Darci Lynne Returns To “AGT” & Shocks Judges With Unexpected Performance

America's Got Talent / YouTube

Darci Lynne Aims To “Show A New Side” Of Herself During Return Performance On AGT Stage

Darci Lynne was only 12 years old when she auditioned for (and eventually won) America’s Got Talent. Viewers loved her unique performances, which blended elements of ventriloquy, comedy, and singing.

Her audition performance with her bunny puppet, Petunia, earned a Golden Buzzer from Judge Mel B.

Now 19, Darci still sings and performs ventriloquy. But she’s obviously grown up a lot since her initial days on AGT, and she’s ready to “show a new side” of herself.

Darci is currently competing on the new AGT spin-off series, America’s Got Talent: Fantasy League. Much to Mel B’s dismay, Heidi Klum swooped in and claimed Darci for her own fantasy team before she could.

She Surprises AGT Judges By Doing Something New

In rehearsals, Darci teased how she wanted to “show a new side” of herself and introduce “Darci 2.0.” She fears being “put into a box,” and wants viewers to know there is more to her than just ventriloquy.

She wouldn’t tell Heidi what she planned to do during her performance. So she was just as shocked as all of the other judges when Darci pulled off something entirely unexpected.

Darci started her performance as she usually would, with a little back-and-forth banter with Petunia. She then started singing, and switched between her voice and Petunia’s, also per usual.

But after that, Darci stepped away from Petunia and grabbed a guitar. She started singing all on her own, showcasing the power of her voice. Then, she upped the ante by occasionally switching back into Petunia’s voice…still singing with her mouth closed.

The judges were shocked and surprised, to say the least!

AGT judge Heidi Klum reacts when Darci Lynne steps away from her puppet Petunia to show a new side of herself as a performer
America’s Got Talent / YouTube

How Did The Judges Respond To The New Darci Lynne?

Although they were surprised by her performance, some of the judges were not on board with the idea of “Darci 2.0.” Both Mel B and Simon Cowell wished she would have kept things true to what made her so beloved during her run on AGT in 2017.

Simon specifically said the change “distracted” from what Darci does “so brilliantly.” He said there aren’t many people in the world who can do the things she can, and this performance (in his mind) detracted from her “unique selling point.”

Heidi complimented her team member’s performance, telling her she was “fantastic.” But even she noted how important it was to still see elements of ventriloquy in her act.

“I’m glad you didn’t abandon Petunia all the way because this is how we fell in love with you,” she said.

After Darci walked offstage, host Terry Crews asked if she thought she took a “big risk” by stepping away from Petunia. She answered, “It’s definitely different, but it’s just a new part of me.”

How Did Viewers Respond To the Change?

Viewers at home seemed to be more receptive to Darci’s performance. Some of the top YouTube comments reflect that:

“She didn’t fully overshadow ventriloquism, she still did it without controlling petunia. I love this risk she did, she gave a killer performance.”

“Honestly loved this switch-up for Darci! She didn’t completely abandon her roots but also she doesn’t just want to be stuck in her bubble and do the same things over and over like some others acts are comfortable doing. Love variety, so much respect for her…”

“I love the idea that Darci decided to do something a little different, she can play guitar and can sing like an angel, and didn’t stop doing her ventriloquism during her performance!”

“This performance stands as a lesson. Yes, the interaction with the puppets IS what made us love her, but she doesn’t want it to be the ONLY thing we know her for. And people change. If she wants to branch out more, that’s her right.”

In the end, the audience voted to send Darci through to the next round…so we’ll get to see another performance from her! Watch her latest performance with the surprise twist below.