America’s Got Talent season 14’s final night of judge cuts aired on Tuesday, August 6. During the episode, guest judge Jay Leno gave his golden buzzer to 10-year-old opera singer Emanne Beasha.
The official synopsis for the episode prepared viewers for the moment, teasing “Comedy legend Jay Leno joins the panel as a guest judge and gets the opportunity to send an act directly to the live shows with a golden buzzer; contestants have one last chance to impress the judges before going live for America’s vote.” As the final guest judge for the judge cuts round of competition, he held the power to give out the last “golden buzzer,” rocketing his pick right to the live shows without further deliberation from the other judges.
Before Beasha’s performance, she told the camera in a pre-recorded interview “There’s a lot of young singers here. A lot of them are like super talented they have like the same big dream to become a singer and everything and it’s kind of, like, nervous – I don’t know what’s gonna happen.” She continued, saying “Since I was very little, I always loved to sing and my grandma was like ‘You’re going to be an opera singer.’ Now that I’m here at judge cuts, I have to do even better on this performance. I think this song is my hardest song I’ve ever done.”
Emphasizing how young Emanne is, the show took a moment to put her stuffed unicorn, named Uni, in the spotlight. Emanne said Uni is her “good luck charm for singing.”
When it was finally time for Emanne to perform on stage, judge Simon Cowell said “I remember you,” and she sweetly said “I remember you, too.” Simon told her that all the young performers were “literally killing it” before telling her they’re rooting for her and wishing her good luck on her second audition.
As she sang fearlessly, the audience, judges, and Emanne’s competitors were visibly impressed, and she received a standing ovation as she hit her song’s powerful last note.
The judges took turns praising her performance; Howie told her “You are only 10 years old and we are seeing acts come out here and they’re sweating and they’re not performing to par. They’re not stepping it up. They’re double your age. And then you come out here and you show them how it’s done.” The other judges were similarly impressed.
Guest judge Jay Leno was the last to address Emanne. He said: “Just the fact that from a child comes an honesty and a truth, I mean, it’s – I feel like I’m a witness to something extremely special. At some point in my career, people say ‘What do you remember most?’ I remember hitting the golden buzzer.”
He hit his buzzer, making Emanne Beasha his pick, and her jaw dropped as the confetti fell to the stage and she played in it.
If you don’t remember Emanne’s first jaw-dropping performance (she sang “Nessun Dorma”), the full audition video can be watched above.
Tune in to America’s Got Talent season 14, Tuesday nights at 8/7c on NBC.