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Why Simon Went on Stage During “Angel” Putri Ariani’s Golden Buzzer Audition

Simon Cowell was so entranced with Putri Ariani, who is blind, that he asked her to sing a second song. 

By Jill Sederstrom

It was so nice, he had to hear it twice. 

How to Watch

Watch the Season 19 premiere of America’s Got Talent Tuesday, May 28 at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock

Just one song wasn’t enough for America’s Got Talent Judge Simon Cowell, who was so blown away by 17-year-old Putri Ariani’s “amazing” voice he took to the stage and asked her to play him a second song.

“This song is special for you, Simon,” Ariani told him, before launching into Elton John’s “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word,” captivating the crowd once again. 

The two performances had multiple AGT Judges comparing the teen from Indonesia to an “angel” and earned her the coveted Golden Buzzer from Cowell, which sent her straight to the live rounds of the competition.

Who is Putri Ariani? 

Ariani’s dream has always been to launch her own singing career, telling the Judges before her performance that she hopes to one day be a Grammy-winning singer like Whitney Houston, but her path to stardom has had a unique challenge.

RELATED: Singing Kids, Spoken Word Poets — Every One of Howie Mandel's Golden Buzzers on AGT

“My biggest challenge is people look at me just as a blind person, not that I’m a musician, but when I’m singing, I feel like a silver star,” she said before taking the stage.

Her immense talent shone bright, sending the cheering crowd to their feet and earning her high praise from all four Judges. 

Americas Got Talent 1802 Putri Ariani

“How long have you been singing?” Judge Sofia Vergara asked. 

“Maybe since I was born?” Ariani replied before breaking into a laugh. 

The teen is in high school today, but she’s already set her sights on some big goals for the future. 

“I’m in high school, but I hope to get into Juilliard College of Music,” she told the Judges, before adding that she hoped to win AGT “so I can reach my dream.” 

What happened during Putri Ariani's AGT audition?

Ariani began to perform on the piano, launching into what she’d later tell the Judges was an original song she’d written herself. 

“You break my heart, break my hope,” she sang to the rapt crowd. 

After she hit her last note, Cowell swiftly stood up and made his way onto the stage.

“What’s he doing there?” Vergara asked. 

“I don’t know,” an equally confused Judge Heidi Klum responded. 

Cowell walked over to the teen still seated on the piano bench, leaned over, and told her “Hi, Putri, this is Simon.” 

Ariani’s shocked father made his way out onto the stage to assist, at which point Cowell told him his daughter’s voice was “amazing” and asked if she had a second song to sing. 

Ariani was all too eager to comply and belted out the Elton John hit as a stunned Cowell looked on from his Judge’s chair. 

RELATED: Why Howie Mandel Says the AGT Contestants Have More "Vigor" Than Ever

As she made her way back to the center of the stage, all four Judges gave her a standing ovation as the crowd erupted.

Why did Simon award her his Golden Buzzer?

“Putri, how do you feel?” Vergara asked. 

“I’m just so excited,” Ariani replied through tears. “I — can’t believe it, actually.” 

“It was amazing,” Vergara told her. “We’re all mesmerized by you. Your voice, you are an angel.” 

It didn’t take long for Judge Howie Mandel to agree.

“I think you just used the word,” he said. “You know a lot of people don’t believe in angels and I think one just landed on our stage. You’re a superstar.” 

Klum commended Ariani for her “beautiful” voice before it was Cowell’s turn. 

“Well, I think we’re all feeling the same thing,” he said. “You know, you’re 17. You write songs, you’ve got an amazing distinctive voice, and I mean, really, really good. You have kind of a glow about you.” 

He then asked her about her Juilliard dreams before giving her his own sign of approval as he slapped the Golden Buzzer. Each Judge only gets to use the Golden Buzzer once during each season.

As gold confetti reigned down on her, Ariani jumped up and down and her parents ran out to give her a hug. Cowell even made it back onto the stage again to give her a hug of his own. 

“You are, I think, one of the best singers we’ve ever had on our show,” he said. 

Host Terry Crews joined the elated group on stage and asked Cowell to “say a little bit about why you pushed” the Golden Buzzer. 

Cowell kept his answer short and sweet.

“Because she's brilliant,” he said.