Angelica Hale wasn’t singing for second place on Monday’s “America’s Got Talent: The Champions.”
The 2017 “AGT” runner-up, now 11, belted out “Fight Song” to became the first performer to receive two Golden Buzzers in the series.
Right after her spirited performance, Hale received unabashed praise from judge Heidi Klum, but got a slightly more tepid response from Mel B, who said she had hoped Angelica would put her own twist on the Rachel Platten hit.
Then Howie Mandel gave Angelica perhaps the highest compliment of all, pushing the Golden Buzzer to vault her into the finals against the likes of Susan Boyle.
“I never expected this to happen,” Angelica said.
Angelica’s personal story provided compelling background for her ascent on Season 12. She was 4 when she received a lifesaving kidney transplant from her mother. On the show, she earned her first Golden Buzzer from Chris Hardwick and later finished second to ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer.
She said she opted for “Fight Song” this time around because “I really am fighting for my place here at ‘AGT: Champions’ and I think this song really applies to what I’m doing here today.”
Watch the performance above.