Heidi’s golden buzzer 2018

AGT Singer, 15, Cries After Performance for ‘Hero’ Father: ‘I’ve Been Scared He Won’t Come Home’

After receiving judge Heidi Klum‘s golden buzzer during the America’s Got Talent auditions, Makayla Phillips was back on stage, this time, with a special tribute.

The breakout star, 15, dedicated her quarterfinals performance on Tuesday to her father Todd, who is a Fire Captain at Mecca Station #40 in Riverside, California.

“My dad is absolutely my hero because he’s a firefighter,” Makayla said before belting out Julia Michaels’ 2017 hit “Issues.”

“His job is so incredibly tough, there have been days where I’ve been scared my dad won’t come home,” the Canyon Lake native explained. “I feel more pressure I just want to make my family proud,” she added.

After her performance, Makayla was overcome with emotion as tears began streaming down her face while the camera panned to her father, who was in attendance at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

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Image zoom Makayla Phillips NBC

“It was better than the original, this is really where you belong,” Klum proudly said. “ had this very special something, this star quality,” the supermodel shared of why she pressed the golden buzzer for the teenager.

Judge Simon Cowell couldn’t agree more.

“This was way better than your first audition, you sang that song really well,” he said.

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On Monday, Makayla gave her father a special shout-out on Instagram.

“My dad has been my biggest supporter since day 1, he’s my personal ATM, the funniest dad in the world, and my rock. My dad works so so so hard for his family to be able to follow their dreams and I am BEYOND thankful to have been blessed with a father like him,” she captioned a father-daughter photo from the AGT rehearsal.

In July, Makayla wowed audiences with her powerhouse rendition of Demi Lovato‘s “Warrior” during the auditions.

America‘s Got Talent airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays (8 p.m. ET) on NBC.

Makayla Phillips may have been the last act to perform on the July 10 episode of “America’s Got Talent” but she was the first (and only) one to get the golden buzzer, which sent her straight through to the live shows. Before performing the Demi Lovato hit “Warrior,” this soft-spoken 15-year-old girl admitted she was nervous, having watched every season of “AGT.” (Watch her audition video above.)

But when she sang, all trace of nerves was gone. Phillips sounds like a singer who has been performing for years. Her confidence even overwhelmed head judge Simon Cowell, who was grinning throughout her show-stopping number which ended with the crowd giving her a standing ovation.

POLL Which ‘America’s Got Talent’ Golden Buzzer do you want to win Season 13: Amanda Mena, Courtney Hadwin, Michael Ketterer or Zurcaroh?

Before any of the judges could vote, Heidi Klum slammed down the Golden Buzzer, which means Phillips skips the judges cuts phase of the competition and is guaranteed a slot in the live shows in Hollywood. As Klum declared, “I think you’re absolutely incredible. I love the whole package. I love your smile. I love how you project to everyone.”

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A confident Klum then took to the stage to hug and kiss Phillips. After congratulating her new discovery, she turned to her rival judges — Cowell, Mel B and Howie Mandel — and boasted, “I think I just found the winner.”

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‘AGT: Champions’: Stunning Teen Jazz Songstress Gets Golden Buzzer From Heidi Klum In Season 2 Premiere

The second season of “America’s Got Talent: The Champions” kicked off Monday night, with a slew of past winners and runners-up from “Got Talent” spin-offs across the globe returning to the stage to show why they deserve another shot at victory.

The night also marked the premiere of judge Alesha Dixon — who normally serves as a judge on “Britain’s Got Talent” — and the grand return of Heidi Klum. And tonight, the honour of giving out the Golden Buzzer was granted to Klum.

After a number of impressive and memorable performances, the highlight act of the evening, 13-year-old jazz singer Angelina Jordan, hit the stage and blew the roof off the Dolby Theater in Hollywood.

The young songstress — who previously won “Norway’s Got Talent” in 2014 at the age of seven — rocked a vibrant, colourful ensemble that gave off a fun, retro vibe while crooning a soulful cover of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody that absolutely stunned the judges.

“I feel like I am witnessing the birth of something really special, a star,” Dixon said, in awe.

“I think this moment, this time on stage, this song, this performance, is going to change your life and your career forever,” judge Howie Mandel chimed in.

“I’ve never heard that song in that version before,” Simon Cowell shared. “Seriously, this was an amazing performance.”

When it finally came around the Klum, the excited judge said she it was hard to sit back and listen to the other judges “jiberty jabberty” when all she wanted to do was stand up and slam the Golden Buzzer — which is exactly what she did.

With a voice like that, there’s no way @heidiklum wouldn’t hit her #GoldenBuzzer for @angelinajordanA! ✨ #AGTChampions pic.twitter.com/dO0b0joKhN

— America’s Got Talent (@AGT) January 7, 2020

As confetti rained down on Jordan, the young singer was brought to tears while her family cried with joy in the audience and all the judges joined her on stage to give the jazz crooner a hug.

“I feel amazing,” Jordan told host Terry Crews after getting the Golden Buzzer. “I don’t have any words to describe how amazing it feels.”

Jordan will now be moving on directly to the finals while the other contestants who performed and moved on after Monday night will have to battle it the next round of the competition.

Meanwhile, this special season of “America’s Got Talent” was pre-recorded and shot before the recent drama surfaced regarding Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough’s exit from the franchise and subsequent allegations of a toxic culture behind the scenes.

However, ET’s Denny Directo caught up Klum last week and she gushed over returning to the franchise after her 2018 departure, and she had nothing but praise for the production and how she was welcomed back.

“It feels so good to be back and everyone has been so amazing,” Klum said. “You know, there were welcome signs everywhere, the whole audience was chanting my name. I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ I was going beet red.”

“It was just really sweet,” she continued. “I didn’t expect it for everyone to be this welcoming.”

“America’s Got Talent: The Champions” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.


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As the audition episodes wrapped up for season 13 of America’s Got Talent, fans watched with bated breath wondering if judge Heidi Klum was going to finally use her golden buzzer pick. It turns out, the choice was easy for the supermodel after 15-year-old singer Makayla Phillips won her over with a booming performance of Demi Lovato’s “Warrior.”

Seconds into Makayla hitting the first few notes, the crowd began cheering her on and Simon Cowell and Heidi Klum couldn’t help but exchange smiles. Minutes later, the audition concluded with the entire auditorium erupting in applause. Amazed by her talent, Heidi promptly stood up to give the 15-year-old a standing ovation.

Within seconds of Makayla’s act ending, the Twitter world exploded with words of praise:

Wow @MakaylaPhillips you have a great voice!!! You remind me so much of @ArianaGrande and also @angiegreen!! 👏🏻🇺🇸🎉 #AGT

— Kristyn (@IAmKristynK) July 11, 2018

Beautiful story through song, @MakaylaPhillips! 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 #AGT

— Ryan Bartholomee (@RyanBartholomee) July 11, 2018

@MakaylaPhillips what pure, phenomenal talent! Your voice is beautiful 🌟

— Nαtαshα (@NatashaAzalee) July 11, 2018

But then, Heidi Klum took things to the next level and dramatically slammed her hand on the golden buzzer. From that moment on, fan reactions became quite mixed. While everyone seemingly agreed that Makayla is super-talented, many folks seemed a bit peeved that Heidi’s pick went to a singer.

@AGT 4 out 5 golden buzzers were singers…. so disappointing. There are so many shows for singers and none for other talents…. 🙄

— Amy Herman (@aherms12) July 11, 2018

Another singer yet gets the Golden Buzzer
Come on.. I’m tired of singers getting the Golden Buzzer
I can’t disagree from the fact that the ones that got it are really brilliant and outstanding singers but I feel there are other acts that deserve it more!#AGT #GoldenBuzzer

— Aashan アニメアート(Commissions Open) (@AashanAnimeArt) July 11, 2018

@AGT needs to make a rule for next year…NO SINGER GOLDEN BUZZERS!!! There’s plenty of singing shows give us something different!! #AGT

— Mickey Piotrowski (@CardsInCamo7) July 11, 2018

As some Tweeters rightfully pointed out above, four out of the five acts that were given the golden buzzer were singing acts. This year, Simon Cowell picked vocalist Michael Ketterer, Howie Mandel opted for 13-year-old Courtney Hadwin, and Mel B selected singer Amanda Mena. Tyra Banks, the host of the show, was the only person to pick a non-singing act when she gave it to the aerial dance group Zurcaroh.

Regardless of the golden buzzer picks this year, we’re sure that the competition will level out as the weeks go on. Although AGT’s winners list over the years is primarily made up of singers, the show has had its share of dancers, ventriloquists, and dog trick champions (remember Olate Dogs?). All the more reason to keep tuning in and vote for your favorite when the live shows begin!

America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.

Kayla Keegan News and Entertainment Editor Kayla Keegan covers all things in the entertainment, pop culture, and celebrity space for Good Housekeeping.

America’s Got Talent’s Heidi Klum finally used her Golden Buzzer tonight on 15-year-old singer Makayla Phillips. In case you missed it, here is Makayla’s Golden Buzzer-earning AGT audition, singing “Warrior” by Demi Lovato:

Heidi even thinks this powerhouse young vocalist could win it all! And it’s easy to see that she truly has what it takes to go far on the show. Let’s take a look at just who Makayla is and the impressive experience she already has on stage:

  1. Makayla has been performing since she was two. And it runs in the family! Her great grandpa had a top 100 Billboard album in 1954.
  2. Makayla won the 10-13 age group in 2016’s Boys & Girls Club Idol competition in Temecula. She then went on to win the 14-18 age group in the 2017 competition.

  3. She was also nominated in the Youth Original category at the Temecula Valley Music Awards in 2017.
  4. Makayla was a part of Hollywood Launch, which helps train and brand young artists and actors. Other famous alumni include Ross Lynch, Taylor Lautner, Ashley Benson, and Corbin Bleu.

  5. Makayla has worked in acting as well! She appeared in episodes of The Birthday Boys and My Crazy Ex, as well as a historical horror short called Occam’s Razor.
  6. She has a pretty active YouTube channel. For over two years, Makayla has been posting covers of everything from Christina Aguilera to Alicia Keys to Beyonce on it.
  7. Makayla has already released her first original song, “Unsung Melody.” She plays guitar on the track too!

  8. Some of Makayla’s favorite jams include “Black Mambo” by Glass Animals, “Angel” by Fifth Harmony, “Sorry Not Sorry” by Demi Lovato, “Back to You” by Louis Tomlinson and Bebe Rexha, and “do re mi” by blackbear.
  9. You might recognize some of Makayla’s friends! She has posted on her Instagram with Anatalia Villaranda from The Voice and American Idol and Boy Band’s Jon Klaasen.
  10. Despite being 15 when she auditioned, Makayla just had a birthday on Sunday, June 8th. She is 16 years old now!

America’s Got Talent is set for a big shake-up for its next season, with Mel B and Heidi Klum both dropped from the judging panel.

The Spice Girl has been a judge on the panel for the last six seasons alongside Klum, though it seems she didn’t make the cut for the upcoming 14th season.

Instead, their chairs will be filled by dancer, actress and singer Julianne Hough and actress and author Gabrielle Union (via Variety), who will join regulars Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel.

AGTNBC Universal

Of course, Mel not being a judge for the next season is understandable, as she’s going to be pretty busy with the Spice Girls tour this summer – which is when America’s Got Talent airs.

Hosting duties will also be changing, with Tyra Banks being replaced by Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews, who has been hosting America’s Got Talent: The Champions.

“One of the many secrets to the success and longevity of America’s Got Talent is its fearless drive to reinvent itself,” said Meredith Ahr, president of the alternative and reality group at NBC Entertainment.

Gabrielle Union Pascal Le SegretainGetty Images

“The next evolution of the format brings in fresh expert eyes to join Simon and Howie on the panel. Gabrielle and Julianne are two of the most aspirational women in the business, on top of being electric entertainers with talent across disciplines.

“I am excited to see how their knowledge, compassion and sheer joy enhance the experience for acts and viewers alike. As their partner in crime, host Terry Crews will continue to light up the stage with his quick wit and unending charm.”

America’s Got Talent airs on NBC in the US.

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SIMON Cowell couldn’t keep the smile off his face after Heidi Klum and Mel B covered him in lipstick kisses at the launch of America’s Got Talent.

His fellow judges took sucking up to the boss to a whole new level as they smothered him in red lipstick kisses while posing on the red carpet to promote the new series of the popular talent show.

9 Simon broke into a cheeky grin after Heidi smothered him in kissesCredit: Getty Images – WireImage 9 His fellow judge couldn’t resist giving him a big kissCredit: Getty Images – WireImage 9 Mel B also got in on the actionCredit: Getty Images – WireImage

Heidi, 43, showed off her model pins in a stunning long sleeved suede red dress and matching stilettos as she joined her boss at the launch in LA.

She wore her blonde tresses in a half-up, half-down style and accessorised her look with plenty of gold jewellery.

9 Simon smiled as Heidi joined him on the red carpetCredit: Getty Images – FilmMagic 9 Heidi stunned in a red suede dress that matched her stilettosCredit: Getty Images – FilmMagic

After Heidi plastered Simon’s face in lipstick kisses, Mel B couldn’t resist getting in on the action and landed a smacker on his cheek.

Simon, 56, shook off his ‘Mr Nasty’ demeanour and flashed a cheeky grin as the girls lavished him in affection.

9 Simon flashed a grin as his face was covered in lipstick kissesCredit: Getty Images – FilmMagic 9 Heidi showed off her model pins in a tight red dressCredit: Getty Images

While the reality star sported his familiar ensemble of white shirt and denim jeans, Mel B stunned in a tight white dress that accentuated off her gym honed physique.

Mel B showed off her ample cleavage and trim waist in the figure hugging ensemble.

9 Mel B showed off her slim frame in a tight white dressCredit: Getty Images – WireImage

Not content with smothering him in kisses, Mel B recently gushed about how much she loves working with Simon, who replaced Howard Stern on this series of the US talent show.

She told Fox News: “I love working with Simon. And with Simon, you don’t know what to expect.


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“He’s a very lovable guy, by the way. I’m just happy that he’s on this panel.

“I think he adds so much. And I know from what people are telling me — like the public and my friends and just in general — people are warming to Simon so much.

“I really think his addition has taken it to a whole new level.”

9 While Mel B is a big fan of Simon’s Heidi says he needs a make overCredit: Getty Images – WireImage

While Mel B is a big fan of Simon’s, Heidi recently revealed she thinks the Syco boss needs a new wardrobe.

She joked: “He needs a makeover, because he’s a handsome man, but did you see these jeans on this man?

“He’s sometimes a little brutal and therefore we put him in a straitjacket.”

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