Brooke Simpson of Halifax County will be vying to become champion of the “America’s Got Talent” competition tonight, and she is seeking support from area residents in helping her gain the title.
Simpson, a native of Hollister and member of the Haliwa-Saponi tribe, was one of 10 winners of the semi-finalist round last week. She won her spot as a finalist contender with her cover of Ed Sheeran’s “Bad Habits.”
Judge Simon Cowell said after that performance that she has earned her spot in the final showdown.
That showdown will come at 8 p.m. tonight on NBC. Voting for the performances will begin tonight and end on Wednesday morning.
Simpson is no stranger to such competitions. In 2017, she won third place on Season 13 of “The Voice” after being coached by singer Miley Cyrus. Now, she faces a different form of competition as she vies against nine other acts from various genres.
“With America’s Got Talent, she is competing against people with all kinds of talents, not just singers,” Brooke Simpson’s father Mike Mills said Monday in an interview.
He and his wife Jimelle have nurtured Brooke’s talent since she began performing at the age of two and toured with the Mills Family Singers during her youth.
Now a rising star in the music industry, Mills said his daughter was asked to compete on “America’s Got Talent.”
“Usually, people compete in local and regional competitions before they get a chance to be heard by any of the judges on the show. But someone contacted her and suggested she try out because they heard her performances on You Tube videos,” Mill said.
Mills said Simpson was touring with her music before COVID struck the country and shut down many of the performance venues. He is hoping that the competition will bring her back into the national spotlight.
“Her social media presence has already seen a big boost since the show began,” he said.
After the Voice competition ended, Simpson came back to Hollister to meet with students at the Haliwa-Saponi Tribal School. At that event, Simpson spoke with a Telegram reporter.
“You should never give up and always be proud of where you came from,” Simpson said in that interview.
Simpson has not been able to travel to North Carolina much since the pandemic began. However, she did perform in May at a hot air balloon festival in Louisburg, Mills said.
With more years and more experience behind her, Simpson is poised to do well in the final round of “America’s Got Talent.” Mills said the past few weeks have been interesting, watching from afar as Simpson performs at the event in California, the state she now calls home.
“It has been a roller coaster ride,” Mill said. “We have been in contact with her almost daily, usually though texts — she needs to rest her voice between practices and performances.”
Mills and his family will not be able to attend the final performance in person, though they will be there in spirit.
“Because of the pandemic, the studio is not letting in as many family members as they did in the past,” Mills said.
However, Mills is participating in a Facebook Live event that will be taking place on Brooke Simpson’s Facebook page.
Mills is urging local residents, family, friends and fans to support Simpson during the final competition by voting for her. People can cast their votes in two ways: by downloading the “America’s Got Talent” App or by logging into https://agt.vote.nbc.com. Voters are allowed to cast up to 10 votes by each method, Mills said.
Voting begins during the competition Tuesday and ends at 7 a.m. Wednesday. The results of the voting will be shown on Wednesday night’s show.
“At this point, regardless of how well the competitors perform, the decision really boils down to the vote,” Mills said. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a North Carolina girl win?”