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Courtney Hadwin: British teen through to America’s Got Talent semis

Courtney Hadwin and Howie MandelImage copyright
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Image caption

Courtney Hadwin with judge Howie Mandel, who gave her the golden buzzer in the audition

Fourteen-year-old Briton Courtney Hadwin has made it through to the America’s Got Talent semi-finals.

Courtney, from County Durham, wowed viewers with a storming performance of James Brown’s Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag in Wednesday’s live quarter-final.

Fans include actress Sharon Stone, who tweeted: “You go girl!!”

But some viewers questioned whether she’s more experienced than she appears after realising she made it to The Voice Kids UK final in 2017.

“She’s working the singing competition circuit. Stop with the shy kid act. It’s just that… an act,” wrote one Twitter user named Michelle P.

However, most of the voting viewers have been bowled over by her transformation from a quiet schoolgirl to a vocal powerhouse who blasts out blues and rock ‘n’ roll hits.

Courtney, from Peterlee, is in the running for the $1m (£750,000) prize on the NBC show.

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Media caption14-year-old Courtney Hadwin wowed the judges of America’s Got Talent.

Courtney competed in The Voice Kids UK last year but missed out on the top prize. She has also sung locally in Hartlepool.

She’s not the first British act to do well in America’s Got Talent, with ventriloquist Paul Zerdin winning the 2015 series.

A spokesperson said overseas acts are able to take part in the show’s auditions on visitor visas, and producers work with them to obtain the correct performer visas if they progress to the live shows.

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