A teenager whose father recently died following a difficult cancer battle delivered a rousing performance on Tuesday night on “America’s Got Talent,” telling the audience that, despite facing a tough time, her dad taught her to fight on.
“My dad taught me after I started something to always finish it,” Evie Clair, 13, said, according to Yahoo! News. “That’s why I’m fighting till the end just like he did.”
The teen’s performance of “What a Wonderful” world stunned the judges; it was a tribute to her late father, Amos Abplanalp. Evie is among the show’s final 10 contestants.
“I cannot believe the strength that I’m seeing in such a beautiful young girl. And this is a very dark time in your life. And we all go through dark times,” judge Howie Mandel said. “What gets us through is hoping and praying for that light at the end of the tunnel. And your voice and your song and your presence here is that light at the end of the tunnel. So thank you so much.”
Fellow judge Mel B also added kind words, saying that she knows Evie Clair’s dad is “looking down” and is “so, so, so proud.”
“What you just did was beautiful,” Mel B said. “It was so, like, pure and so raw. Well done.”
Simon Cowell was also moved, telling Evie Clair that the performance was the “perfect tribute” to her dad. He added, “I am very proud of you for what you’ve just done.”
An extended version of Evie Clair’s performance includes the judges’ commentary as well:
Evie Clair has continued on in the competition despite the Sept. 7 death of her father, Amos Abplanalp. You can read more about Amos and his family’s plight on Evie’s mom’s blog here.