They saved the best for last — again.
As she did with her history-making performance on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” four months ago when she received an unprecedented five Golden Buzzers from the show’s host and four judges, Victory Brinker, a 9-year-old opera sensation from Unity Township, went last in the lineup for the live quarterfinal show Tuesday night. And as she did four months ago, she didn’t disappoint.
In what Brinker described as a “last-minute change,” the young singer decided to sing a different song and gave a stunning rendition of the aria “Casta diva” from the opera “Norma” by Bellini.
“Tonight, I’m taking a risk,” said Brinker during the video package prior to her performance.
Also in the video introduction, Brinker, who has become known not only for her stunning vocals, but also for her infectious personality and ability to turn a phrase, she once again didn’t disappoint.
She rationalized her decision to changer her song by tipping her cap to the high talent level of her competition and then said simply, “But I eat competition for breakfast.”
After her performance to end the live quarterfinals episode, Brinker’s decision seemed like a good one as the four judges gushed over her performance and one particular judge made a prediction. Simon Cowell said he doesn’t do it often, but likened Brinker’s potential to one he spotted on “American Idol” a few years back. He told eventual winner that season Carrie Underwood that she was going to sell millions of records one day as a professional singer. And now, he sees an amazing future for Brinker.
“You are going to be one of the biggest stars to walk across this stage,” he said.
The other judges echoed his sentiments about Brinker, including Howie Mandel, who said Brinker was the “cherry on top” of an incredible night of performances.
Meanwhile, back here at home, her father Eric and some of her 10 brothers and sisters, and friends and fans of Brinker, gathered for a watch party at Dino’s Sports Lounge in Unity Township.
He was calm, but confident that his daughter would make it through the quarters and onto the semifinal show.
“She’ll get past this. No problem,” said Eric Brinker.
It’s hard being apart from his wife and daughter, he added.
“I wish she was here, but it’s a live show,” he said. “What are you going to do? We are just so excited.”
Now, Victory Brinker and the other contestants’ fates are in the hands of the audience. After the show, viewers and fans had to vote via NBC.com or the “America’s Got Talent” app to see which seven of the 12 acts to perform last night will move onto the semis. Fans could vote up to 10 times for each act in each form of voting and had to get the votes in by 7 a.m. Wednesday.
After the show, Eric Brinker told all the guests at the watch party to go home and vote. And then, be back on Wednesday for the results show from 8 to 9 p.m.