By Greg Olwell
Accompanying herself on a ukulele, 12-year-old Grace VanderWaal wowed the judges and the audience on last night’s America’s Got Talent. Seconds into her song, “I Don’t Know My Name,” the Suffern, New York student was getting cheers of approval from the crowd and shortly after finishing, the judges gave her a special acknowledgement that advanced her in the show.
Judge Howie Mandel rang the show’s golden buzzer, a concept that each judge is allowed to use only once a season. When a judge rings this buzzer, the contestant automatically advances to the show’s quarterfinals, bypassing the other judges’ votes.
While still holding her Luna Uke Tattoo Concert onstage as her family swarmed, judge Simon Cowell smiled and said, “I think you are the next Taylor Swift.”