First impressions count — especially in reality TV competitions.
During Tuesday night’s season opener of “America’s Got Talent,” a nervous 15-year-old singer from Danville, succeeded in making her audition stand out.
Sophie Pecorra showed up with an acoustic guitar and an original song about being a victim of bullying. She instantly won over the judges.
Singing and rapping, Pecorra told a story of getting “torn down in the seventh grade” and being shy and sensitive and hiding from her tormentors in the bathroom. You can experience her performance in the video above and do your best not to shed a tear or two.
The performance had rookie judge Gabrielle Union, who grew up in not far from Pecorra in Pleasanton, singing the young girl’s praises.
“We ask for artists to come out here and bare their souls and wow us, and honey you did,” Union said. “You are so young, but you spoke to me, and I’m 46. You have a special gift. You held us all captive.”
The other judges also had kind words for Pecorra, who advanced to the next round. Howie Mandel described her as “really unique” and called the song “real and wonderful.”
Julianne Hough raved that it was “brilliant,” and Simon Cowell noted that Pecorra has “a really cool delivery.”
“I like you a lot,” he said.
In her introductory video, Pecorra spoke of growing up “shy and and quiet and insecure.” She started performing original songs on YouTube as a way to reach out to others.
“I really wanted to relate to people and express my feelings,” she said.
As for the song “Seventh Grade,” Pecorra said, “I want to make clear that everyone experiences (bullying). It’s not just you. You’re not alone.”
“America’s Got Talent,” kicked off its 14th season on NBC with several new faces. Judges Union and Hough take over for Heidi Klum and Mel B. Also, Terry Crews has replaced Tyra Banks as judge.
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