She won legions of fans around the world when she became Kazakhstan’s first-ever Junior Eurovision representative in 2018. And Daneliya Tuleshova has been expanding her horizons since then. On Tuesday 9 June, eagle-eyed viewers will have seen her appear in episode three of America’s Got Talent’s 15th season.
Daneliya Tuleshova on America’s Got Talent
Sporting darker hair and clothes than some fans might be used to, Daneliya may have been unrecognizable at first glance.
During the pre-performance video package, Daneliya gave a heartfelt explanation of what singing means to her and what it would mean to her to make it in America.
With her mother proudly looking on from the sidelines, and after good luck wishes from judge Simon Cowell, she quickly shook off any nerves as she stepped onto the AGT stage. She sang “Tears of Gold” by Canadian-Moroccan singer Faouzia.
Daneliya belted out every word with emotion and confidence. The audience were immediately behind her, increasing their applause and approval with every note Daneliya made. As the song ended, the crowd and all four judges gave her a well-deserved standing ovation.
Moving to the judges’ critiques, German model Heidi Klum praised Daneliya for the song’s “cool” factor and her transformation during it, stating “You seem so shy, and then “BOOM” the music starts, and you transform into this different person”. She also commented on her stage presence and “swag”.
TV host Howie Mandel then compared her to a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly – “You really just transformed in front of our eyes!”. Even notoriously hard to please judge Simon Cowell showered Daneliya with compliments, saying “It’s kind of your time”. He went on to praise her song choice, even complimenting her “cool” factor. Simon also went on to say he hopes Daneliya’s next song choice is more stripped-down, so her tone can shine. “You’ve got a real, real shot here”, he said, putting an exclamation point on a great audition.
Without hesitation, every judge gave her their “yes” vote, and Daneliya happily walked off stage, receiving a hug from her proud mother, knowing she had advanced to the next round.
Unfortunately, due to the worsening COVID 19 pandemic in the US at the time of taping, production on the show was shut down for several weeks. It is unclear when we will see Daneliya perform next. The first six audition episodes were filmed before the shutdown, and broadcast network NBC is hoping to shoot the Judge Cuts episodes at the end of June with modifications. It is still working out plans to shoot the live episodes.
Daneliya Tuleshova at Junior Eurovision and beyond
At Junior Eurovision 2018 in Minsk, Belarus, Daneliya finished sixth with “Ozine Sen”. Her bright smile, sweet spirit, and mature voice all gained the young songstress attention, for good reason.
And AGT isn’t Daneliya’s first exposure to U.S. audiences. In 2019, she appeared on The World’s Best, a one-off talent competition bringing together acts from around the globe. Daneliya sang her way into the top eight, before a controversy involving fellow Kazakh singer Dimash Kudaibergen’s withdrawal cast a shadow on the show. Dimash claimed he did not know until the moment of their dual that Daneliya was involved. He refused to compete against younger people just building their careers.
Daneilya then lost her quarterfinal dual against Indian child pianist Lydian Nadhaswaram, who eventually went on to be crowned the show’s champion. Daneliya was also scheduled to give a solo concert in Houston, Texas on 29 March of this year, but that was also cancelled because of pandemic fears.
Do you admire Daneliya’s latest performance? Do you think she can make it all the way to the final of America’s Got Talent? What do you hope she sings next? Let us know in the comments.