At just 12 years old, Grace Vanderwaal has stolen America’s heart and nabbed the title of America’s Got Talent winner.
Throughout the season, Vanderwaal, a ukulele player, routinely wowed judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Mel B with her original songs and raw musical talent. On night one of the show’s finale on Tuesday, Vanderwaal performed her original song “Clay” and received a standing ovation.
“Amazing Grace. How sweet the sound,” said Mandel. “It’s not only a song. It speaks to you. You are amazing. Grace has to win. This is my favorite moment of the night.”
After her finale performance, Cowell offered one of his best compliments of all time: “[In a] few years’ time, people are going to look back at you [and say] you did it in a real way. No gimmicks. It was just you,” he said, adding, “You deserve your place tonight. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but you’re going to be there at the end. I can feel it.”
On Wednesday night, after host Nick Cannon announced her name, she burst into tears. “How does it feel? These are tears of joy, right?” he asked before she responded, “Yes, of course!”
In honor of her win, we’re rewatching (by which we mean binging) five of Vanderwaal’s most stunning performances:
1. Performing her song "Light the Sky" in the semifinals
2. Performing her song "Beautiful Thing" in the quarterfinals
3. Performing her song "I Don’t Know My Name" in her audition
4. Performing her song "The Good Just Gets Better" on her YouTube channel
5. Covering John Lennon’s "Imagine" on her YouTube channel
Vanderwaal will not only win the $1 million grand prize, but will also perform at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas from Oct. 27-29.