‘This is just the beginning’ for Toronto ‘America’s Got Talent’ finalist
|Toronto Star 24 Sep 2020 at 06:28|
Although she made the Top 5 of the popular “America’s Got Talent” competition, it was the spoken word poetry of Brandon Leake that won the public’s favour at the end and earned him a $1 million annuity, a headlining show in Las Vegas and a new KIA automobile.
But considering the 11-year-old Battaglia was the third runner-up, she served notice that, in her own words, “This is just the beginning.”
Wednesday’s three-hour conclusion – broadcast on NBC and here locally via City-TV — followed last night’s two-hour Final Performance program that was actually kicked off by Battaglia and her rendition of fellow GTA-singer Alessia Cara’s “Scars To Your Beautiful.”
After she belted out the number, the three celebrity judges – Sofia Vergara, Howie Mandel and Heidi Klum – had nothing but praise for her efforts.
Vergara – who used her one-time Golden Buzzer privilege to deliver Battaglia into the live elimination rounds – said: “You have a special place in my heart. You’re perfect!”
Judge Heidi Klum told her: “You were born to sing – you know that – and this is only the beginning for you. You are absolutely incredible at 11-years-old!”
And another ex-pat, Toronto comedian Howie Mandel, went as far as to tell Battaglia that “you are the one to beat tonight – I really believe that.”
Fast forward to Wednesday’s three-hour extravaganza, and much of the program was devoted to a recap, although Battaglia got to shine twice more: once in a group contestant arrangement of the late Bill Withers’ “Lean On Me,” and once more with Montréal singer and songwriter J.P. Saxe, his girlfriend Julia Michaels and fellow contestant Kenadi Dodds for a version of the Saxe-Michaels hit duet “If The World Was Ending.”
As the clock counted down to determine the five finalists, Battaglia made it to the Top Five.
But number four would be as high as she would get, as her name was called just after acrobat Alan Silva.
When asked by host Terry Crews what the competition meant to her, Roberta Battaglia smiled and replied, “It’s meant so, so much to me. Thank you for your support. This is only the beginning. Sofia, thank you for always believing in me. I love you judges and thank you to the world!”