America’s Got Talent is continuing auditions for its 18th season, and stumbled on a hidden gem on Tuesday night’s (July 12) episode in 27-year-old contestant Lavender Darcangelo, who left judges Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, Sofia Vergara and Simon Cowell stunned by her talent.


After walking onto the stage with her father, Darcangelo gave some background information on her life story. “I’ve been singing since actually I was three years old. I didn’t talk until I was four and a half. I’m also autistic as well as blind. I have a lot of dreams,” she said. “I want to build a school where the classes are based off of what kids are naturally curious at, a school I would have thrived in. My dad’s name is Will. He adopted me later in life. I met him at this after-school program he was doing.”

Will, who stood next to Lavender during her introduction, picked up where she left off. “I started an after-school music program. Lavender and I met and she asked me to adopt her, but I said, ‘I’m a member of the faculty, that’s just not how it works,’” he shared. “Several years goes by and she’s having struggles, and before you know it, she moves in with me and my husband Jamie the day we came home from our honeymoon. A year after that, she became out legal daughter.”

Will then stepped away to let Lavender sing her song of choice — “Out Here on My Own” sung by Irene Cara for the Fame soundtrack. “Sometimes I wonder where I’ve been/ Who I am, do I fit in/ Make believin’ is hard alone/ Out here on my own/ We’re always provin’ who we are, always reachin’/ For that risin’ star/ To guide me far and shine me home, out here on my own,” she belted on the verse and chorus of the emotive track.

Following her performance, Lavender received a standing ovation not only from the crowd, but from all four of the judges on the panel.

“Everything about that was magical. You have such a talent. You have such an amazing personality,” Cowell told the singer. “We make the show because we get to meet people like you occasionally, and I’m so happy that you’ve come on our show to share your talent with us, because this is an audition I’ll never forget.”

Klum remarked that she was blown away by Lavender and her performance. “I feel like I just fell in love,” she said. “This AGT journey is an amazing journey, and I would love to be your cheerleader and hold you hand all the way to the finish line. What do you say?”

Klum then slammed her hand down on the Golden Buzzer, causing golden confetti to rain down from the ceiling.

Watch Lavender’s audition above.


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