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Courtney Hadwin, 14, joins 'America's Got Talent' after a controversial elimination

Junie Sihlangu
Nov 30, 2018
12:53 P.M.

“America’s Got Talent” fans will be thrilled to hear that a spinoff called “America’s Got Talent: The Champions.” It will premiere on January 7, 2019, on NBC.

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One contestant who is set to return is singer Courtney Hadwin despite the controversial elimination she faced.

Even though Courtney Hadwin, 14, failed to get into the top 5 of “America’s Got Talent” for season 13, she will be gracing our screens again next year. The Durham, England singer will return for “America’s Got Talent: The Champions.”

She was announced as one of the 50 familiar acts who will be competing in the spinoff. Earlier this month, she performed as the headlining act in Las Vegas as part of season 13 winner, magician Shin Lim‘s Vegas series.

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For more on this story go to our Twitter account @amomama_usa. Lim, who is performing at the Paris Theater, will also be among those on the spinoff.

Speaking about her time on the competition, Hadwin said:

“It was the best experience of my life. I didn’t see myself as a fan favorite at all. I just felt so lucky to be there in the final and to be in the top 10 doesn’t really feel like losing to me. … I was able to be myself all the way through.”

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She added, “It was never about winning for me. I just love to perform, and that’s it really.” The singer was surrounded by controversy up to the point she was unexpectedly eliminated from the show.

When she started in the competition she was played up as a newcomer who was shy and inexperienced in singing. However, it was later revealed that she had made it to the top 10 on “The Voice UK.”

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On “America’s Got Talent,” Hadwin impressed the judges by singing Tina Turner’s 1988 classic “River Deep – Mountain High,” Steppenwolf’s 1969 song “Born to Be Wild,” James Brown’s “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag,” and Otis Redding’s “Hard to Handle.”

For the new spinoff, Hadwin will be joined by season 11 finalist, singer Sal Valentinetti and season 12 finalist, comedian Preacher Lawson. The sword-swallowing Alex Magala and opera rock singer Christina Ramos, who were both named “Spain’s Got Talent” 2016 winners will also star.

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“Britain’s Got Talent” winner Paul Potts will also appear as well as contortionist Sofie Dossi, and fellow season 11 competitors and knife throwers, the Deadly Games.

The judges will be Howie Mandel, Simon Cowell, Mel B, Heidi Klum, with Terry Crews as the host. Season 14 auditions for “America’s Got Talent” are currently running.

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