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Lindsey Stirling is returning to the stage where judges once ripped her apart

‘You’re not good enough, I don’t think, to get away with flying through the air and trying to play the violin at the same time,’ ‘AGT’ judge Piers Morgan told Stirling in 2010

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Violinist Lindsey Stirling participates in AOL’s BUILD Speaker Series at AOL Studios on June 16, 2015, in New York.

Violinist Lindsey Stirling participates in AOL’s BUILD Speaker Series at AOL Studios on June 16, 2015, in New York. Stirling will perform on “America’s Got Talent” Wednesday night.

Andy Kropa, Invision/Associated Press

During a recent Facebook event with David Archuleta and Derek Hough, Lindsey Stirling recalled the pressure of competing on a reality show like “America’s Got Talent.”

“Personally I feel like there has never been anywhere that has made me feel so terrified and so nervous as when you’re about ready to go live on one of those shows,” she said during the event last week.

It’s been over a decade since Stirling made her national TV debut on “America’s Got Talent.” While her initial audition in 2010 got votes of approval from all three judges, the rising artist faced harsh criticism as the competition progressed.

“You’re not untalented, but you’re not good enough, I don’t think, to get away with flying through the air and trying to play the violin at the same time,” “AGT” judge Piers Morgan told Stirling after hitting a buzzer that indicated he didn’t enjoy her performance.

He added that at times, her performance sounded “like a bunch of rats being strangled.”

“AGT” judge Sharon Osbourne, meanwhile, told Stirling that her unique skillset as a dancer and violinist wouldn’t be able to fill a theater in Las Vegas.

“You need to be in a group,” Osbourne said.

After that feedback, Stirling went backstage and cried in a bathroom until a custodian kicked her out.

Now, with millions of fans and several worldwide tours to her name, Stirling is returning to the stage where judges ripped her apart and doubted her career would ever take off.

On Wednesday night, Stirling will return to “America’s Got Talent” as a special guest, performing her hit song “Crystallize” alongside magician Shin Lim, a two-time “AGT” champion, according to a news release sent to the Deseret News.

It’s a full-circle moment for Stirling, who recalled during last week’s Facebook event how she “was not a seasoned performer” when she first appeared on the show, and that she was especially susceptible to criticism.

“People have to remember that these people that go on these reality shows are not used to that kind of adrenaline, they’re not used to performing like that,” said Stirling, who has since performed for “AGT” a few times and competed on “Dancing With the Stars.”

But over the years, Stirling has proved the “AGT” judges and many other doubters wrong. She’s performed solo tours throughout the world and collaborated with artists ranging from John Legend to country duo Dan + Shay. And despite Morgan’s criticism of her sound, she’s attracted 13 million subscribers on YouTube.

That doesn’t mean she’s immune to moments of self-doubt, though. Even with all of her success, even as she’s currently touring the U.S. in support of her latest album “Artemis,” Stirling said she sometimes still finds herself pushing away critical thoughts.

“I can’t even tell you … how many times every night on stage in the middle of the performance I will say to myself, ‘I’m giving a gift. I’m just here to give a gift,’” she said during the Facebook event with Archuleta and Hough. “And I usually say that when I start to feel like, ‘Oh my gosh, I was out of tune. Oh my gosh, I missed a step.’ ... Before I can spiral I say, ‘I’m just here to give a gift. I’m enough.’”

Stirling still has her critics. But she chooses to focus on the fans. And after her performance on “AGT” Wednesday night, that fanbase will likely expand to include even more people.

“To this day, there’s still people that think I’m a terrible violinist and think what I do is really ridiculous,” she previously told the Deseret News. “I think it’s just important to remember that there’s always positive and negative around you, and it’s up for us to decide where we’re going to focus and put our energy. Consistently, whether it’s through my art or whether it’s just the way I’m living my life, I try really hard to focus on the positive, and I think that’s the key to living happy and being successful.”

Note: “America’s Got Talent” airs Wednesday at 7 p.m. on NBC.