Victory Brinker, the 9-year-old opera singer and fan-favorite of season 16, concluded Tuesday's live show with a stunning performance of "Casta Diva."
The Pennsylvania native earned rave reviews from audiences and the judges, including Simon Cowell who predicted a bright future ahead for the young child, even name-dropping Carrie Underwood and comparing Brinker to the country star.
Speaking with PEOPLE after the show, Cowell, 61, explained how he could see Brinker one day becoming the next face of opera music similar to how Underwood found massive success in country music after winning American Idol in 2005.
"I didn't understand a lot about country music when I first met Carrie but you do know a star when you hear one and meet somebody," said Cowell, who was a judge on the fourth season of Idol when Underwood was crowned champion.
"I think same with Victory about how little I know about opera and classical music — not much," the veteran judge and executive producer shared.
"I think [Victory] is a genuine, genuine star. I can see her making records, concerts, movies, everything. She's got something special about her. She is incredibly talented. She was fantastic on the audition show but she was outstanding tonight," Cowell added.
Feeling "confident" about her performance after closing out this week's live show, Brinker told PEOPLE: "I think I could win it all."
Camila Cabello - Good 4 U (Olivia Rodrigo cover) in the Live Lounge
Camila Cabello is tapping into Latinx TikTok's favorite music trend: turning popular songs into cumbia dance hits! Appearing from L.A. on BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge, the Cuban-Mexican singer, 24, performed Olivia Rodrigo's "Good 4 U" but gave it a Latin twist by singing it like a cumbia.
"mixed it up a little on @bbcradio1's live lounge! #good4u," Cabello wrote on Instagram with a clip of the performance.
Backed by an accordion, maracas and the signature beat of the Latin American genre, Cabello transformed the punk-pop chart-topper into a rendition perfect for a quinceañera dance floor.
"It was so fun. Just getting to perform with my band members and my singers is just something artists have missed during COVID so to be able to do that right now is so much fun," she said on the radio show.
In an interview with Women’s Wear Daily in 2021, Rodrigo’s stylist, Chenelle Delgadillo, confirmed that everything the High School Musical: The Musical: The Series star wears, from her latex gloves in the “Good 4 U” music video to her Clueless-inspired look to meet President Joe Biden, is “authentic” to her style.
“It’s calculated in the best way; it’s more authentic to what she would wear. She cares [about how she looks] and she has to be, because of the internet. If she isn’t comfortable or doesn’t like it, we don’t even waste her time,” Delgadillo said. She continued, “It’s really refreshing because it’s not forced. It’s natural for Olivia because she has always been into thrift and gravitates toward more vintage. We don’t even explicitly talk about , it’s just how she wants to dress. It’s nice because you don’t have to worry about anyone else wearing it.”
Delgadillo also explained that, while Rodrigo can be seen in some designer pieces, she also has a love for smaller, more affordable brands. “Yeah, she might have to wear a certain brand but that’s also cool and fun,” Delgadillo said. “We are always, like, ‘You are a pop star and a lot of people don’t get to wear these clothes so enjoy it for us.’ We will always throw in some smaller brands and accessories just to keep it young and fun. I think it all comes down to the styling.”
In an interview during Instagram & Facebook’s Creator Week in 2021, Rodrigo also explained her passion for sustainable fashion. “When I was 13 or 14, I watched this documentary called The True Cost and it’s all about the environmental implications of fast fashion and also the humanitarian implications of fast fashion, which is really interesting too,” she said. “That was just something that I had never really realized up until that point.”
She continued, “And I was a big shopaholic. Anytime I was feeling sad I would just buy clothes that I wouldn’t even wear. I would wear them once and throw them away, and I didn’t really realize that those actions have consequences. I’m far from perfect but I think it’s a learning journey and being aware of the consequences of what you buy.”