Season 17 of America’s Got Talent is still in the middle of auditions, but Kristen Cruz’s performance has caused a divide between fans and the celebrity panelists.
According to folks, the AGT judges didn’t do right by the 19-year-old aspiring singer who blew everyone away with her powerful vocals. During Tuesday night’s episode, the NBC singing competition show welcomed Kristen on to the stage. Hailing from Crowley, Texas, Kristen revealed that she wants to pursue her dream of singing and inspire others along the way. With encouragement from judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara, Kristen performed an astonishing version of “I See Red” by Everybody Loves An Outlaw.
Unsurprisingly, she received a standing ovation and tons of praise. “That was unbelievable … The moment you started singing, you became so powerful, so confident. It was unexpected and it was sexy,” Sofia said. “You open your mouth and you’re on fire,” Howie added. “I love everything about you. You are a star already in the making. You just have a real gift. You just have it!” Heidi commented.
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But the most notable words may have come from Simon. While the British mogul was previously known for not sparing contestants from harsh criticism, he’s recently softened his stance. That said, this hasn’t taken away from his expert opinion — and he didn’t hold back when it came to Kristen.
“I was surprised because we have a lot of overconfident singers who come here and they’re dreadful,” Simon said. “Then you come out and your voice is what I would call seasoned, you know? You’re not like someone just starting. Your range, your tone. You have great taste by the way, ‘cause it was a great choice of song.”
Understandably, after hearing this incredibly positive response, many folks were stunned when Kristen received four yeses instead of a golden buzzer. As viewers know, the AGT judges and host Terry Crews each get one push of the golden buzzer to send an outstanding contestant automatically to the live shows. This method guarantees an express way to try to win the $1 million prize instead of potentially getting eliminated in the second round.
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“Does anyone else think she should have gotten the golden buzzer. That was so so amazing. Her outgoing attitude and personality makes it so much more amazing. 🎉,” one person wrote in the YouTube comments section. “I’ve never been so disappointed in AGT for not giving her the Golden Buzzer. The upside is that we’ll be seeing her sooner than later,” someone else said.
On the other hand, lots of AGT fans were just as excited to see her move on to the next round. “She’s ready, absolutely FANTASTIC!! cannot wait to see her next performance!!!” a follower commented. “Getting goosebumps listening to her from start to finish. The raspiness is so lit 🔥 This young girl is no joke. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻,” a different fan said.
In case you’re also looking forward to seeing Kristen back up on stage, the vocalist actually has a TikTok page with a massive following. Like she mentioned to the AGT judges, she sings while making different drinks, including coffee and protein shakes. But per Simon, people keep coming back to her page because of her talent. “You don’t need smoothies when you sing, trust me,” he said.
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