It’s pretty obvious that Simon Cowell has changed. Back in the day, he was the scary judge, the curmudgeon you loved to hate, the one contestants wanted to hear positive, kind words from — but rarely did. And now that he’s a dad, he’s become a bit of a softie. He’s not as harsh, he has super-nice things to say and even his criticism is constructive. Well, most of the time. But even the Simon of yore couldn’t deny the voice that came out of Calysta Bevier on Tuesday night’s America’s Got Talent.
When the Ohio native first took the stage, judge Howie Mandel asked her who she compares herself to. “I don’t compare myself to anyone,” Bevier said. And that’s something that can’t be taught; it’s just how you feel, how it is. So when Howie went on to comment on her similar appearance to Audrey Hepburn, Bevier had to explain that the look wasn’t exactly her choice.
“I’m a survivor of stage 3 ovarian cancer,” she revealed. “I kind of came here today to show people that no matter what you’ve gone through to keep chasing your dreams.” That alone earned her a round of applause but it was her flawless performance of Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song,” basically the most perfect song choice in the history of song choices, that will give you goosebumps.
Howie, Mel B. and Heidi Klum all loved her, but it was Simon who couldn’t stop raving.
“Calysta, I love everything about you,” he gushed. “You know what? I just had this feeling when you walked out — I can’t explain it. Just your spirit, the choice of song, your voice: I think you’re really special. I’ve just got this really incredible feeling about you, I really do … I think everyone in this room felt it. I predict great things are going to happen for you. There’s something about you.”
And then it was like Cowell couldn’t help himself: “Sorry, I’ve gotta do this,” and then slammed his hand on the golden buzzer, sending Bevier straight through to the live show.
Man. There’s something about the slow motion golden buzzer hit that gets us in the feels every time. Combine that with Bevier’s reaction and the emotional music playing, you have to be soulless to not have a couple (dozen) happy tears rolling down your cheeks. Amazing.