Pint-sized Hong Kong singer Celine Tam Tsz-kwan will be heading to the next stage of America’s Got Talent after adding a popular US actress to her growing list of fans.
Decked out in a golden dress, the nine-year-old star with a huge voice performed Michael Bolton’s 1983 ballad How Am I Supposed To Live Without You during the show on Tuesday, local time.
Guest judge and Orange Is the New Black actress Laverne Cox was so impressed that she used her single “golden buzzer” to send Celine straight through to the next stage – the live shows.
“I am really blown away, you are so talented, unbelievable, so adorable,” she said, slamming down on the golden buzzer and releasing a flurry of golden confetti.
Celine stood open-mouthed in shock before receiving a celebratory hug from Cox on stage. Her parents and younger sister Dion could be seen watching from the audience.
“I want to go to the live shows so badly. Can I go now?” Celine had asked in a pre-taped inteview segment.
Judges are each given one chance to send an act directly through to the live shows, where they compete against other performers to win Season 12 – and take away the US$1 million prize.
Celine will be up against another preteen with a big voice, Angelia Hale, a 10-year-old from Atlanta, Georgia, who also received the golden buzzer.
Celine shot to stardom in June when she performed Celine Dion’s 1997 hit My Heart Will Go On during the America’s Got Talent auditions.
She impressed the judges – including the notoriously tough Simon Cowell – and made it through to the next round of cuts.
She has since received international attention, including from her idol Canadian star Celine Dion, whom she was named for.
Celine has been singing since she was three years old, trained by her father Steve Tam Shun-sang, who runs his own singing coaching company, Sing and You.
In 2015, Tam also sang on the British version of the talent show, and at Hong Kong’s National Day reception.
Edited by Jamie Lam