Clad in a show-stopping, sparkly, pink gown, Wells looked every bit the diva that she is as she made the late Queen of Soul proud with her show-stopping performance. Fans loved the rendition, even taking to Twitter to share their support for Wells. One user called it his personal “golden buzzer act of the night” while another said Wells was “amazing.”
The judging panel and the show’s hosts had mostly kind things to say as well, with Heidi Klum even jumping to her feet to applaud the performance.
“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,” Klum told Wells.
Host Tyra Banks, who called Wells a “gorgeous, beautiful woman,” also sang her praises. “We all know that Aretha Franklin is in the Dolby Theatre tonight. Yes, she is,” Banks said.
Mel B said she was "overwhelmed and overjoyed" following the performance, while Howie Mandel got in on the love too, calling Wells “perfect.”
"You are perfect because I think that you are you and that is perfection when you’re yourself and that goes for anybody here," Mandel said.
The one judge who wasn’t totally feeling the performance was Simon Cowell.
“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 told Wells. “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.”
For her part, Wells was just happy to be performing and staying true to herself.
“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,” Wells said following the judges' remarks. “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.”
ET caught up with Wells following her performance and she opened up about Cowell's critiques.
"The thing I will tell you about Simon is that sometimes the thing that he says is harsh, but I always feel like what he says is true," she noted. "So, one thing I appreciate is truth. I would rather have the ugly truth than a pretty lie."
She continued, "So, I appreciate that he was like, 'Some of your notes weren't it' and he didn't like the arrangement. That's OK. He can not like things and they can still be good."