Simon Cowell Gave This AGT Contestant 3 Chances to Sing, and Boy, She Rose to the Challenge

Ashley Marina’s America’s Got Talent audition is proof that sometimes the third time really is the charm. The 12-year-old singer made her debut on an episode of the competition series that aired Tuesday, but it didn’t quite go as smoothly as expected. The adorable Pittsburgh native and guinea pig owner took the stage and began by belting out Martina McBride’s “Anyway.” About halfway through the performance, judge Simon Cowell paused her to ask if she could sing a second song a cappella, explaining, “I think you’ve got a good voice. It’s a good song, but not right for you, the first one.” (We’ll just have to agree to disagree on that one, Cowell.)

Without hesitation, Marina confidently launched into Sia’s “Opportunity” from the 2014 Annie soundtrack, but before she could finish the first verse, Cowell intervened yet again. “I think you brought the wrong songs today,” he said, adding that he would let her come back later that day to re-audition with a brand-new song choice. Marina wound up picking a tear-jerking original song about her dad, titled “You’ll Always Be My Hero,” and boy, did she nail it.

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