'AGT's' Evie Clair Honors Late Father with Emotional Tribute

'AGT's' Evie Clair Honors Late Father with Emotional Tribute
NBC

It was an emotional night on “America’s Got Talent” as Evie Clair returned to the show after the death of her father Amos Abplanalp.

Amos, 42, died Sept. 7 after a battle with cancer.

On Tuesday, the 13-year-old honored her dad with a pre-taped package where she reflected on the lessons she learned from him.

"My dad was one of the bravest people I knew,” she said. “He always taught us to follow our dreams."

Clair said that it was Amos that helped her find the strength to carry on, "My dad taught me, after I started something, to always finish it. That's why I'm fighting to the end, just like he did."

After the pre-taped segment, Evie performed a touching and melancholy cover of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.” Watch it here.

She received a standing ovation from the crowd, including her own family, and the judges were in awe of her strength.

Howie Mandel told her, "Our hearts and our souls go out to you, Evie. I know that your father passed this week, and I cannot believe the strength that I'm seeing in such a beautiful young girl. This is a very dark time your life… what gets us through is that light at the end of the tunnel. Your voice and your song and your presence here is that light at the end of the tunnel.”

Mel B, who recently lost her own father, said, "I know you're dad's up there, looking down on you, and he must be so, so proud, because what you just did was beautiful. It was so pure and so raw."

Heidi told her, “I can’t imagine what your family must be going through right now and I just want to say that you are one brave little young lady and one amazing singer.”

Simon Cowell called it the “perfect tribute,” adding, "Your voice was beautiful, your song was beautiful and I'm very proud of you for what you've just done.”

“Extra’s” Terri Seymour spoke with Evie after the show about her decision to return for the finals.

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“I feel great that I came back,” she said. “I was really struggling whether I wanted to come back. I didn’t talk to my family. I made the decision on my own.”

She continued, “At first when my dad passed away I was like, ‘There is no way I’m going back. I cannot do this.’ And when it was time for me to go I was like, ‘I need to do this… Glad I was able to perform. I’m really grateful to be here.”

Clair said she relied on her faith, “I just prayed a lot that I would know what to do… I just had a really strong feeling I should come back and do this one more time.”

The teen said the experience was an amazing ride, her favorite part being "seeing everyone take me into their arms and just love our family and get to know us and help us.”

Evie says she isn’t sure what she will do with the $1 million prize if she wins. “I was going to use the money to find a cure for my dad, now I don’t know what I would do.” She said she wasn’t expecting to make it past the quarter finals.

The finals results for “America’s Got Talent” will be revealed on Wednesday at 8 p.m. on NBC.

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