Ukelele-Playing ‘AGT’ Winner Reminded Simon Cowell of Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Idol’ Win
Once likened to Taylor Swift, now compared to Kelly Clarkson — things are certainly looking up for 12-year-old Grace VanderWaal, the latest winner of America's Got Talent.
Last night (September 14), after many viral performances of the contestant's own ukelele-painted tracks, VanderWaal officially took the Season 11 title, beating out a pair of self-proclaimed clairvoyants and a comedian who incorporated footballs into his act (sure!). She was the judges' clear favorite for weeks, but nevertheless devolved into sobs once Nick Cannon named her the official winner.
And for panelist Simon Cowell, the moment gave him a 14-year-spanning flashback to his days as a Season 1 American Idol judge, before VanderWaal was born.
"That moment at the end, it reminded me of the Kelly Clarkson moment. You know, when they said, 'And the winner is Kelly Clarkson,' " Cowell told People. "I kind of had that same feeling again when they read her name out, and I saw her reaction and she was literally in pieces. I like that though."
And VanderWaal, who won a million bucks and a showcase in Las Vegas as part of her champion's package, has big plans for her winnings. First: she wants to give a bunch to charity (requisite aww). Next, she literally just wants a treehouse.
"I want to go on Treehouse Masters and I want to get a treehouse," she confirmed.
Watch VanderWaal and Clarkson's winning moments above, and tell us if you see what Simon is saying.
Look Back at the American Idol Champs' Winning Faces: