'AGT' Breakout Drake Milligan Admits He Was 'Worried' About Finale Song as He's Named the 'One to Beat'

The country singer even had one judge saying she wants to "buy a ticket" to his future concerts after closing out the season 17 finale with an electric performance of his original song "Sounds Like Something I'd Do"

Season 17 of America's Got Talent is coming to a close and after Tuesday's finale performances, it appears the competition may have a frontrunner.

Country music singer Drake Milligan got all four of the show's judges on their feet with his performance of original song, "Sounds Like Something I'd Do," the same track he used during his initial audition.

The closing performance left judge Heidi Klum declaring that Milligan, 24, is "the one to beat" as well as the season's major "standout," adding that "you can tell the audience loves you, the camera loves you, I love you."

After her standing ovation, Sofía Vergara went so far as to say "I already want to buy a ticket to your concert" as she called the musician "amazing."

Drake Milligan attends a "America's Got Talent" Season 17 Live Show
Drake Milligan. David Livingston/Getty Images

Backstage, Milligan assured PEOPLE that the actress "never has to buy" a ticket to his future performances.

"She can get into any concert she wants to," he says. "She gets comp tickets anytime. Anytime she wants one, she gets in for free."

After Milligan's audition aired in June, "Sounds Like Something I'd Do" shot to the top spot of the iTunes country chart, and judge Simon Cowell commended him on Tuesday for his repeat song choice.

"You could have just walked, and you didn't," he said on the episode. "You came back and you competed, and I think it was absolutely the right thing to come back with that song with a brilliant performance to remind us of the star you are, because you are."

"I really think this is going to be the start of your career," he added.

However, Milligan explains that he was "worried" about possible blowback for performing the same song twice.

"You worry that maybe they're gonna feel like you should have brought a new song or something different," he shares with PEOPLE. "It was wonderful to hear their reactions to it and then feel like they understood that I elevated the song and tried to do something new with it."

The show will crown a new winner Wednesday night and judge Howie Mandel said he believes "there is a chance" Milligan will walk away with the million-dollar prize. "I think you just brought it home and I think you're a star," he exclaimed on the judge's panel after the closing performance.

Milligan tells PEOPLE that he would use the $1 million prize money towards creating an incredible live experience for his fans.

"Being on the road is expensive and there's a lot of gear and a lot of travel expenses," he notes. "We're in a van and we've got a trailer full of gear, and we need more of it always, so the million dollars would really help to kind of facilitate more stuff on the road and a bigger production."

Drake Milligan (C) and band attend a "America's Got Talent" Season 17 Live Show
Drake Milligan and his band. David Livingston/Getty Images

Regardless of whether or not he scores the winner's title, Milligan already believes his experience on AGT has "changed everything" for his career.

"I've been in Nashville the last five years writing and cutting a record and it's been hard, man," he admits. "It's hard to get people to show up to shows and get on the radio and it's been a tough kind of climb-up, but AGT has allowed me that opportunity to get in front of millions of people and break the seal a little bit and break the mold and have the opportunity to sing for a lot of people and get my music out there."

"I'm very grateful," he adds.

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Fans will find out if Milligan is crowned the winner when the America's Got Talent season 17 finale airs Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.

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