As the 17th season of America’s Got Talent kicks off, the search for the nation’s top performers is in full swing once again.

In a surprising twist, one audience member on Tuesday night’s broadcast caught the attention of both the judges and viewers alike by becoming an unexpected competitor.

Madison Baez Taylor, a mere 11 years old, revealed to AGT that it had always been her dream to participate in the show. Since the age of four, this California native has been attending tapings of the program.

“I’m the biggest America’s Got Talent fan out there,” she declared. “And now, I’m here.”

While waiting for her audition, Maddie was offered the chance to watch the show from the audience. Eagerly, she accepted and joined her father among the crowd.

The judges were completely unaware that Maddie was among the audience members.

During the commercial breaks, a microphone is often passed around to keep the audience engaged by allowing them to sing. Just before filming resumed, Maddie was handed the microphone.

Her rendition not only garnered applause but also caught the attention of all the judges.

Simon Cowell was particularly impressed and suggested she come on stage and audition. Maddie seized the opportunity and delivered a powerful rendition of “Amazing Grace.”

“We always encourage people to sing during the breaks, and I was just coming back in when I heard this voice and thought, ‘Who is that?'” Cowell remarked. “And then I spotted this little figure in the crowd, and it was you.”

When questioned about how she intended to use the $1 million prize money, Maddie tearfully responded, “For cancer research.”

Her father, Chris, has been battling stage four cancer for the past nine years.

“I’ve been fighting cancer for the past nine years, and that’s how she started singing,” he shared as he joined his daughter on stage. “She would sing to me in the hospital during my surgeries and chemotherapy treatments. Her performances would lift my spirits. Thankfully, I’m doing much better now.”

As the time to vote approached, it seemed apparent that Maddie had won everyone’s hearts. Howie Mandel made the decision easy by hitting the Golden Buzzer, propelling Maddie straight to the live shows.

Tears welled up in the eyes of everyone in the audience, as it was evident that Maddie’s dream had become a reality.