From Kazakhstan’s Junior Eurovision 2018 dream to America’s Got Talent 2020 queen? The narrative continues to unfold over in the US.
On Tuesday night Daneliya Tuleshova continued on her quest to win Season 15 of America’s Got Talent. Competing in the second semi-final — in a diverse field of 11 competitors — Daneliya managed to stand out yet again, earning digital applause from the online audience and in-room praise from the judges after her rendition of the 2011 song “Who You Are” by British singer Jessie J.
Daneliya Tuleshova: 14-Year-Old Khazak Singer WOWS America! A Star In The Making@America's Got Talent | Season 15 | Semi-finals 2
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It was a long wait for fans to see her perform: Daneliya was the last performer. That hasn’t happened to her since her initial audition episode back in May. During her pre-performance introductory package, which was filled with home movies and images of Daneliya in her younger years, the Kazakhstani songstress spoke lovingly about the importance of her family’s support, saying “I love you, Mom.”
However, the mood quickly changed as Daneliya took to the AGT stage. Her choice of “Who You Are” could have been risky, as it’s not exactly a recent hit fresh in viewers’ minds. Daneliya started out quietly and stuck to her low register through the first verse. Once she hit the chorus, though, she came to life (along with plenty of lights behind her), giving her performance a shot of energy. Daneliya seemed to build in confidence as the song went, aided by her pantsuit/blazer combo that gave her added maturity and strength. Gliding through the song’s final emotional vocal run, she provided a powerful runway to deliver her final message: “You should be true to who you are”. Daneliya’s performance definitely made you feel she was doing just that!
As soon as her performance concluded, the audience wall behind her (full of viewers watching from their homes around the country) lit up with folks showering her with applause. The judges immediately gave her the only standing ovation of the evening. Judge Sofia Vergara complimented her unexpected performance, saying “You are shining like a star already!” Judge Heidi Klum thought it might be difficult for fans to choose who to vote for (Daneliya being one of four female singers in the bunch), but passionately declared, “I hope the fans pick up the phone and vote for you, because you are absolutely incredible!”
i just performed on the @agt stage. i’m so happy and I would like to say that I love you all very much and I am very grateful to you for all your support!!!!??????????pic.twitter.com/fDlwpDAPbN@nbc #AGT #AGT15
— Daneliya Tuleshova (@RealDaneliya) September 16, 2020
Judge Howie Mandel ended the glowing critiques by saying he disagreed with Klum’s opinion that it would be difficult for the fans to choose. “I think you’re an easy decision.. I felt like I was at your concert,” Howie said. He went on to compliment the way Daneliya presented herself, from her performance to her sound. “You’re already a star…you’re already a winner!
Given how much the judges talked, producers had to stage an über-fast wrap up that barely gave Daneliya time to speak. She made her words count: “I was so nervous, but I’m so proud of myself — thank you so much, thank you!”
Five spots remain for next week’s final. And it certainly seems like she could be among them. We’ll find out on Wednesday night.
What did you think of Daneliya’s semi-final performance? Do you think the song, staging, and outfit choice worked for her? Do you think she has the inside track to qualify for next week’s final? Continue the discussion in the comments below!