America’s Got Talent Golden Buzzer: Singer Madison Taylor Baez Shocks The Audience
On night two of America’s Got Talent Season 17 auditions, golden buzzer recipient, Madison “Maddie” Taylor Baez, an 11 year old from Yorba Linda, California, impressed the crowd with her mature, booming vocals. (Read our Recap)
The show failed to mention that the young artist is quite experienced as an actress and singer. She’s used to the big stage, performing the national anthem at several professional sports in California as well as other events like the Harlem Globetrotters. She’s also no stranger to talent shows as she appeared on Fox’s Game of Talents.
More notably, the young star had a feature role in Netflix’s Selena: The Series as Young Selena Quintanilla.
Watch an interview on E! News that racked up 474K views where she talks about her journey, nabbing the role of Selena and her father’s cancer diagnosis.
Terry Crews “plants” Maddie into the audience
At least AGT was transparent at the start of her audition with host Terry Crews revealing a plot to fake out the judges by putting her in the audience. Maddie shares that her biggest dream which is to be on AGT. An older man starts singing, and then the mic goes to Maddie who seems to be just a member in the audience.
She belts out a soulful rendition of the classic worship hymn “Amazing Grace.” Maddie sounds like she is at least in her 20s with a super mature tone. Judge Howie Mandel exclaims, “Wow. Look at that. The Little Girl.” Simon Cowell walks in from his break and realizes that Maddie is singing, and he looks shocked and in awe. He asks her age, as the crowd yells “On the stage!”.
Then, Maddie’s real audition begins. Heidi Klum tells her she sounded “so good”. And, Simon says, he thought, “who the hell is that” when coming back into the room. She introduces herself and states that she’s attended many tapings and that she has been singing for the commercial breaks since she was 4.
Madison reprises her acapella rendition of “Amazing Grace” and it is every bit as good. If I had one piece of advice for Madison, it would be to go for it. I think she was holding back a bit on the high notes, as she hit some really high notes but every time she did, she came back down, almost if she was worried her vocals wouldn’t be super clean. I think she can go even higher on the belts. Either way, her tone is incredible, fitting for pop ballads, R&B numbers, and even gospel. It sounds church-infused.
The crowd chants “Golden Buzzer, Golden Buzzer!”
Simon declares that what just happened has never happened on AGT before. Her voice, he says, “brought him back into the room” whereas he usually wants to leave when the audience sings. Howie notes that her life has changed. It gets emotional when he asks what she would do with a million dollars. Maddie states that her dad has had stage 4 colon cancer for the past 9 years, so she should would use the money to help with research.
The judges take it to a vote as the crowd chants, “Golden Buzzer!” Howie then gives Maddie the golden buzzer! He steps on stage to hug Maddie as her dad joins them. “This is just the start for you,” Sofia Vergara says. Simon calls the moment “magic” and Maddie “gutsy.” Her dad, Chris, says his health is good these days, and that Maddie learned to sing when he was battling cancer. She would sing to him in the hospital as he recovered from surgeries, which helped him get better.
Even if this audition was a full-on production, Maddie has talent flowing out of her. I fully expect her to be in the finale, but I’m not sure how high she will place, as some of the audience figures out that she is already a child star as an actress. This has affected other contestant’s placement as sometimes fans would rather vote for less established acts like last week’s golden buzzer Avery Dixon. Either way, Maddie is going far in this competition.
My favorite acts of the night other than Madison were Funkanometry and Jojo and Bri. Honorable mentions go to Viviana Rossi, Fusion Japan, and comedian Aiko Tanaka.