Chicago-Area Teen Stuns Judges, Crowd With Singing on ‘America's Got Talent'

The audience roared, standing to their feet, some in tears by the end of Bretan's performance

Thirteen-year-old Laura Bretan surprised everyone when she started singing during Tuesday’s Season 11 premiere of NBC's “America’s Got Talent.”

The timid Chicago-area singer who took to the stage near the end of the show told the judges she and her mom had practiced and prepared a few songs ahead of her audition.

“I just see so many talented people,” she told the judges, explaining why she was so nervous.

But it appeared the nerves disappeared when Bretan, who gave her mom a brief thumbs up before shocking the crowd with her opera singing, filled the venue with powerful, beautiful vocals that sounded as though she had been performing for years.

The audience roared, standing to their feet, some in tears by the end of Bretan's performance. 

“That didn’t just happen,” Simon Cowell told the young teen. “Honest to God you came out like a jelly, I didn’t think you were going to be able to talk. And then I’m thinking to myself, 'Oh my God if she starts to sing this is not going to work.' And then that just happened. I have never heard anything like that in all the years I’ve been doing this show. Seriously. It was unbelievable.”

Then former Spice Girl Melanie Brown gave Bretan the ultimate praise, hitting her golden buzzer and sending Bretan straight to the live shows, slated to begin in July.

“You literally made all my hairs stand up on end and you’re only 13 years old,” Brown said. “I think that this show is going to completely change your life and I’m going to completely change your life, right now.”

Bretan, with tears in her eyes, said she was relieved to have finished her performance.

Thousands audition for the hit show, with contestants vying for a $1 million prize. “America’s Got Talent” airs at 7 p.m. Tuesdays on NBC.

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