America’s Got Talent just found what it’s looking for — Putri Ariani.
Earlier in the competition, the Indonesian teenager blew minds and broke hearts with her audition, a performance of Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word.”
The gifted youngster lit up the screen, showcasing a delicate mix of pop tones, power, vocal maturity and unreal control, and earning the Golden Buzzer from judge Simon Cowell.
The 17-year-old is blind, an obstacle she overcomes when she’s performing. “When I’m singing I feel like a superstar,” she said earlier in the season.
On Tuesday night’s (Sept. 5) live qualifier, she sat at the grand piano, without backing or pyrotechnics, and delivered another lesson in talent.
Putri covered “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” an appropriate, spiritual number lifted from the U2’s The Joshua Tree from 1987, an album that confirmed U2 as the biggest band in the world.
When her latest performance wrapped, another standing ovation.
“I’m actually kinda speechless right now,” Cowell admitted. “What a beautiful voice you’ve got. What a beautiful version. And honestly Putri, this is why I still do this job. For moments like this, genuinely. That was so beautiful.”
Cowell noted that U2 personally cleared the song for Putri to sing on AGT. “They saw her audition,” he remarked. “And they knew how much this would mean to her.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard something more beautiful in my life,” said Sofia Vergara. “That was spectacular.” It was the “perfect, perfect, perfect act.”
Added Heidi Klum, “you sounded so beautiful and I thought to myself this probably is what it sounds like when an angel is singing. Literally. So beautiful. I do hope Bono gets to hear this.”
“Perfection,” was all Howie Mandel had to say.
Putri had the final word. She thanked Cowell, his fellow judges and supporters. “You already changed my life,” she enthused.
Now it’s America’s turn to vote.
Watch the performance below.