Showcasing your voice to a room full of strangers is scary enough without trying to fill a legendary singer’s shoes. But that wouldn’t deter Ansley Burns from pulling out all the stops when she got her chance to shine on “America’s Got Talent.”
While the 12-year-old comes from Easley, a very small town in South Carolina, she has huge dreams. In fact, being on the show is “literally my dream,” the aspiring singer says. As such, she knew she had to go as big as possible if she wanted to make a lasting impression.
Simon Cowell was pretty skeptical when Ansley told the judges she’d be performing Aretha Franklin’s 1968 hit “Think.” It’s not likely someone so young could do the song justice. But she insisted, channeling her inner “Queen of Soul” with sassy moves and a voice surprisingly suited for such a performance.
Unfortunately, Cowell couldn’t overlook the only glaring issue. It was bad enough to warrant one of his famous eye rolls and stop Ansley mid-audition. But she wasn’t the problem. It was the overpowering background music.
“Ansley, Ansley, sorry babe,” Cowell said. “I don’t think this backing track was working for you. I think it was a horrible, horrible backing track, so I don’t think we can judge you properly on this, I really don’t. We really like you, but that was terrible.”
Shocked and crushed, it was all the poor girl could do not to burst into tears. At that moment, she probably thought she blew her only shot, though Cowell had something better in mind. He suggested she sing a cappella, catching her completely off-guard. Singing without the safety of music to keep you on beat and tone is hard enough for even seasoned singers… and that’s when Ansley froze up.
Cowell’s sweet, fatherly side came out, though, as he offered her his water. “This will help,” he said, trying to ease her nerves. “It’s like magic water, it’s yours.”
After taking a sip and a second to collect herself, Ansley bounced back pretty quickly, joking, “Well, that just happened.”
And as she bravely dove back into the song sans music, she realized Cowell was right. She didn’t need the backing track — just her killer vocals to win everyone over…
…including Cowell, who gave her his seal of approval.
While we won’t know whether Ansley made it to the next round until June 18, we definitely wouldn’t be surprised to hear she scored four “yeses.” Good luck, Ansley! You should be proud of yourself for being so courageous!
Check out the preview from Tuesday’s episode below, and share so others can experience this girl’s stunning voice!
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