September 11, 2018 08:50 PM

Christina Wells kicked off Tuesday’s America’s Got Talent semifinals with a powerhouse rendition of one of Aretha Franklin‘s classic.

But her cover of “A Natural Woman” was not exactly well-received by the judges, especially Simon Cowell.

The mother of two from Houston, Texas, belted out the lyrics of the 1967 hit much to the delight of Heidi KlumMel B and host Tyra Banks.

“We all know that Aretha Franklin is in the Dolby Theatre tonight. Yes, she is,” Banks said as she looked up to the heavens.

RELATED: America’s Got Talent Finalists! Find Out Which Contestants Advanced — and Who Was Eliminated from Season 13

Christina Wells

Meanwhile, Klum, who gave Wells a standing ovation, said, “I think you are the only person in this competition who has the moxie and the talent to sing that song on this very stage.”

However, Cowell and Howie Mandel couldn’t help but point out some “weird notes” during Wells’ performance.

“I had a feeling you might be singing an Aretha song tonight. For me, the song was over orchestrated maybe nerves, you hit some bum notes,” Cowell said. “But I am hoping that we forget all that and remember the great singer that you are and the person you are. This was not your best performance.”

RELATED: Ariana Grande Performs a Fiery Rendition of ‘A Natural Woman’ at Aretha Franklin’s Funeral

Aretha Franklin

Wells defended herself following the judges’ comments, telling viewers: “I stand here for people who don’t think they’re perfect. People who are maybe too heavy or maybe they thought they weren’t the right color or maybe you just didn’t feel like you fit in. So every minute that I stand here whether I sing every note right or not, I stand here and I am proud that I stand here.”

RELATED VIDEO: The Queen of Soul Is Laid to Rest: Watch Aretha Franklin’s Moving, Star-Studded Funeral Service

Later in the evening, Klum called out Cowell for being “grumpy” during another vocalist’s performance.

Franklin died on Aug. 16 of advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type. She was 76.

Since her death, many have paid tribute to the Queen of Soul with their renditions of “A Natural Woman,” including Ariana Grande who tearfully performed the song on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon the night of Franklin’s death as well as at the icon’s star-studded Aug. 31 funeral.

America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays (8 p.m. ET) on NBC.

You May Like