Kristen Cruz needs no introduction to TikTok obsessives who love music with their video bites.
The teenage Texas native has accumulated 2.2 million followers, and her clips, many of which capture her singing while mixing drinks, have notched a staggering 3.1 billion views.
On Tuesday night (June 21), she made the crossover into mainstream, commercial TV with an audition on America’s Got Talent.
Cruz appears to be a regular 19-year-old kid. Until she sings.
The youngster hit a cover of “I See Red” by Everybody Loves An Outlaw with authority, and some big bluesy notes.
Cruz knew it was good. As the audience gushed, the youngster tried (and failed) to hold back tears.
“That was unbelievable,” Simon Cowell muttered. “Was that really you singing?”
Yeah, it was.
“You open your mouth,” fellow judge Howie Mandel enthused, “and you’re on fire.”
Heidi Klum loved what she heard. “You’re a star already in the making,” she said. “You just have a real gift. You have it.”
Sofia Vergara remarked on the singer’s power, confidence, and, yes, sexiness.
Cowell was impressed too, and caught off guard with her “seasoned” voice. “Your range, your tone,” he commented, “you have great taste by the way because it was a great great choice of song.”
The result was a no-brainer. Four yeses.
At the top, Cruz was asked of her ambitions. “To inspire people,” she remarked. “To make them feel like you don’t need to be anyone else, be yourself.”
With her performance, Cruz led by example.