If there was one person who always brought the house down on season 13 of America's Got Talent, it was Courtney Hadwin. Week after week, Howie Mandel's golden buzzer pick shocked the audience with her powerful renditions of "Papa Got a Brand New Bag," "Born to Be Wild," and so many more. So when it was time for AGT: The Champions to bring back the best of the best, it's no surprise that Courtney was asked to compete.
Looking back at her time on season 13, the judges and most AGT fans loved Courtney. But there were some who were caught up on the fact that the vocalist had competed on a major singing competition show before.
When America's Got Talent first introduced Courtney in the summer of 2018, they told her story about her growing up extremely shy in County Durham, England. But what wasn't mentioned was that in 2017 the English native landed in the top six on The Voice Kids U.K. Prior to that, playing young Cosette in Les Miserables.
Fans, apparently, weren't very pleased about these revelations ... or, at least, the fact that AGT didn't make her performance background very transparent:
Twitter outrage aside, Tom Storey, her grandfather, has addressed why Courtney opted to audition for the show after appearing on The Voice Kids U.K. He told the in June 2018 that he didn't think the U.K. got her and was "confident" that she'd do better in front of U.S. audiences.
Courtney also previously revealed to GoodHousekeeping.com that she felt she had more independence on AGT than she did on The Voice.
"The Voice Kids U.K. songs were chosen for me and I had to try and make them mine. With America's Got Talent, I'm allowed to be myself and I like that a lot," she told us.
It's important to point out that Courtney wasn't the only act who had competed on other shows before. , the 13-year-old singer who was eliminated in season 13's judge cuts, had been on several programs before AGT, including , , and . The Sacred Riana, who made it to the live shows in the same season, had also done her illusionist act in .
Even though Courtney's from the U.K., she technically didn't break any for America's Got Talent. There are no stipulations that specifically state that candidates who have appeared on other shows before cannot compete on AGT. Further, performers from other countries are usually a-okay too.
"International acts are eligible to participate in the initial AGT auditions on visitor visas," a spokesperson for the show told GoodHousekeeping.com. "If selected to proceed to the program live shows, AGT works with acts to secure appropriate performer visas which give acts authorization to perform throughout the series."
Besides that, acts must not be running for public office (or plan to until at least one year after their appearance on the show) and/or must not be a person who creates "impropriety." All ages and talents are accepted otherwise.
Bottom line: Courtney followed the rules the whole time she was on AGT and we really should focus on how incredible her vocals are. After Champions, who knows when we'll see her return to the show again, so let's enjoy her talent and ignore the internet chatter.