‘America’s Got Talent’: 10-Year-Old Performs Metal Song, Simon Cowell Says It Was Like ‘The Exorcist’

by Caitlin Berard

Tryouts for America’s Got Talent Season 17 are well underway, with night three of the auditions featuring some truly incredible performers, each of them hoping to make it one step closer toward the million-dollar prize. Host Terry Crews stood in the wings, welcoming performers to the stage, while Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, and Heidi Klum judged each contestant.

One by one, comedians, choral singers, dancers, ax throwers, and pranksters took the stage. Finally, it was Harper Akudama’s turn. Wearing a floral dress, the small girl walked to the middle of the stage, microphone in hand, drawing an “aww” from Heidi and a “so cute” from Sofia.

When the 10-year-old seemed slightly nervous, Heidi welcomed her father to take Howie Mandel’s seat, as the comedian was absent for a portion of the auditions. With her father in his front-row seat, Harper innocently announced that she was “a singer,” likely leading judges to believe she would soon break into a rendition of a Taylor Swift single.

Harper’s ‘America’s Got Talent’ Audition Takes an Unexpected Turn

After the introductions, it was time for Harper’s performance to begin. In an unexpected turn of events, the young girl from Somerset took a power stance, chanting, “Holly roller sits in the garden we fled. Blood into wine, take my body instead,” while a heavy instrumental began to build in the background.

With a small smile, Harper bounced back and forth to the music, her father beaming with pride from the judges’ table. As the music reached a crescendo, death metal growls that would make John Tardy proud erupted from the girl’s mouth, causing jaws to drop throughout the building.

While cheers built in the audience, Sofia Vergara watched the performance with a mixture of shock and amazement. Meanwhile, Simon Cowell looked nothing short of horrified, his eyes wide in bewilderment.

“Woah,” he said simply following the performance before giving the young metalhead a standing ovation. Cowell then asked her father what he thought of the girl’s unusual choice of song. “I love it,” he replied. “I’m so proud.”

Simon Cowell Calls Metal Performance ‘Brilliant’

Despite his reservations, Simon Cowell had no choice but to acknowledge Harper’s talent, the “singer” revealing she’s been a metal fan since the age of three. “That was brilliant,” he said. “I mean, brilliant. It was like a mouse turning into a vampire bat or something.”

Following the auditions, the America’s Got Talent judge hinted at what was to come with another incredible quote. “The second most terrifying was a girl who was ten years old,” Cowell recalled. “I won’t give it away, but I thought she was very sweet until she started to sing, and I actually called for a priest. It was like The Exorcist.”

The only reason Harper took second place on his list, by the way, is because he was almost decapitated with a flying ax in the same batch of auditions. To be fair, Howie Mandel did call this season “more dangerous.”