Celina Graves took to the America’s Got Talent stage to audition for judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara and Howie Mandel.
In her introduction, 30-year-old Celina said that she was born into a musical family, as her father is also a singer, which influenced her to start singing when she was just three years old.
“In high school, I wasn’t like the other girls,” she said. “I would take my brother’s clothes and dress like a boy, then I would go into the girl’s bathroom and girls would be like ‘ew, why are you in here?'”
Celina said her father always accepted her for who she was, no matter what, and he is her hero. He always told her to stay true to herself no matter what other people thought or said.
She said that the bullying caused a lot of anxiety and a loss of confidence. When she opened her mouth to sing “Mercy” by Shawn Mendes, the judges were won over almost immediately.
Watch Celina Sing For ‘AGT’ Audition
The singer received high praise from both the audience and the judges. Following the performance, Celina took a moment to compose herself before speaking with the judges.
Celina said she worked security for a casino and was training to be a law enforcement officer while pursuing singing on the side.
The singer earned a standing ovation from the audience before her song was even over.
‘AGT’ Was a Huge Dream For Celina
Celina announced her audition for AGT on Instagram early in the week, writing “I’m excited to announce that I will be on America’s Got Talent this Tuesday June 9th on NBC at 8/7c us @agt. This has been a HUGE dream of mine! Who’s watching???”
AGT viewers took to Twitter to express their appreciation for the singer.
One person wrote, “Celina has a really great tone to her voice, range, and so talented. I have a feeling she is going to go far.”
Another commented that they “hear golden buzzer music” and predicted that she would be Heidi’s Golden Buzzer.
People also responded to Celina’s tweet about being on the show to show their appreciation. One wrote, “Celina, you were incredible! Your singing brought me to tears and I’d buy that single today in a heartbeat! Yay you!!”
Multiple people tweeted that Celina was their current frontrunner for winning the competition. It’s still early in the audition process, though, so that could change later on.
Though she did not receive the Golden Buzzer, Celina did receive four yes votes, so she’s moving on to the next round.
Celina’s Instagram biography says that she is a singer and a songwriter based in San Diego, California.