September 25, 2022
Madison Taylor Baez, 11, from Orange County, California, has grown up attending tapings of America’s Got Talent, but this season, she found herself onstage after being selected from the audience to perform.

Madison Taylor Baez, 11, from Orange County, California, has grown up attending tapings of America’s Got Talent, but this season, she found herself onstage after being selected from the audience to perform.

During commercial breaks, the show often asks audience members to sing. Baez reportedly worked with the show producers to surprise the judges, including Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel, with her talent.

“Simon was just staring at me, and he was like, ‘Keep going,’” Baez told Access Hollywood. “So I kept going.”

The judges invited Baez to go onstage and audition. She sang “Amazing Grace,” drawing a standing ovation and a “golden buzzer” from Mandel, pushing her through to the live tapings of the show, set to air beginning in August.

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“I’m not kidding. In all the years we’ve ever done this, this has never actually happened before,” Cowell said. “I normally leave during the break because people do sing, so this is actually the opposite. It actually brought me back into the room.”

When asked what she would do with the cash prize should she win in the end, Baez said she would help her father, who is battling stage four colon cancer.

“I would sing to him through all his treatments in the hospital, and I would never stop,” Baez added. “And he got better and better.”

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Baez said that “it meant the world” to her to have her father there at the audition.

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