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Looking Back at AGT Impressionist Daniel Ferguson’s Audition that Trolled Simon Cowell

Following the performer's Season 12 impression of Simon Cowell, a video of Ferguson singing Billie Eilish's "Bad Guy" in many voices went viral on social media.

By Jax Miller

Few could forget the impression Daniel Ferguson left with America’s Got Talent Judges, especially after mimicking Judge Simon Cowell.

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In Season 12, the 23-year-old from Youngstown, Ohio, told Judges Cowell, Mel B., Heidi Klum, and Howie Mandel that he hoped to wow them with a song, fans might recall seven years later. The Judges held out hope for Ferguson, who explained that his day job consisted of being a sales representative for multiple radio stations in Ohio and that his 2017 AGT Audition was his first time performing before a live audience.

For Simon, Ferguson’s unexpected Act gave the Judge “the will to live,” and here’s why:

Daniel Ferguson first appeared on AGT in 2017

Daniel Ferguson onstage during America's Got Talent Season 12.

Ferguson wasted no time putting his impressionist voices on full display — something no one expected — when he began to sing “Cake by the Ocean” by DNCE. The kicker? Ferguson started the 2015 pop song in the voice of Disney’s Goofy as an image of the cartoon character lit up behind the singer to let the audience in on the joke.

RELATED: Every Act That Auditioned for AGT 2024 In Episode 4 (RECAP)

As the verses went on, Ferguson switched into the distinct voice of Scooby Doo, which put a great big smile on Judge Cowell’s face. The crowd went wild when the contestant sang in the voice of Kermit the Frog for the tune’s chorus.

Ferguson seamlessly shifted into the voice of Family Guy’s Peter Griffin, but none got everyone as riled up as when an image of Simon Cowell himself came onscreen behind Ferguson.

Simon Cowell said "everyone is going to love" Daniel Ferguson's Impression

Daniel Ferguson onstage during America's Got Talent Season 12.

Judges and spectators alike lost their heads when Ferguson spoke the following few lines of “Cake by the Ocean” in the voice of the longtime panelist. Even former AGT Host, Tyra Bank’s, eyes widened at the impeccable impression.

“Walk for me, baby,” Ferguson said in Cowell’s monotone. “I’ll be Diddy, you be Naomi, whoa. Let’s lose our minds and go crazy, crazy.”

Ferguson, his body relaxed to match Cowell’s cool demeanor, made quotation marks with his hands when using “crazy, crazy” in place of the song’s expletives.

Thankfully, the singer wasn’t finished, and after reverting to Peter Griffin’s voice, he also gave a spot-on, falsetto impression of Disney’s Mickey Mouse.

Audience members shot to their feet, and the Judges talked amongst themselves over how thrilled they were by the performance even before the song wrapped. During the Judging phase, Mel B asked Cowell if he “noticed” that Ferguson’s impression of him was “really, really well.”

Of course, he had.

“Thank God for you today because I was beginning to lose the will to live; I really was,” Cowell told Ferguson. “And then you come out and, honestly, everyone is gonna love this Act.”

Judge Mandel said what he especially loved about the Audition.

“This is what I love about the show; I love the variety; I love seeing things I’ve never seen before,” Mandel told the man. “You just showed me something I never saw before. You are awesome!”

Klum said Ferguson put “the biggest smile” on her face.

“I absolutely love this Act,” she said.

Ferguson left with a robust four "Yes" votes, cementing his mark as having one of the most memorable AGT Auditions of the season.

Daniel Ferguson onstage during America's Got Talent Season 12

Where is AGT's Daniel Ferguson now?

Ferguson is still blessing the world with his uber-talented impressions, as seen in a 2019 YouTube video of him singing Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy,” which amassed over 18 million views. He sang the song in 20 voices of various animated characters, including Phineas and Ferb’s Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz, Beauty and the Beast’s Gaston, and Lord Voldemort of the Harry Potter series.

According to Ferguson’s IMDB page bio, he “is working on his voice acting and impressions and is pursuing a career in the film and entertainment industry.”

Ferguson continues drawing the spotlight on Instagram, where he puts on impressions for his 110k+ followers. Miss Piggy, Spongebob Squarepants, Marge Simpson, and comedian John Mulaney are just a few of his noteworthy impressions.

In many of the clips, Ferguson reads excerpts from famous books.

The content creator, referring to himself as a “man of an unspecified number of voices,” is currently based in Virginia, according to his Instagram page.

Keep up with America’s Got Talent, with new episodes airing Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC and streaming the next day on Peacock.