While opera singers often grace the America’s Got Talent auditions in hopes of proceeding to the next round, Merissa Beddows may be the first voice-shifting opera vocalist to step foot on that stage.
The 23-year-old New Yorker appeared onstage in front of judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Sofia Vergara, introducing herself as an opera singer who is also a student at the Curtis Institute of Music.
“Whoopee,” Cowell whispered to Vergara sarcastically, clearly not a fan of opera music. Then, in a surprising twist, Klum was handed a large die, with different names on each side. “Heidi, I’d like to play a game,” Beddows explained to the model. “This die has six of my most favorite impressions that I do on it. I’m going to begin singing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ as me, and then I’m going to ask you to give me a name.”
The music then began with Beddow’s rich vocals, before she seamlessly transitioned through flawless impressions of Ariana Grande, Stevie Nicks, Celine Dion, Snow White, Apple digital assistant Siri and even her own grandmother.
The performance was met with a standing ovation by all four judges. Watch the full audition below, and see if Beddows makes it to the next round by tuning in to America’s Got Talent on Tuesday (June 28) at 8 p.m. on NBC.