AGT: 9-Year-Old Opera Singer Is a 'Genuine Star,' Simon Cowell Raves as She Predicts She 'Can Win It All'
A star is born on America's Got Talent.
Victory Brinker, the 9-year-old opera singer and fan-favorite of season 16, concluded Tuesday's live show with a stunning performance of "Casta Diva."
The Pennsylvania native earned rave reviews from audiences and the judges, including Simon Cowell who predicted a bright future ahead for the young child, even name-dropping Carrie Underwood and comparing Brinker to the country star.
Speaking with PEOPLE after the show, Cowell, 61, explained how he could see Brinker one day becoming the next face of opera music similar to how Underwood found massive success in country music after winning American Idol in 2005.
"I didn't understand a lot about country music when I first met Carrie but you do know a star when you hear one and meet somebody," said Cowell, who was a judge on the fourth season of Idol when Underwood was crowned champion.
"I think same with Victory about how little I know about opera and classical music — not much," the veteran judge and executive producer shared.
"I think [Victory] is a genuine, genuine star. I can see her making records, concerts, movies, everything. She's got something special about her. She is incredibly talented. She was fantastic on the audition show but she was outstanding tonight," Cowell added.
Feeling "confident" about her performance after closing out this week's live show, Brinker told PEOPLE: "I think I could win it all."
And what will the pre-teen do if she were to win the $1 million prize and Luxor residency in Las Vegas? "If I do win it, then Simon is getting a rainbow shirt and he is going to look fabulous," Brinker said, referencing her audition comments about buying a colorful top for Cowell to brighten up his signature black T-shirt uniform.
Brinker was one of the highlights in the live show which had a few rough quarterfinal performances.
"You have a unique special talent and I think you are incredible. It amazes me. I didn't even know someone your age could be able to sing this way," Cowell said to Brinker.
Sophomore judge Sofia Vergara echoed similar comments. "I thought someone needed years and years and decades of training and here you are doing it like it's nothing. Like it's the most natural thing for you. You deserve to be here," the actress said.
"You have the most amazing gift. It almost sounds like it's not real, it almost sounds like it's not coming from you. I would say that you are the cherry on top of an amazing night tonight," Heidi Klum shared.
During the audition stage of the season 16 competition, Brinker's larger-than-life singing abilities compelled Cowell, Vergara, Klum, Howie Mandel and host Terry Crews to push the coveted Golden Buzzer in unison. With their simultaneous decision, the five stars officially chose Brinker as the first-ever contestant to receive an all-cast vote to go straight to the live shows.
"We did something unprecedented," Crews previously told PEOPLE about the history-making move. "[Victory] made us do something that has never been done on America's Got Talent in history. That was a real moment. My God, this is what I mean by a season, season 16, is the best ever. It's going to be hard to beat what went down. The moment you thought you saw it all, you didn't."
America's Got Talent airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays on NBC.
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