‘America’s Got Talent’: How One Contestant Honored Olivia Newton-John Through Her Performance

by Tia Bailey
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America’s Got Talent” is currently in the live show portion of their season. One act honored the late Olivia Newton-John with their performance.

The competition show has a different live show setup this season as opposed to previous years. The judges have narrowed down the contestants to 55 people, and are doing five qualifying rounds. They can then only choose two from 11 to move on to the finale.

Judge Simon Cowell spoke to PEOPLE about the changes.

“Not knowing what’s going to happen until it happens, I think, makes it more exciting,” Cowell said to the publication. “Compared to where we were a year ago, where seven people went through per night, I didn’t feel there was much at stake, if I’m being honest.”

Now, in Week 3 of live shows, we have seen many talented acts. Ventriloquist Celia Munoz had chosen to do a “Grease” tribute even before Newton-John’s death.

“I chose the song before Olivia Newton-John passed away,” she said. “Like, I’m watching Grease because I’m a super fan of the movie, and I love Olivia Newton-John, and then she passed away after. Then I said, ‘Now I really have to do well in this act because now it has become a tribute to this wonderful artist that we all love, and she brought so much joy.’ So for that day, I went crazy and rehearsed.”

Munoz’s performance was set in a drive in, and she ate popcorn, drank milkshakes, and sang “Hopelessly Devoted to You.”

“America’s Got Talent” Act Pays Tribute to Olivia Newton-John

“The idea was like a cinema because when you watch a movie, there [are] voices going on and songs, and I want to sing because I’m a singer,” Munoz said. “Then of course when I thought of a movie, I thought it has to be Grease. It has to be Grease because people love Grease. I love Grease and I love Olivia Newton-John. So I chose the song before she passed away, and then once she passed away then of course it has become even deeper feeling for the act because it’s now a tribute.”

Newton-John sadly passed away on August 8 due to breast cancer. Her husband, John Easterling, shared a post about his wife’s death. He wrote: “Dame Olivia Newton-John (73) passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends. We ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time. Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer. Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations be made in her memory to the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund.”

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