It’s not every day that the coveted Golden Buzzer gets tapped on by judges on America’s Got Talent. But on Tuesday (June 7), AGT judge Howie Mandel was so moved and blown away by Madison Taylor Baez’s performance that he smashed it and catapulted her straight into the Season 17 finals.

The unassuming 11-year-old Baez was strategically placed in the audience by producers, a move unbeknownst to the judges. During the commercial break, Baez 'volunteered' to casually sing with the crowd microphone that was being passed around. After mere seconds of what would be a belting of "Amazing Grace," the room erupted in cheers and Simon Cowell was stopped in his tracks, quite literally.

The young girl, who has dreamt of being on AGT since she was four, was then invited up on stage to formally audition for Mandel, Cowell, Sofia Vergara and Heidi Klum. Needless to say, her powerhouse vocals and stage presence floored and won the hearts of both the judges and audience members.

“We do ask people in the breaks if they’d like to sing a song, and I was literally just coming back in and I heard this voice, thinking, ‘Who the hell is that?’ And then I see this little thing in the audience and it’s you,” Cowell told Baez.

“I’m not kidding. In all the years we’ve ever done this, this has never actually happened before,” he added. “I normally leave during the break because people do sing, so this is actually the opposite. It actually brought me back into the room."

After delivering her emotionally powerful audition, Mandel stood up to award her with the coveted Golden Buzzer, effectively advancing her directly to the finals.

Madison Taylor Baez
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When asked what she’d do with the $1 million cash prize if she won, the newly-crowned finalist said tearfully, “I would help my dad with cancer research. He's had Stage 4 colon cancer for the past nine years."

The audition ended on a heartwarming note as her father joined her up on the gold confetti-filled stage, both filled with smiles and tears, immensely grateful to the judges and producers for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Season 17 of America’s Got Talent airs Tuesday nights at 8PM ET on NBC.

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