‘America’s Got Talent’: Simon Cowell Compares 9-Year-Old Opera Phenom to Carrie Underwood

by Madison Miller

Carrie Underwood may be the adored former “American Idol” star, but Simon Cowell is seeing a bit of her influence shining through on the “America’s Got Talent” stage.

Last night (August 17), Victory Brinker took the stage. She is a 9-year-old opera singer. Brinker actually concluded the night’s quarterfinals with her rendition of “Casta Diva.”

You may remember Brinker from her epic audition performance on “America’s Got Talent.” She earned the first-ever simultaneous Golden Buzzer from Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, Heidi Klum, and Howie Mandel.

“You have a unique special talent and I think you are incredible. It amazes me. I didn’t even know someone your age could be able to sing this way,” Cowell said regarding the singer’s performance. He then went on to compare her performances to Carrie Underwood.

Underwood was on “American Idol” during the fourth season in 2005. At the time, Cowell was also one of the judges, and, therefore, played a partial role in helping her get discovered and reach international fame. She is now a Grammy-winning artist and is considered one of the most successful to ever appear on the show, alongside Kelly Clarkson as well.

‘America’s Got Talent’ Contestant Compared to Carrie Underwood

It’s a massive compliment to be compared to the “Jesus Take the Wheel” singer. In addition to millions of fans, each of the judges on the show is always gushing over the talented and young opera singer.

“I thought someone needed years and years and decades of training and here you are doing it like it’s nothing … You have the most amazing gift. It almost sounds like it’s not real, it almost sounds like it’s not coming from you. I would say that you are the cherry on top of an amazing night tonight,” Heidi Klum said.

Simon Cowell isn’t really comparing the voices of the two female singers, given one sings opera and the other is a country music superstar. Rather, it’s a feeling he gets from both artists.

“I didn’t understand a lot about country music when I first met Carrie but you do know a star when you hear one and meet somebody. I think same with Victory about how little I know about opera and classical music — not much,” Cowell said in an interview with People.

He sees a real successful future ahead of Victory Brinker.

Cowell Shares Songs Not to Perform

Simon Cowell has really cemented himself as the spotter of irreplaceable talent over the years. This includes his time on “American Idol,” “America’s Got Talent,” as well as “The X Factor” and others.

According to a 2011 article from Billboard, Cowell shared a list of songs that should never be performed during singing competition shows.

This includes R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly,” Etta James’ “At Last,” The Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody,” Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours,” and John Legend’s “Ordinary People.”

Each song is for a different reason. He says that the John Legend song is never as good as the original and that the claim that “Unchained Melody” is his favorite song is false. Most entertaining, however, is the fact that he simply said “I’m allergic” in reference to “At Last.”

It’s likely his list has grown and evolved since 2011. However, if a contestant starts singing one of these hits, maybe prepare for the worst.