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She almost lost. But this ‘small-town girl from Utah’ just landed in the ‘AGT’ finals

Kenadi Dodds is now just one performance away from potentially winning ‘America’s Got Talent’

Kenadi Dodds is pictured during her performance for the semifinal round of “America’s Got Talent.”
Chris Haston/NBC

SALT LAKE CITY — Kenadi Dodds is now just one performance away from potentially winning “America’s Got Talent.”

The 15-year-old country singer is one of 10 acts moving on to the show’s finale, which airs Sept. 22.

But her spot wasn’t secure until the very end of Wednesday night’s show. After Tuesday night’s semifinal round, viewers’ votes showed that Kenadi fell somewhere in the fourth- to sixth-place range. The young singer was one of three acts viewers had the chance to save.

And in the end, they came to her rescue. Kenadi got the most online votes.

“You really deserve going to the finale,” “AGT” judge Heidi Klum told the young singer.

A beaming Kenadi immediately shared her excitement on Facebook, saying it was a “crazy few minutes” waiting to hear her fate.

“It was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever went through, and I don’t want to go through it again,” she said in a video. “But I’m so grateful that you guys helped me get to the finals. I am just beyond words right now.”

“I am just so overwhelmed right now,” she continued. “I’m really excited to show you my next song and to step it up and do my best. I won’t let you guys down.”

Posted by Kenadi Dodds Music on Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Throughout the season, the country singer from Logan — who was one of the last people to audition before “AGT” shut down production in March — has taken a more unique path on the show, choosing to perform her own music rather than covers (although she did sing a Thomas Rhett number for the semifinals).

“A lot of country songs that I liked (growing up) didn’t quite fit my image lyrically, and I couldn’t relate to a lot of them,” she previously told the Deseret News. “And so I started writing songs so that I could relate. … Also, you can’t have a career just doing covers. You need to have your original work.”

When her audition first aired in July, Kenadi told the Deseret News that regardless of how far she went on “AGT” she hoped the show would bring her closer to her dream of being a country star — something she’s envisioned since 2015, when she saw Shania Twain from the front row at Salt Lake City’s Vivint Arena.

“Being a small-town girl from Utah, it’s not something most people my age dream about,” she told “AGT” host Terry Crews after her performance during the semifinals, adding that being on the show “is just amazing and a blessing in itself.”

Here’s a look at the nine other acts moving on to the “AGT” finale.

Kenadi Dodds is pictured during the quarterfinal round of “AGT.” The 15-year-old singer is one of 10 acts in this season’s finale.
Kenadi Dodds is pictured during the quarterfinal round of “AGT.” The 15-year-old singer is one of 10 acts in this season’s finale.
Chris Haston, NBC

Broken Roots

The Chicago-based singing duo was originally eliminated during the Judge Cuts round, but got a second chance when another act dropped out.

Joey Karczewski and Austin Weinstock both have law enforcement careers but use music as an outlet to relieve the stresses of their jobs. The musicians met just six months before trying out for “AGT,” and, according to their audition clip, the audition marked the first time the pair performed together on stage.

Brandon Leake

The spoken-word poet was “AGT” judge Howie Mandel’s choice for the Golden Buzzer. One of the first spoken-word acts on the show, Leake’s audition clip, a powerful tribute to his sister, has more than 6 million views on YouTube. Since his audition, the 27-year-old poet has gone on to grapple with subjects like racial injustice and his father’s absence from his life.

Roberta Battaglia

The young singer, who turned 11 last month, was “AGT” judge Sofia Vergara’s choice for the Golden Buzzer. The powerhouse singer from Canada performed Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s “Shallow” for her audition, which now has more than 32 million views on YouTube.

Alan Silva

The aerial artist comes from a long line of circus performers — his brother, Alfredo Silva, actually competed on “AGT” a few years back. During his audition, Silva said he’s been bullied his whole life and that people doubted his acrobatic abilities due to his size.

Archie Williams

Prior to his “AGT” audition, Archie Williams was incarcerated for 37 years for a crime he didn’t commit. He was released last year, thanks to DNA testing. During his audition, the singer from Louisiana said he sometimes watched “AGT” during his imprisonment and would envision himself on the show.

“I went to prison, but I never let my mind go to prison,” he said. “I would pray and sing. This is how I got peace.”

Williams sang Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me” — a performance that now has more than 9 million views on YouTube. During the semifinal round, the singer was pushed through to the finals thanks to a save from the judges.

Daneliya Tuleshova

Daneliya Tuleshova is one of several young singers who have competed in this season of “AGT.” The 14-year-old singer from Kazakhstan wowed all four judges with her sound during the audition round.

“There’s a very interesting thing happening in the music business at the moment where people your age, it’s kind of like your time,” Cowell told her during the audition. ... “You’ve got great taste. ... You’ve got a real, real shot here.”

Cristina Rae

Nashville-based singer Cristina Rae auditioned for “AGT” so she could better support her 4-year-old son, Jeremiah.

“I need this to change my life. I’m a single mom,” she said during her audition, adding that she was temporarily homeless. “This could change my life by putting us in a home, my own home.”

During her audition, the singer belted Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” and the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter.” That audition led to a standing ovation from all four judges and has been viewed more than 16 million times on YouTube. Klum gave Rae the Golden Buzzer, immediately sending her to the live shows.

Bello Sisters

The acrobatic trio of sisters hope to open their own family show in Las Vegas — a longtime dream for their circus family. During their audition, the sisters performed what the judges called “humanly impossible” tricks, and earned a standing ovation. Their audition has been viewed 5.5 million times on YouTube.

BAD Salsa

The India-based dancing duo was one of three acts that needed saving during Wednesday night’s episode. Ultimately, it was the judges who unanimously decided to push the fast-moving dancers through to the final round.

BAD Salsa’s audition for “AGT” has nearly 20 million views on YouTube.