Who was Howie Mandel’s Golden Buzzer on America’s Got Talent this season? That is something we were very much curious about entering the episode, as we saw it teased! Howie’s Golden Buzzers throughout the series have been a bit unpredictable and with that, there was no guarantee that he would give it to any one person in particular. It could be a comedian, a singer, a dancer, or anyone else.
In the end, though, Howie decided on none other than a singer named Courtney Hadwin. This is mostly in line with the show’s recent history of rewarding young singers.
Courtney came out on stage extremely shy, but (given that she was the last act on the night) it was clear she was going to be very good. Where things got a little surprising was learning that she was more of a soul-rock singer than anything else. We were expecting some sort of slow-ballad singer and she was not that. She had a ton of energy, oodles of charisma, and she was a completely different person when the music came on.
As it turns out, Howie Mandel is a huge Janis Joplin fan. He told her a story about the time Janis got her big break and related that to giving her his own Golden Buzzer. This was actually a pretty great moment, and we say that as someone who has become super-cynical of many Golden Buzzer moments over the years. We’ve just seen so many of them! We want them to really stand out when they happen, and it certainly helps in this case that Courtney is a very different sort of singer than we’re used to seeing from people her age.
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