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It was announced during Wednesday's (August 10) Live Results show that saxophonist Avery Dixon–alongside country singer Drake Milligan—are the first two Acts to advance to the September 13 Finale. We first met Dixon during his emotional Audition, when he opened up to the crowd about how he was nearly driven to suicide after enduring intense childhood bullying. However, he found solace in his music. The Atlanta native's story particularly touched Terry Crews, with the Host awarding him his Golden Buzzer of the season.
Now, weeks later following his Live Show performance of Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground," Simon Cowell noted Dixons's increase in confidence and that "something's changed" about the musician. Cowell even compared the 21-year-old to American Idol's Carrie Underwood and proclaimed "You’re 'gonna be a superstar."
Dixon opened up to NBC Insider about the Judge's high praise and his newfound comfort on stage. "I knew I was accepted in this place, and it's like I'm fighting to be here, and I'm not fighting the fight alone, and that's what made it all so much better," Dixon said. "These are people that are going through my story with me. And to open up to them is like sitting on the couch with your best friends."
Crews also had words of encouragement for Dixon. "He wowed at the Auditions, anyway, but now he's at another level, and it's so serendipitous that he played 'Higher Ground' because he's officially at another level right now... Imagine when we get live and start teaming him up with other great musicians and other things. Remember, it's not just his story, it's the talent. It's gotta be both, and he has it."
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