British schoolgirl Courtney Hadwin received a standing ovation from judges who declared her a ‘superstar’ following her America’s Got Talent final performance.
The singer, 14, from Hesleden, in County Durham, wowed with her rendition of Tina Turner’s hit River Deep, Mountain High on Tuesday night, in the first part of a two-night final.
Courtney, wearing a chic printed suit and Ramones T-shirt, showed off her dance moves as she gave an energetic performance on the stage, described as ‘wild’ by judge Mel C.
The teenager is hotly tipped to take home the $1m prize in tonight’s show, when the winner of the contest will be announced.
Courtney Hadwin, 14, wowed with her rendition of Tina Turner’s hit River Deep, Mountain High during the America’s Got Talent final on Tuesday night
The teenager, from Hesleden, in County Durham, looked absolutely delighted following her energetic performance
Following her performance, comedian Howie Mandel – who gave her the Golden Buzzer that took her straight through to the live finals – said: ‘You are on fire. You are amazing. You’re a superstar.
‘I loved everything about you, I love your look, I love your style, I love your voice, I love your performance. I think the world does too. We are watching a superstar in the making.’
Simon Cowell added: ‘Courtney, I always say the most important part of being a star is being remembered. And that’s what you do.
‘Every time you perform people are going to remember you. You’re going to inspire people, you’re going to tell a whole new generation of people what Rock and Roll is a about.’
All four judges – Howie Mandel, Mel C, Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell – gave Courtney a standing ovation following her impressive performance in Tuesday night’s final
Meanwhile, Heidi Klum declared Courtney could win the contest, pointing to the history of teenagers winning the series in the past.
And Mel C said the teenager had ‘killed it’, continuing: ‘I just love you being like this, where you’re a free bird, and you’re wild and you’re crazy.’
Following her daughter’s sensational performance, Courtney’s mother Annmarie – who has stayed at home to look after the teenager’s younger siblings, revealed that she would be wishing her daughter good luck over FaceTime ahead of the live final.
‘She’s done amazing – I’m really so proud of her. To me it doesn’t matter where she comes – to make it to the final and perform there is fantastic,’ she told the Hartlepool Mail.
Courtney belted out the Tina Turner classic during Tuesday’s final (above), winning high praise from the judges who declared she was a ‘superstar’
Courtney (above on the red carpet ahead of the show) opted for a stylish printed suit and a Ramones T-shirt for her performance in the final
‘We never expected her to get a golden buzzer and then we never expected her to get through the quarter-finals or the semi-finals. She’s done so well.
‘It’s amazing really she’s had loads of messages of support from the community and the school have been brilliant.’
Courtney became a viral sensation thanks to her powerful rendition of Otis Redding’s Hard To Handle during in her initial audition in June, which propelled her to fame all over the world.
Following the audition, Simon Cowell said: ‘Bloody hell Courtney. You were this shy little thing when you came out.
Courtney became a viral sensation thanks to her powerful rendition of Otis Redding’s Hard To Handle during in her initial audition in June (above)
The teenager wowed judges, with comedian Howie Mandel giving her the Golden Buzzer to take her straight through to the live shows
‘Then you sing and you’re like a lion. I mean, genuinely incredible.’
But it was comedian and actor Howie Mandel who sealed her fate, who compared her to Janis Joplin, who won a record deal as a youngster at a festival.
Though he couldn’t offer a record deal, he said the best he could do for Courtney was to press the Golden Buzzer, parachuting her straight to the live shows.
Courtney has been singing in public for years and is no stranger to talent competitions, appearing on The Voice Kids UK last year.