Monday 24 September 2018

British teenager who wowed on America’s Got Talent felt she ‘switched bodies’

Courtney Hadwin, 13, was described as a “lion” by Simon Cowell.

A British teenager has spoken about wowing Simon Cowell and his fellow judges on America’s Got Talent (Jon Super/PA)
A British teenager has spoken about wowing Simon Cowell and his fellow judges on America’s Got Talent (Jon Super/PA)

By Keiran Southern, Press Association Los Angeles Correspondent

The British teenager who wowed the judges on America’s Got Talent said she felt like she had “switched bodies” during her performance.

Courtney Hadwin, 13, has become a social media sensation following her appearance on the US talent show and judge Simon Cowell described her as a “lion”.

The music mogul’s fellow judge, Howie Mandel, was so impressed by her cover of Otis Redding’s Hard To Handle he pushed his golden buzzer, meaning the year nine schoolgirl goes straight through to the live shows.

Mandel, sitting alongside judges Mel B and Heidi Klum, then compared the youngster to the late US singer Janis Joplin.

Speaking from her home in the village of Hesleden, County Durham, Courtney told the Press Association: “It’s just been hectic. I was really nervous before it. We wanted to do America’s Got Talent because it’s the biggest show in the world and it’s where all my idols are from.”

Courtney admitted she was “nervous” while speaking to the judges before her performance, but as soon as the music kicked in she transformed, stunning the audience.

Asked what she remembered of the audition, she said: “It feels like I have switched bodies. I remember singing and then getting to a certain point in the song and seeing people enjoy it, which made me really happy. I must’ve been doing something right.

“It was just overwhelming knowing that these people, who the public love to listen to, had enjoyed my performance too. All of their comments were amazing.”

Courtney is back at home with her father, Paul, 32, mother Annmarie, 31, her brother, also named Paul, 11, and nine-year-old sister Melissa.

She will fly back to the US for the live shows in August to fight for the one million dollar (£750,000) prize money, but for now is enjoying the UK.

She said: “Everybody is just really proud and happy for me. I have had people coming up to me in the street saying well done. It makes me feel proud.

“It’s really weird at school, people I have never met before are coming up to me and saying well done and the teachers are really happy for me.

“My family is on top of the world. My little brother, Paul, thinks I am famous and he wants to be famous too.”

Courtney said she is “really looking forward to the next round”.

Press Association

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