Watch a 13-Year-Old Sing Like Janis Joplin on ‘America’s Got Talent’
It's been a while since a singing competition TV show has produced a new star, but the most recent episode of America's Got Talent may have created one in Courtney Hadwin. The 13-year-old Brit dazzled the judges with a performance of "Hard to Handle" that reminded Howie Mandel of Janis Joplin.
As you can see in the video below, Hadwin looked nervous during the interview portion of the audition, giving brief answers to Mel B's questions. But then the music started and she threw everything she had into the song, which was released posthumously by Otis Redding in 1968 and was a hit for the Black Crowes on their 1990 debut.
"You were like this shy little thing when you first came out," Simon Cowell said. "And then you sing and you're like a lion. I mean genuinely incredible."
"You are not from this era," Mandel gushed. "You're from a whole different era. And I'm a huge Janis Joplin fan, and there's a story -- if you ever watch a documentary -- Clive Davis, he goes to the Monterey Pop Festival and he sees this young girl that nobody has ever seen before, that nobody knows. It was the first time that Janis Joplin got signed. And that changed her life. I'm not Clive Davis. I'm Howie Mandel, and I can't sign you to a record deal."
Mandel then said that he could only do one other thing, which he then demonstrated by hitting the golden buzzer on the judge's table. The move, which can only be done once per judge per season, spared Hadwin the possibility of elimination and sent her straight to the next round. Mandel's act caused confetti to rain down on the stage and a tearful Hadwin to run into the arms of her father.
"Thank you. Thank you so much," she said. "No, thank you so much," Mandel responded.
The live shows will begin broadcasting from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Aug. 14.