I began America’s Got Talent Season 11 as a huge Grace VanderWaal skeptic. I wasn’t just skeptical of VanderWaal; I took issue with the concept of singers in general on America’s Got Talent, as I felt (and still feel, to some extent) that they have plenty of other platforms on which they can share their craft.
I still think singers are overrepresented this season, and I still think that a few outstanding acts have been shoved aside in favor of medicore singers. But VanderWaal definitely deserves to be onstage — and I’d like to see her in the finale.
Why do I love VanderWaal so much? There are multiple factors at play. First and foremost, I think she’s an exceptionally talented young singer. Her voice is lovely. But I’ve seen a lot of good singers on this show, and while I enjoy their vocal power, I rarely want them to continue on in the competition. Why is VanderWaal different?
The deciding factor is VanderWaal’s original music. A lot of artists sing covers, and while they’re amazing, there is something special about a preteen writing down her thoughts and feelings — and then bravely sharing them with the world. It makes me think of what Taylor Swift might have been like had she been on America’s Got Talent as a tween. Or rather, Taylor Swift with shorter hair and a ukulele. And instead of singing about boys, this little Taylor Swift would have to sing about sisterhood, which, in my opinion, is a far better topic for a song.
I’m certainly not the only person captivated by VanderWaal. She enjoys a huge following on Twitter. If the current hype is any indication, she has a real shot at being this year’s victor. Tonight, impressed America’s Got Talent viewers praised her vocal skill, her original lyrics and her general demeanor. A few did mention her nerves, and while it was evident that she was nervous, I actually thought that added to the whole charm of the act.
VanderWaal’s performance was nothing short of spectacular, and I am looking forward to seeing more from this rising star. The adage “never say never” must be true, because I certainly never thought I’d be this head over heels for an America’s Got Talent singer.