America’s Got Talent entered the first night of this season’s Judge Cuts round on Tuesday, and special guest Brad Paisley joined the judges to weigh in on the first round of cuts.
Bringing his years of experience and talent to the table, Paisley proved to be a really wonderful addition to the panel. However, it wasn’t too surprising when he gave the Golden Buzzer — a power given to the guest judge each week of the Judge Cuts round — to a musician.
When 15-year-old Sophie Pecora took the stage for the second time — after getting four “yes” votes across the board for her audition earlier this season — expectations were high, and she didn’t disappoint.
The songstress once again decided to perform an original tune, titled “Misfits,” and this time around, her song was once again about getting over bullying and embracing her uniqueness. And, like the first time she performed, she managed to pull off something truly stunning.
Incorporating skillful folk-rock acoustic guitar, soulful lyrics and impressive vocal talents, Percora wowed yet again, and seemed to deeply touch Paisley.
“I loved it, and I think I know you from that one song,” the country crooner explained after her performance. “That’s incredible. To stand up there with just a guitar, that takes incredible cojones.”
Paisley also addressed the topic of her song, specifically high school bullying and self acceptance, explaining that he doesn’t think there’s “a more important issue” than children understanding that life gets better and that the hardships that seem to mean so much in high school won’t affect them forever, especially in the age of social media and constant digital connectivity.
“You have schooled so many people in this moment, and I… I think, yeah, I’m doin’ it,” Paisley said before giving her the Golden Buzzer and showering her in shimmering confetti.
This means Pecora immediately moved on to the live shows and the next round of the competition, and it also meant that one of the night’s seven slots had been filled, leaving room for only six other hopefuls out of the field of 18 contestants that performed for the judges on Tuesday night.
After some truly shocking cuts, and some eliminations that were downright heartbreaking, the judges chose the high-kicking group the Emerald Belles, the trio of shirtless acrobats known as the Messoudi Brothers, a French beatboxing musical quartet called Berywam, Lukas and his impressive pooch Falco, the inspiring South African-based Ndlovu Youth Choir, and Swedish singer-songwriter Chris Klafford.
The second night of this season’s Judge Cuts round kicks off next Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
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