Going up against a variety of acts, including a pair of knife throwers, a rapping magician, and a Lebanese dance troupe (Mayyas), Aubrey Burchell graced America’s Got Talent stage in a metallic draped gown with her hair classically pinned up, and delivered a soulful rendition of Kirby’s 2016 single “Loved By You” during the semifinal round.
“The Aubrey you saw is not here anymore,” said the 21-year-old Huntington, California native in her introductory clip. “I’m a whole new Aubrey.”
Admitting that she was “terrified” during her first AGT performance when she sang with her eyes closed, she added that it was an experience that made her realize her potential as a performer. For her semifinal performance, Burchell said she chose “Loved By You” to show “a new, more tender side of me.”
A Target employee, Burchell started singing as a child at fundraisers and other events and continued to perform at different venues throughout her teens. Prior to her first appearance on AGT on Aug. 2, Burchell was already a viral sensation when NBC released a video of her cover of The Weeknd’s 2018 hit “Call Out My Name,” which caught 2.7 million times on YouTube. Before auditioning on AGT, Burchell also tried out on American Idol four years earlier but didn’t make it past the audition.
Burchell’s semifinal performance caught mixed reviews from judge Howie Mandel, who called the song “a little smallish and a little more cabaret.” Simon Cowell told Burchell she should have chosen a more recognizable song but lightened his comments by calling the singer “brilliant” and adding, “You have a star glow about you.”
Judges Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara were behind Burchell’s song choice, with Vergara calling the performance “perfection.”
“I think you’re not going to be working there much longer,” Klum said of Burchell’s job at Target.
On Sept. 8, the final two contestants will join the remaining six finalists, including Drake Milligan and his band, Avery Dixon, Chapel Hart, Yu Hojin, Nicolas RIBS, Sara James, Mike E. Winfield, and Metaphysic, who will all perform one last time on Sept. 13 before the finale on Sept. 14.
Photo: Trae Patton / NBC