Kazakhstan’s teen sensation Daneliya Tuleshova has always pushed herself beyond the limits of age and culture. It’s her willingness to think beyond barriers that led her to the Junior Eurovision stage, and then helped her expand her horizons westward to appear on the 2019 edition of the American talent show The World’s Best. And on Tuesday night, the Kazakh songstress faced perhaps her biggest stage yet, performing in the final of America’s Got Talent. If she manages to snatch the crown, she’ll become only the third ever international winner of the show.
Daneliya Tuleshova covers Sia’s “Alive” in AGT final
Daneliya Tuleshova: BLOWS The Roof Off With "Alive" By Sia In The AGT Finale Performance@America's Got Talent | Season 15 | The Finals
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In a pre-performance video package, Daneliya expressed her appreciation to everyone who has pushed her so far in the competition. “It would be amazing if, one day, my name was up in lights,” she said, conveying her gratitude for all that the show has given her — and all it may still deliver.
She chose to sing Australian hit-maker Sia’s 2015 song “Alive” — and boy did Daneliya let us know she was living. She instantly seemed to feel at home. The staging seemed to evoke the flora and fauna of Salvador Sobral’s winning ESC 2017 stage show (with added elements of LED rain, fireflies, and butterflies). The song came with an arrangement that was surprisingly darker than Sia’s, helping Daneliya make it truly her own. Wearing a motorcycle-style jacket, dark army boots, and a blue slip dress, she oozed attitude and charisma, even shooting the camera one or two looks that seemed to be saying, “I WILL win this!” She held on to those long notes at the end with confidence and power — not wanting to let go of her moment in this biggest of spotlights.
After yet another round of at-home audience applause, the judges wasted little time giving her their feedback (well, after they’d sat down following their standing ovation). Judge Sofia Vergara showered her with positivity, saying, “Daneliya, you are amazing…you are flawless.. every time you are here, you are better and better!”
Judge Heidi Klum followed up with her own round of compliments: “You are absolutely a class act — you hold your own — you hit every note. This was PERFECTION! I wish you good luck, you should be very proud!”
Judge Howie Mandel praised her comfort in performing despite being so young and acknowledged her obvious determination to prove she belongs on the stage. Host Terry Crews then asked Daneliya how it felt being so close to her dream of making it in America. Daneliya once again sweetly expressed her appreciation for having an opportunity she never thought would be possible, saying “I just want to thank America for the votes, and for giving me the opportunity to be here. I’m really happy, thank you SO much!”
Soon after the show, Daneliya took to her social media accounts on Twitter (@RealDaneliya) and Instagram (tuleshova_daneliya) to once again thank fans for their support.
It remains to be seen whether Daneliya can take the AGT crown. The competition was stiff, with fellow favourites — country duo Broken Roots, singers Archie Williams and Cristina Rae, and spoken word poet Brandon Leake — all giving performances that might potentially challenge. Even Daneliya’s most devoted fans have to concede that Rae’s voice can do things Daneliya’s can’t, owing to Rae’s age and experience.
Wednesday night’s two-hour finale will be full of performances from past winners and favourites, as well as this year’s contestants. It will give everyone a chance to let their hair down and revel in the accomplishment of making it to the show’s end. There’s no word yet on if, or with whom, Daneliya may perform, as often the singers are paired in celebrity duets. The party atmosphere will then make way for the following one hour drama that will be the America’s Got Talent results show, where fans will finally find out if Daneliya’s dream of becoming a star in America will get a big push forward. Whatever happens, Daneliya’s star will surely remain on the rise.
What did you think of Daneliya’s final performance? Was the staging and song choice a hit? Do you think she has a shot of taking the title? Let us know in the comments below!