didn’t need an ounce of those accoutrement the moment she began strumming her ukulele and singing an original tune called “Beautiful Thing,” which she said was about her sister, whom she also referred to as her best friend.
Even before VanderWaal sang her last line — “It’s all going to be alright, and that’s a beautiful thing” — the crowd and the four judges were on their feet.
“Wow! Definitely a beautiful thing,” host Nick Cannon shouted.
Mandel took Cowell’s previous Swift declaration to another level. “I predict that you’re bigger than Taylor Swift,” he said. “I predict that you are the biggest star to ever come out of this show.”
“The only word I could I think of is ‘honored,'” VanderWaal told EW of the Swift comparison following her buzzy first performance. “I obviously want to be my own person and be original, but I think that’s not what he meant. I think he meant the success. Everyone knows who Taylor Swift is. She’s extremely successful as a singer/songwriter and to be compared to that is just unbelievable.”
Watch the clip below.