'America's Got Talent': Singer Cristina Rae Steals the Semifinals Spotlight With Inspirational Performance
By Zach Seemayer
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America's Got Talent saw some of the best performances of the season during the second night of the semifinals, including some over-the-top dance groups and impressive magic and danger acts. However, powerhouse vocalist Cristina Rae stole the spotlight with just her bold voice.
The stunning songstress earned a Golden Buzzer from Heidi Klum during her audition, and then went on to wow America during her quarterfinals performance. Along the way, she was cheered on by her biggest fan: her adorable toddler, Jeremiah.
Before Tuesday's performance, Rae explained how her son is her inspiration, and her motivation for almost all things in her life.
"I want Jeremiah to seat world as a special, magical place," Rae said in a pretaped package that aired before her act. "Having experienced homelessness, I felt like it was my duty to hide all the bad things I went through. Even though I struggled with finances, he doesn't know that, because I just want him to reach for the stars."
For her performance, Rae donned a gorgeous rose colored gown and belted out a powerful cover of the song "Jump" -- a song originally performed Cynthia Erivo from soundtrack to the 2017 documentary STEP.
The hopeful, life-affirming number wowed the judges, who showered Rae with praise.
"In the category of singing, you're the one to beat. I think that your voice is pure. I think it's powerful. I think it's entertaining," judge Howie Mandel shared. "You're wonderful, I loved it, and I think America will too."
"I think tonight you nailed it more than any other night," Sofia Vergara said. "It was perfection. I have goosebumps."
Before leaving the stage, Rae also got a chance to speak to her young son, who was watching remotely and was displayed on one of the massive screens on the set.
"Jeremiah, I love you so much! I want you to always do the impossible!" Rae shared, beaming at her adorable little boy. "Don't do anything else, just do the impossible! I love you!"
It was a moment of pure, inspirational joy -- the kind that America's Got Talent is famous for. And it's nights like these that make it so hard to be a judge on the show.
ET's Kevin Frazier caught up with the judges after the episode via video chat, and Vergara opened up about the inevitable surprise and heartbreak that comes with having to whittle down the competition.
"It is surprising, because you think that someone deserves to win, and you love it and you invest in them, and then suddenly it's like, 'Oh, what happened?'" explained Vergara, who joined the series at the start of this season. "But i think I am going to get used to it."
"This is my first year so it is very painful for me when anyone gets eliminated," the Modern Family alum added. "But it is part of it."
"Yeah, it is part of the game. Only one can get the millions of dollars," Mandel said. "But how many people watch it the show? You win already for being here for this long, [because] so many people get to see you."
Here's a look at all the night's impressive, jaw-dropping performances:
W.A.F.F.L.E Crew Dance Group
Country Singer Kenadi Dodds
Magician Max Major
Acrobatic Dance Trio The Bello Sisters
Songstress Celina Graves
Daredevil Jonathan Goodwin
Dance Duo BAD Salsa
Sword Swallower Brett Loudermilk
Only five of Tuesday's 11 hopefuls will be able to move on to the finals. Fans will see who continues on and who gets sent packing during the live America's Got Talentresults show on Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.