'America's Got Talent' on NBC: Who is Merissa Beddows? Opera singer stuns judges with uncanny celeb impressions

'America's Got Talent' on NBC: Who is Merissa Beddows? Opera singer stuns judges with uncanny celeb impressions
Opera singer Merissa Beddows on 'America's Got Talent' Season 17 (Trae Patton/ NBC)

When Merissa Beddows walked onto 'America's Got Talent' stage for her audition and announced that she was an opera singer, judge Simon Cowell's instant reaction was to whisper "whoopie" in fellow judge Sofia Vergara's ear before she even began her performance. But the judges were awestruck once Merissa started singing and adding in celebrity impressions to her performance.

By the end of Merissa's performance, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara, and even Simon Cowell gave Merissa a standing ovation! Keep reading if you're curious to know more about Merissa and her incredible performance that left the judges lost for words.


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Who is Merissa Beddows?

Merissa Beddows is a 23-year-old student at Curtis Institute of Music, Pennsylvania. She identifies herself as an opera singer with a passion for impressions. One look at her Instagram or TikTok, and you'll be wowed by her talent for blending opera with celebrity impressions! The talented New Yorker has over 745K followers on her TikTok! Merissa also gives voice lessons.

She linked a GoFundMe campaign that she created for her mother on her social media profiles. On the GoFundMe page, Merissa explained that she's trying to raise funds for her mother's medical expenses, who suffered a series of medical emergencies that have resulted in hospitalizations. The opera singer revealed that her mother has been disabled and unemployed for years and her father has since passed on. Merissa has been her mother’s caregiver and primary advocate since she was 11. She's trying to raise $25K to get her mother long-term care.

"My goal is to raise $25K to send my mom to a long-term facility where I know she will be in safe hands. This would cover the first few months of care, until her inpatient Medicaid takes effect," she wrote in the fundraiser campaign. "My dream is to be able to continue my studies in school without having to worry about my mother’s health constantly. My mother has truly been through hell and back and deserves nothing but the best. I will fight with all of my strength and resolve until she gets what she needs," she added.

Currently, Merissa managed to raise a little over $4,500 of her $25K goal amount, hopefully, her 'AGT' exposure will help her with meeting the campaign goal amount and taking care of her mother's medical expenses. 


Merissa Beddows on 'America's Got Talent' Season 17

Merissa began her act by handing over a giant dice with various celebrity names written on it to Heidi. She then told the judges that she would sing 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' in her original voice, and then move to impressions of the names that Heidi picked from the dice. While Merissa's original vocals were spectacular, her impressions were nothing short of flawless. She kicked off the impressions by hitting the high notes like Ariana Grande, before moving on to mimic her grandmother. She also did impressions of Stevie Nicks, Celine Dion, and Snow White, before concluding her act with Siri's take on the classic song!

The judges appreciated her performance with a standing ovation, while fans couldn't stop singing her praises. A fan commented on the show's YouTube clip of her performance with, "Me at first : ah another opera singer , she will do good and get through .... ariana parts started , WOW AMAZING 🙌🙌🙌." Another fan wrote, "This woman is a legend, she deserves the Golden Buzzer for her talent!"

"When she sang as herself I almost thought she was impersonating Judy Garland, she sounds incredible! That Siri impression killed me!" shared a fan. "Basically she’s a genius genuine singer with her on voice , plus she can be all of those legends. She raise the bar really high," declared a fan.

You can watch Merissa's audition clip here:


America's Got Talent' Season 17 airs on Tuesdays at 8 pm on NBC. Following the show's premiere, you can catch all-new episodes every Tuesday from 8 to 10 pm. ET/PT. For viewers who wish to tune in to the show without cable, they can do so using any of the following streaming services: Sling TV, fuboTV, Hulu With Live TV, AT&T TV, or YouTube TV.

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