"When I was on America's Got Talent as a [little girl], everything felt like a movie. I still remember walking out on the stage for the first time and thinking, 'This is my chance to shine,'" Evancho, now 18, shared in a pre-taped package before her performance.
The singer said that when she didn't win, she assumed she'd go back to her normal life and nothing would be different -- but should couldn't have been more wrong.
"My life completely changed after America's Got Talent. I was performing all over [the world]... I was able to record a bunch of albums that actually went platinum and gold," she shared. "I'm the youngest solo singer to go platinum.
"You don't know how many times people go, 'You won!' and I'm like, 'No, I didn't, but thanks!'" she said with a laugh. "[Being on Champions] is a big deal for me personally. Ever since I came in second place, I wanted to have one more shot. If I was named the winner, it would be, like, redeeming… and that is exactly what I'm going to do."
The stunning songstress certainly lived up to her sterling reputation, belting out a jaw-dropping rendition of "Music of the Night" from Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera that wowed the judges.
"You have the voice of an angel," Mel B. gushed. "It's just stunningly beautiful."
Simon Cowell shared similar sentiments, explaining that not every singer who returns to AGT can always bring the same magic they showed the first time around, but that Evancho managed to bring even more.
"We do have people come on this show as kids and then, for whatever reason, they lose whatever they had in the first place. But you actually got better," Cowell shared. "And in my definition, that is a champion."
"Growing up that way wasn’t easy," she wrote, though praised her parents for being "smart" about every decision they made for her. "Through the years I have developed some flaws and battled some demons, from being sheltered from aspects of a 'normal' child’s life. I am extremely awkward and shy around those my age. I trust absolutely no one unless they are family or have passed through years of my life without hurting me in some way."
The singer also reflected on the "dangers of being in the spotlight," like the "men out there who wanted to hurt me."
"All these things were terrible as a child, and yet I’m still here performing and loving it. A lot of people may ask 'Why?' and I say it’s my path, my dream, and my passion, with a fire inside of me when I perform," she added. "I’ve learned that there is a lot about the world that is sad. That’s just life, but there are also many beautiful parts of life that I cherish and focus on."
ET recently joined Evancho at her home for a candid conversation about her journey. Tune in to Tuesday's Entertainment Tonight for more. Check here for local listings.