youtube.com/America's Got Talent
Source: youtube.com/America's Got Talent

Simon Cowell Asks Ansley Burns, 12, to Sing Aretha Franklin’s Hit without a Backing Track on AGT (Video)

Jaimie-lee Prince
Jun 17, 2019
06:59 P.M.
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Simon Cowell stopped a young girl in her tracks as she took the stage on "America's Got Talent." When she picked up her performance, she blew away the judges and the audience.


At just 12 years old, Ansley Burns was more than ready for her audition on the "America's Got Talent" stage in Tuesday's episode of the show. However, her background track was not well-prepared.

Burns walked up in front of judges Cowell, Julianne Hough, Gabrielle Union, and Howie Mandel. Her supportive family stood backstage and watched in anticipation. The clip of the performance is found below.


After a short introduction, Burns began to sing Aretha Franklin's "Think," which Cowell was surprised to hear was her selection. She sounded good, but it seemed the backing track was a bit overbearing.

Putting his hand up, Cowell stopped Burns mid-way through her audition. "I don't think this backing track was working for you," he said before adding that it wouldn't allow her to be judged properly.

He explained: "It was a horrible horrible backing track." Of course, Burns looked a bit unnerved by the comments, and even more so when Cowell said, "that was terrible."


He suggested she sing the verse or chorus in acapella. But first, Cowell gave Burns his cup of water, which he called "magic water." The pre-teen accepted it, took a sip, and rested it in a corner.

On her way back to the center of the stage she said:

"Well, that just happened."

When Burns caught her breath and began singing again, her vocal prowess shone through. She delivered soulful notes in a range of intonations, stunning both the judges and the audience.


When she was done, the audience was on their feet, and Cowell gave her a thumbs up before joining them in a standing ovation. In just one day, the video has been viewed over five million times on YouTube.

Another viral performance came from a blind and autistic singer who made his debut on the show during the first episode of its latest season. Kodi Lee was helped onstage by his mother Tina.

Tina explained that her son has been a music lover from a young age. She also called him an entertainer. When Kodi opened his mouth and sang, the judges understood the extent of her statement.


Lee sang Leon Russell's "A Song for You" while playing the piano. The judges and the audience were stunned by his powerful rendition, with Hough even drawing tears.

Gabrielle Union, a new judge, was so impressed by the performance that she gave Lee the golden buzzer, her first ever. Even Lee's mother was left in tears, though she's heard her son perform several times before.

In a subsequent interview with "Extra's" Tanika Ray, she explained that she cried because Lee had stepped up his game for the new venue. "He actually shocked me too that day," she revealed.

Ray and the proud mother both agreed that it was the energy of the crowd that allowed Lee to step up his game and deliver such an incredible performance. We can't wait to see him in August during the live shows.

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