Why Jay Leno Hopes His ‘AGT’ Golden Buzzer Act DOESN’T Become Famous

Jill O'Rourke
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During the final night of Judge Cuts on AGT, guest judge Jay Leno hit the Golden Buzzer for 10-year-old opera singer Emanne Beasha. This sent Emanne directly to the live shows, which begin next week.

At the start of the show, judge Julianne Hough asked Jay what kind of acts he likes, and he responded, “I like to look at someone who … oh, wow, they’re gonna be a star someday.” That “someday” is an important addition when you consider what Jay Leno said about Emanne Beasha in AGT‘s post Golden buzzer interview.

Jay Leno Golden Buzzer on ‘AGT’ Judge Cuts

Jay Leno Hopes Emanne Beasha Doesn’t Become A Star

In the new video, Jay said that Emanne “blew me away,” adding that if he was watching at home he would have thought she was lip-syncing. He called her “one of those talents that comes along once a decade maybe,” and said he knew he would hit the buzzer within the first 10 to 15 seconds of her performance.

When 10-year-old kids become stars, I don’t know if that’s necessarily a good thing

Jay Leno

However, Jay Leno also shares his hope that Emanne won’t become too famous too soon. “I’d like to see her just be a 10-year-old and have fun and continue to sing,” he said. “When 10-year-old kids become stars, I don’t know if that’s necessarily a good thing. But I hope she certainly enjoys singing and doesn’t think of it as a job.”

Jay said he would love to see Emanne become a professional singer when she’s 18 or 19. “But for now, I think it’s fun to see her as a 10-year-old,” he added, even going so far as to say he would be “really old” by the time she becomes famous.

When AGT Turns Kids Into Stars

Jay certainly has a point about kids becoming famous too quickly. However, hitting the Golden Buzzer for Emanne Beasha won’t do anything to slow down her success. As we’ve seen on AGT in recent years, young talents who win the show or at least come close (like Angelica Hale) have shot to relative stardom pretty quickly.


The rise of Grace VanderWaal from ‘AGT’ to stardom

Take, for example, Season 11 winner Grace VanderWaal, who was homeschooled while she toured in 2018. She said this made her feel alienated from her peers. “I have many adult friends, but it was where my only friends were adults—which is strange,” she told Vanity Fair. “It’s fine, but it just made me awkward around teenagers, unless they were fans. And I was like, ‘O.K., this isn’t right. I should go back to school.’”

Of course, it’s no secret that many child stars end up falling out of the spotlight or getting into trouble in their adult years. Having hosted The Tonight Show for over 20 years, Jay Leno interviewed plenty of these stars, and would have witnessed their frequently disappointing career trajectories.

Darci Lynne talks being a star while still in school

What Emanne Beasha’s Future Has In Store

In 2018, Season 12 AGT winner Darci Lynne Farmer spoke to Talent Recap about how she was balancing her ventriloquism tour with schoolwork. She admitted that it’s “a bit of a challenge,” but her teachers were “flexible.” Plus, her tour dates were only on the weekends to make it “way easier.”

Emanne Beasha audition on Arab’s Got Talent

Of course, Emanne Beasha already has some experience in the spotlight. In 2017, she won Arabs Got Talent. Hopefully, if she makes it far in the competition, her family and others around her with do whatever they can to make sure she still gets to have a childhood while pursuing her talent. The presence of her lucky unicorn plushie is a good start.

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