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Indonesian singer wows, grabs fourth place in AGT

JAKARTA (ANN/THE JAKARTA POST) – In a remarkable achievement, Indonesian-grown vocal sensation Putri Ariani, whose standout audition for America’s Got Talent (AGT) captured international attention in June, securing her fourth place in the fiercely competitive talent extravaganza.

The culmination of Season 18 of this widely acclaimed reality show unfolded on Wednesday night in the United States, revealing the top five contestants who had won the hearts of American viewers.

Emerging as the victor was Italian dog trainer Adrian Stoica, accompanied by his talented canine companion, Hurricane, surpassing the second-place magician Anna DeGuzman in a thrilling finale.

They were followed by dance group Murmuration in third, Putri in fourth, and then head-balancing duo the Ramadhani Brothers in fifth place.

Putri’s fourth-place win was met with resounding disappointment from the live audience. Though she appeared devastated, Putri received words of encouragement from AGT judge and creator Simon Cowell, who gave her the highly coveted Golden Buzzer during her audition.

“Nobody can take away the fact that you are an amazing, amazing singer […] and performer and person,” Cowell told Putri on Wednesday, as quoted by the show’s broadcaster NBC.

Putri expressed her gratitude on social media after the show, saying that AGT had been a “wonderful journey” and marked a “new beginning” for her.

“Thank you so much for your amazing support. Please keep supporting me throughout my career,” she wrote on Instagram on Thursday.

Hailing from Yogyakarta, the 17-year-old vocalist has won acclaim from judges and viewers alike. A clip of her AGT audition went viral around the world for her singing chops in a cover of Elton John’s “Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word” and her original song, “Loneliness”.

Putri automatically advanced to the live shows on receiving Cowell’s Golden Buzzer in June. This also catapulted her to celebrity status back home, and she and her family received an invitation from President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to visit the State Palace that same month.

Compliments kept pouring in for Putri in the semifinals earlier this month when she covered U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, receiving high praise from the Irish rock band’s frontman Bono.

During the final on Tuesday night, Putri sang her rendition of another Elton John song, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”, backed by a choir for the first time in her appearance on the show.

“I have no doubt in my mind [that] if this was just a singing competition, I think you just won it, hands down,” said AGT judge Howie Mandel, commenting on Putri’s final performance.

Putri was diagnosed with retinopathy and has been blind since her premature birth in Riau. She has been singing and writing songs from a young age and previously competed in The Voice Kids Indonesia, from which she was eliminated. She won Indonesia’s Got Talent in 2014 when she was only 8 years old.

This year’s AGT champion Stoica has won a USD1 million cash prize and headlines the “America’s Got Talent Presents Superstars Live” show next month at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring the show’s past winners and fan favourites.

Indonesian vocalist Putri Ariani sings as she plays the piano on September 5, 2023 in the semi-finals of ‘America’s Got Talent’, now in its 18th season. PHOTO: ANN/THE JAKARTA POST SOURCE