Peter Rosalita's 'America's Got Talent' semi-final song leaves Simon Cowell emotional

The Abu Dhabi schoolboy opened the show and once again wowed the audience and judges

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After a slight hiccup at the beginning of his performance, Abu Dhabi’s Peter Rosalita blew the America’s Got Talent judges away once again with another standout performance.

The singer, aged 10, opened the semi-final of the televised talent show on Tuesday evening, with a rendition of Mariah Carey’s Without You. However, due to the cheering crowd, Peter missed his cue at the start of the song, and asked to start over.

Luckily, he was completely unfazed by the misstep and went on to deliver a rousing performance, which left all four judges – and the audience – on their feet.

He even made Simon Cowell, the show’s notoriously hard to please lead judge, emotional.

“I absolutely loved that performance … the fact that you knew that you missed the intro, you took control on a live show and said ‘let’s start again’, and I’m thinking ‘good for you’,” said Cowell. “And then you delivered that amazing vocal and I was thinking about the lyric of the song and I was thinking about my little boy and I got all emotional.

“I really like you Peter. I think America is going to love you and they are going to love that performance. Good for you.”

The show’s other judges – Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara and Howie Mandel – praised Peter’s professionalism for the way he handled the hiccup at the beginning of the performance.

“When you watch a true professional in any game, it’s how do they deal with adversity … that wasn’t even your fault, the crowd was screaming, you couldn’t hear the music,” said Mandel. “And you did better than someone 10 times your age.

“The song was spectacular,” Vergara said. “You’re a little boy with this diva voice.”

Peter will find out whether he has made it to the America’s Got Talent finals on Wednesday night’s results show.

Peter’s mother, Vilma Villegas, who watched the performance from her home in Abu Dhabi, said she was both nervous and excited.

“Peter just keeps surprising us each and every time because he has this ability to always outdo himself,” she tells The National. “We are just in awe of the wonderful journey he is experiencing now and we can see how happy it is making him.

“To all the supporters, I would like to thank each and every one.”

After the show, Peter tweeted: “Without you guys, this wouldn't be possible. I'm so grateful for all your support. And again I need your vote!”

Peter, a Grade 5 student at Richmindale school in Abu Dhabi, became an internet sensation in June after his audition for America’s Got Talent was posted online.

The video, in which the youngster performs a version of the Eric Carmen and Celine Dion song All By Myself, has been viewed more than seven million times since it was uploaded on June 2.

An only child, Peter lives with his parents and aunt, Mary Jane Villegas, in Abu Dhabi. Mary Jane, who is also his guardian, is accompanying him in the US.

"Peter has had various experiences in competitions, which we believe has instilled in him the sense of valuing hard work and realising that it may or may not always end up with a win,” Vilma said. "He knows that what matters most is giving his best each and every time he performs.”

Updated: September 02, 2021, 5:36 AM