By Corey Atad.

A teen touched by tragedy blows away the “America’s Got Talent” audience.

On Tuesday’s episode, 18-year-old Ava Swiss took the stage to perform a cover of Lauren Daigle’s song “Remember”.

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Asked what inspired the choice of song, Swiss explained that she is a student at Oxford High School in Michigan, which was the side of a school shooting last year in which four of her fellow schoolmates were killed, and seven others injured, including a teacher.

“It’s been hard,” she said of coping with the event. “I remember my brother and I, we were talking to each other, and we said there’s no way we were ever stepping foot back in the school, but we’ve actually been in-person in school for about two months now, so things are getting better.”

Asked if music has been a form of therapy for her, Swiss said, “It definitely has been. When I sing, I remember the good, I remember my community, my family, just the love, and I remember that it’s all there for me, and it’ll help me get to where I need to be.”

After words of encouragement from Simon Cowell, the young singer performed the song with emotion and power, bringing the audience to tears and earning her a standing ovation from everyone, including the judges.

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“You really shined,” Howie Mandel told her.

Sofia Vergara said the performance “took my breath away,” and Cowell called her “gutsy” and said it was “one of those auditions I’ll never forget,” adding, “and on top of that, you’ve got a great voice.”

When it came time to vote, all four judges gave Swiss big yeses.

Speaking with WDIV-TV, Local 4 News in Michigan, Swiss said of performing on the show, “It’s honestly a little nerve-wracking, but I’m so excited. This is what I dreamed of ever since I was little. I’ve always wanted to share my voice with as many people as I can, and now I feel like I have a purpose in doing that. I’m so honoured that I can represent Oxford and our town, and I can send a good message thru my voice, so I’m just happy that I can reach as many people as I can now. My hope is that I can spread hope and healing with my voice.”


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Ellen Bullock