Meet the 15-year-old who wowed Simon Cowell on America’s Got Talent
- Credit: Archant
From performing in his school Hairspray production to being given a private tour of Universal Studios in LA – rising star Jacob Norton has been living every teenagers dream.
The Gilberd School pupil was whisked across the pond earlier this year, after successfully getting through to the audition stages of America's Got Talent.
Jacob, who says his main inspirations are Michael Buble and Araiana Grande, received four yeses from the star-studded judging panel featuring Simon Cowell, Howie Mandell, Julianne Hough and Gabrielle Union - sending him through to the judge's cuts.
Speaking of his experience Jacob, from Colchester, said: "It was unbelievable really - to have had this opportunity at such a young age and to meet Simon Cowell, it's been incredible.
"I've watched Simon on TV for years, so it was great getting a yes from him and receiving a standing ovation from Howie Mandell was amazing."
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Jacob was one of 75,000 people who applied for season 14 of the hit show, which began in 2006 and was then brought over to the UK for Britain's Got Talent the following year.
The 15-year-old performed Michael Buble's Sway - after flying out to California where he performed at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium - the same stage where Michael Jackson unveiled the moonwalk.
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He was then chosen as one of 80 contestants that were sent through to the judges cuts, where his journey on the show sadly came to an end following his rendition of Michael Buble's Crazy Little Thing Called Love.
Jacob added: "The whole experience was a whirlwind, but it was amazing when I was flown over for a week in April.
"I got to visit the set of Hairspray Live and we went around Hollywood recording my VT for the show."
After finding out he didn't make it through to the live finals, Jacob says he was gutted.
"I thought I did my best performance, but it just didn't go my way that day," said the musical theatre fan.
"I had a feeling after my performance that I wasn't going to get through, but I'm still so proud of where I got to."
Jacob's love of music came from his younger years, when he and his sister Amelia would sing together in the car.
At nursery, Jacob says his favourite and only CD was Rihanna's Umbrella - and he would take it into pre-school and play it on repeat.
In 2018 Jacob made it through to the battle stage of the Voice Kids - where all three judges, including Danny Jones, will.i.am and Pixie Lott (who now follows the teen on Instagram) turned their chairs - with Jacob choosing Danny as his mentor.
Speaking of his experience, Jacob continued: "Exposure is good for me, so I am trying to take as many opportunities as I can."
The teenager, who recently finished his year 10 mock exams, hopes to audition for The BRIT School and other theatre schools to pursue his dream of becoming a popstar.
He has also impressed the locals at Jimmy's Farm this year - where he performed at both of its Easter and Christmas fairs.
Jacob also headlined at Chelmsford's Roundtable Charity FireworX Factor last year performing to a crowd of over 8,000.