‘America’s Got Talent’ 2016 update: Grace VanderWaal, 4 others advance to AGT finals

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Grace VanderWaal: 12-Year-Old Ukulele Player Gets Golden Buzzer
A 12-year-old ukulele player gets the golden buzzer when she takes a risk and performs an original tune, "I Don't Know My Name." YouTube/America's Got Talent

Touted as the “next Taylor Swift,” Grace VanderWaal was named as the youngest finalist on “America’s Got Talent” season 11 after the AGT voting results were announced Wednesday night in Hollywood.

The 12-year-old singer-songwriter from New York led the first batch of AGT finalists that include 13-year-old opera singer Laura Bretan, 20-year-old singer Sal Valentinetti, 35-year-old magician Jon Dorenbos and 37-year-old Sam Wills a.k.a “Tape Face.”

A crowd-favorite, VanderWaal earned the Golden Buzzer from AGT judge Howie Mandel after performing an original composition during her audition. The ukulele-playing musician is also getting huge social media following as her videos went viral on YouTube. (Read more: Grace VanderWaal, Tape Face, Jon Dorenbos most viewed quarterfinals acts on YouTube)

“Tape Face” earned the highly coveted #DunkinSave. Meanwhile, the AGT judges saved Laura Bretan, who faced elimination versus Edgar Family Band.

The AGT judges likewise gave the juggling duo “The Passing Zone” a chance to compete for the US$1 million prize of NBC’s top-rated talent show. “The Passing Zone” will compete with 10 other semifinalists on Tuesday, Sep. 6.

Aside from “The Passing Zone,” the other semifinalists who are vying for a slot in the AGT Finale Top 10 are:

  1. Kadie Lynn, 12, country singer
  2. Jayna Brown, 14, singer
  3. Calysta Bevier, 16
  4. Brian Justin Crum, 28, singer
  5. Linkin Bridge, acapella singers
  6. Sofie Dossi, 14, contortionist
  7. Steven Brundage, 25, Rubic’s cube genius
  8. The Clairvoyants, mentalist couple
  9. Viktor Kee, 45, theatrical juggler

“America’s Got Talent” 2016 will air live again from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sept. 6. The second batch of AGT finalists will be announced on Sep. 7.

“America’s Got Talent” airs Tuesday and Wednesday in the US on NBC or every Saturday in Australia via FOX8.

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