Spoilers ahead for Episode 2 of America's Got Talent Season 18!
Season 18 of America's Got Talent continued its streak of memorable acts in the second episode, including a man who set himself on fire to throw knives at his mom, the Ramadhani Brothers defying gravity, and another incredible choir in the wake of the golden buzzer-winning Mzansi Youth Choir in the premiere. The contestant so remarkable that she got Simon Cowell to his feet with a request for an extra song and then later hitting his golden buzzer was a teenage musician by the name of Putri Ariani, and her performance is worth a watch and rewatch!
Putri Ariani came to AGT Season 18 (available streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription) all the way from Indonesia to sing and play piano, and she shared that her "biggest challenge" is that people look at her as "a blind person, not as a musician." The 17-year-old has a dream of attending Juilliard's college of music (as well as winning a Grammy), and while America's Got Talent isn't a Juilliard audition, she certainly impressed a room full of people. Take a look:
It can either be a very good sign or a very bad sign when Simon Cowell asks that a singer perform another song, although he often makes a straightforward request like singing a capella rather than with musical backing. He didn't make any specific requests of Putri Ariani other than she perform a second song, and his fellow judges were confused at even the idea that he wasn't impressed with her first one. He wasn't shy about praising her after she sang again, with her cover of Elton John's "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word."
And I would say that everybody wins after getting to hear Putri Ariani sing and play twice in one night! She was in tears after hearing all the applause, and being told she had the voice of an angel by Sofia Vergara and Howie Mandel only made her more emotional. Heidi Klum pointed out some specific parts of her first song that stood out, leading Ariani to reveal that her first song had been an original. Simon Cowell complimented her "distinctive voice" and "glow," and was so effusive on the whole that it would have almost been a bigger surprise if he didn't hit the golden buzzer for her!
Cowell wasn't done with the praise yet either, as he told her that he thinks she's "one of the best singers we've ever had on our show" when he went up to the stage to congratulate her. It was honestly such a show-stopping moment that I almost forgot that there was still another hour left in the episode! Between this episode and the premiere that featured a comedian channeling his inner Kevin Costner for a Yellowstone-themed set and shadow puppeteer with an unexpected audition on top of the golden buzzer-winning Mzansi Youth Choir, I would say that Season 18 is off to a very strong start.
Keep tuning in to NBC on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET for new episodes of America's Got Talent Season 18, and find more viewing options on our 2023 TV premiere schedule.