On Tuesday, July 20, Anica, a 51-year-old realtor from Canada surprised some of the judges and won over the audience with a spirited rendition of “Piece Of My Heart”—complete with a Janis Joplin-inspired costume.
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Anica was first up in the final round of auditions for Season 16. Being on America’s Got Talent, she says, “is a dream that has been in my soul forever.” She adds, “As a child, I would dream about being a star someday. Once you truly believe in yourself, that’s when it happens.”
Facing the judges’ panel of Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, and Sofia Vergara, Anica gushes, “You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting to see you guys.”
With joyful confidence, the contestant bursts into the opening lines of Jerry Ragovoy and Bert Berns’ 1967 song popularized by Joplin’s band, Big Brother and the Holding company in 1968.
Klum, who was dancing in her seat throughout the performance, gushed, “That was like, Bam! I loved it! I love how free you are on the stage.”
Mandel—who admittedly loves “this era of music”—lauds her performance, saying it “supersedes even the song.” He adds, “I just think you’re fun to watch.”
However, Sofia Vergara and Simon Cowell were not moved in the same way. Vergara took a soft approach, admitting, “I did love your energy but it wasn’t spectacular.” But, considering the enthused audience response, she decides to give Anica another shot at wow-ing her.
Cowell, despite the positive energy surrounding the act, regretfully informs Anica that he was not impressed. The audible backlash from the crowd, booing at his decision, does not deter the judge. Despite Cowell voting no, the rest of the judges voted Anica through to the next round.
America’s Got Talent will return Tuesday, August 10 at 8/7c on NBC.
Photo Credit: Tyler Golden/NBC