From the moment 12-year-old Grace Vanderwaal stepped onstage to audition for America’s Got Talent, she exuded the air of a superstar. Dressed in yellow jeans with a wide smile and bob haircut, her voice and ukulele shined from the word go.
What separated Vanderwaal from her counterparts was not one particular thing, but instead a winning combination: raw talent, creativity, determination and potential. The fact that she could stand in the top 5 among adults who have worked their entire lives for that moment, just shows how special she proved to be.
Vanderwall was never in the bottom 3 in any weeks of the elimination rounds, so even though she was a shoe-in for the finale, it was hard to not be nervous for her since the decision rested in America’s fickle hands.
Throughout the entire competition, Vanderwaal was visibly enthralled each time she advanced to a further round. Granted, though young, it’s still nice to see somebody who is so confident and poised while pursuing their passion, while their ego never gets in the way. She sang songs that she wrote herself, which takes major guts to do in front of millions of viewers on live television. They weren’t the type of song that made you think “aw how cute”, in a supportive yet overly-polite way due to her age; they made you say, “ok, there’s definitely a lot to this girl.”
While Vanderwaal is honored with the continuous comparisons to Taylor Swift, she’s dedicated to being a unique artist in her own right, and all the time in the world is on her side to see her grow into that.
Grace Vanderwaal introduced herself to the world with her song “I Don’t Know My Name”, but now the world certainly knows it, and it won’t be the last time they hear it.