Makayla Phillips has dreamed of singing on the stage of “America’s Got Talent” since she was 3 years old.
Now 15, the Canyon Lake, California, native finally got her big shot during the 2018 audition process… and she didn’t waste the opportunity to blow everyone away with her big voice. In her simple pink shirt and matching high-top sneakers, Makayla comes across as your typical American teenager. But her talents are anything but “typical.”
As Makayla’s nervous family — dad’s a firefighter and mom’s a drama teacher — watch backstage, all of the hours she spent honing her singing skills are put to the test. The song she decided to sing is “Warrior” by Demi Lovato, a challenging ballad for anyone to master.
As soon as Makayla sings the first line of the song, it’s clear that her dynamic voice doesn’t match up with the demure teen we see. She truly has the voice of a warrior; strong, powerful, and filled with a depth of emotion you wouldn’t expect from someone so youthful.
Moreover, Makayla struts across the stage like she owns the place, a clear departure from the shy girl image she first projected! She’s at home on the stage, and she owns every second of her heartfelt cover of the song.
From the start, judge Heidi Klum seems especially taken with Makayla.
As the teen wraps up her performance, the audience leaps to their feet to give her a rousing standing ovation. Heidi also jumps up, and she’s the first to heap praise on the narrow shoulders of the burgeoning songstress.
“So fun and good and everything. You’re also cute on top of it! I love you!” Heidi gushes as Makayla grins wildly.
“I think you are absolutely incredible! I love the whole package, I love your smile, I love how you project to everyone, your voice is incredible, and you know what I’m going to do for you?”
Raising her hand high over her head, Heidi is poised to hit the Golden Buzzer, a device that allows each judge to move one contestant straight to the quarterfinals.
The look on Makayla’s family’s face is priceless! Host Tyra Banks also looks comically shocked by the development.
As Heidi hits the buzzer, golden confetti flies out of the rafters and Makayla’s excited family floods onto the stage for hugs and kisses.
“I think I just found the winner!” Heidi exclaims, holding Makaya’s arm up in victory.
When asked for his opinion, show creator Simon Cowell agrees that Heidi has found someone truly special.
“It’s a really difficult song to sing, you’ve got amazing presence, great confidence. This is what the show’s all about,” Simon said with a smile.
This girl is definitely going places! Check out Makayla’s thrilling performance below, and be sure to share with a music lover who will appreciate this young woman’s talent!