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Sunday 15 September 2019

America’s Got Talent’s British sensation: It felt like a dream

Courtney Hadwin wowed Simon Cowell and his fellow judges on the show.

Simon Cowell described Courtney as a ‘lion’ (Alan D West/PA)
Simon Cowell described Courtney as a ‘lion’ (Alan D West/PA)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

A British teenager who has been sent straight through to the live shows on America’s Got Talent said the experience “felt like a dream”.

Courtney Hadwin, 13, from Peterlee in County Durham, wowed judges on the show and became a social media sensation.

She told Good Morning Britain: “It felt like a dream. It didn’t feel real. It felt like I was watching TV.”

The teenager added: “I just feel like when I do my singing I turn into a different person. I can let everything out… I go on stage and kind of explode.”

She told the ITV show: “I used to stand still and just do ballads. I got into James Brown and Janis Joplin and started moving.”

Her father Paul said of the shy teenager’s performance: “I just don’t know where it came from.”

Hadwin won a standing ovation on the show following her energetic version of Otis Redding’s Hard To Handle.

She impressed judge Howie Mandel enough for him to press his golden buzzer – putting her straight through to the live shows.

She is now in contention for the one million dollar (£750,000) prize money.

Simon Cowell described her as a “lion” and exclaimed: “Bloody hell, Courtney!” following her performance.

Mandel then compared her to the late US singer Joplin, adding: “Oh my gosh. You are not from this era.

“The only thing I can do for you, young lady, is give you… my golden buzzer!”

This is not Hadwin’s first taste of a talent competition and last year she competed in The Voice Kids UK, but did not win.

PA Media

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