Canada's Roberta Battaglia Advances On 'AGT'


Toronto’s Roberta Battaglia earned enough votes from America’s Got Talent viewers to advance to the show’s semi-finals.

On Wednesday’s results episode, the young singer was one of only five competitors to make it through from the 11 that performed the previous night.

At her audition, taped in February and aired in June, Battaglia got a “golden buzzer” from judge Sofia Vergara, enabling her to advance to the live shows.

On Tuesday, after performing Lauren Daigle’s “You Say," Battaglia earned praise from all four judges. (Daigle tweeted: "WOW girl you crushed it!!)

“I cannot believe how spectacular you sing,” Vergara said. Heidi Klum called her “absolutely incredible.”

Kelly Clarkson, filling in for injured Simon Cowell, gushed: “You’re incredible. Your tone is so beautiful and it’s effortless … All the potential you have is insane.”

Battaglia’s fellow Toronto native Howie Mandel said he was blown away by her performance. “You have a good chance to winning this whole season,” he said.

If she does, Battaglia will be only the second Canadian to win AGT, after Vancouver-born magician Shin Lim in Season 13.

Despite the show’s popularity, singers who have won AGT have typically not gone on to fame and fortune.

Grace VanderWaal parlayed her Season 11 victory into modest success but previous winners Bianca Ryan, Kevin Skinner, Michael Grimm and Landau Eugene Murphy fizzled out. Neal E. Boyd died in 2018. Last season’s winner, singer Kodi Lee, has not followed up with any notable projects.

Battaglia started singing with her father Alessandro Battaglia when she was just three and has performed in English and Italian at events in Toronto for several years. Her YouTube channel has videos of Battaglia singing hits by Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and P!nk.

AGT discovered Battaglia after her cover of “Shallow” on a Toronto morning TV show last year went viral.

AGT boasts that its winner receives $1 million and “a headline show in Las Vegas” but, in fact, the grand prize is about $25,000 a year paid out over 40 years (the winner can choose to take a lump sum instead, estimated to be a little less than $200,000 after taxes) and the closing spot in an AGT variety show.