On Tuesday, Amanda Mena got the last laugh. The Afro-Latina teen, who had been teased as a child for not speaking English, received the Golden Buzzer on America’s Got Talent — soaring high over her bullies in front of a national audience.
The Boston-based 15-year-old dominicana wowed the celebrity judges with her cover of Aretha Franklin’s classic “Natural Woman.”
“Do you know what you have, Amanda?” asked judge Simon Cowell. “You have genuinely natural soul. You really, really do. I mean, that’s not an easy song to sing. This is an audition we’re going to remember for a long time, Amanda.”
Spice Girl Mel B agreed. “Oh my gosh, where do I start? That was just incredible. I’ve got all goose pimples all over, it’s just crazy. I love you, I love your voice, and this is what I’m going to say to all those bullies,” she said, before pressing on the buzzer that set off confetti and Mena’s place in the show’s live rounds.
Mena, who cried with her mother and Mel B onstage, is not new to talent competitions. When she was 11 years old, she won “La Voz (The Voice) Kids” on the Spanish-language network Telemundo, and how she’s prepared to take on AGT.
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The show’s Instagram referred to it as “the most magical moment” of Mena’s life.
Watch Mena’s effortlessly powerful and beautiful performance above.