Canada's Roberta Battaglia Covers Alessia Cara On 'AGT' Finals


Canada’s Roberta Battaglia is hoping her version of a song by Canadian artist Alessia Cara will be enough to win Season 15 of America’s Got Talent.

Battaglia, 11, covered Cara’s 2015 hit “Scars to Your Beautiful” on Tuesday’s episode. “Alessia Cara, I love you,” she said after her performance. “I love you Alessia!”

AGT judge (and Toronto native) Howie Mandel said he was proud of the young singer. "You are the one to beat tonight, I really believe that,” he said. “You have been an audience favourite throughout the season.

“And Canada! And also, isn’t the song from Canada, too? She’s Canadian.”

Judge Heidi Klum told Battaglia she was born to sing. “This is only the beginning for you,” she said. “You are absolutely incredible.”

Viewers in Canada are not eligible to vote but those in the U.S. have until 7 a.m. ET on Wednesday. The winner of this season of AGT will be revealed Wednesday just before 11 p.m. ET.

Although the show boasts about its "$1 million" grand prize, the winner actually chooses between receiving roughly $25,000 a year for 40 years or taking a lump sum estimated to be a little less than $200,000 (all figures U.S.). The much-hyped “headline show in Las Vegas” part of the grand prize is, in fact, simply the closing slot in a one-off show of AGT finalists at the Luxor.

Only one Canadian has ever won AGT – 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 is up against five other music acts – singers Cristina Rae, Archie Williams, Daneliya Tuleshova, Kenadi Dodds and duo Broken Roots. The other finalists are an aerialist, a poet, a salsa duo and an acrobatic trio.

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 pop stars like Miley Cyrus, Adele and Katy Perry.

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

At her audition, which was taped in February and aired in June, Battaglia got a “golden buzzer” from judge Sofia Vergara after singing “Shallow,” enabling her to go directly to the live shows.

In an episode last month, she performed Lauren Daigle’s “You Say” – and earned a shout-out from Daigle, who tweeted: "WOW girl you crushed it!!”

Battaglia followed up with a rendition of P!nk’s 2017 hit “What About Us.”

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