'America's Got Talent' recap: 9-year-old girl inspires with big voice, health struggles

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[Spoiler alert! The following contains spoilers from season 12 of “America’s Got Talent.”]

The second round of auditions for season 12 of “America’s Got Talent” returned Tuesday night. While last week’s episode ranged from the fantastic to the fantastically bad, the second installment took things to a new level. From little girls with big voices to a distressing man in a leotard, the night’s real theme ended up being incredibly inspirational people.

While the show ended on a high note, things kicked off rather slowly with a woman and her dog that left the audience cringing with her lackluster performance. However, her pooch’s impressive ability to do math was enough to send her through to the next round. Another contestant, Jimmy Sionina, was not as lucky and was sent home after he claimed to be one-half of a hand-balancing act. Viewers were led to believe that his partner didn’t make it in time for their performance, but when the time for the show came, it was revealed that his partner was actually an inflatable woman doll. Undeterred, Sionina continued to do his various poses with the doll, eventually deflating her before the judges cast their final ruling.

The night took a turn for the better with several jaw-dropping performances. A clear highlight was 9-year-old Angelica Hale from Atlanta. The young girl’s inspirational story began with a pneumonia diagnosis that turned into a failing liver. Her parents said they believed they were going to lose their daughter for good, but her mother managed to donate her organ and save her daughter’s life. As a result, Angelica was able to take the “America’s Got Talent” stage and blow people out of the water with an amazing song, receiving a standing ovation from both the crowd and the judges.

Capping off the evening was Angelica’s only real rival of the night, Mandy Harvey. This young woman overcame similar adversity in college. While studying music, she tragically lost her hearing to a nerve condition. Unable to turn her back on music for good, she learned to hold a note by using a combination of a guitar tuner, vibrations from the tempo and trust in her pipes to deliver a performance. It was so moving that Simon Cowel used his golden buzzer to send her through to the next round without any questions asked.