Teen singing star Courtney Hadwin has opened up on her incredible experience on hit show America's Got Talent, describing the experience as being like a 'dream.'
The 13-year-old said she was not expecting the worldwide reaction she has had to her amazing performance, which has seen her social media video from the show viewed more than 50 million times.
Courtney blew away a panel of celebrity judges - Simon Cowell, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel - during her audition where she sang Otis Redding classic Hard to Handle.
The Peterlee schoolgirl was given the Golden Buzzer by judge Howie Mandel to signal that she has made through to the live shows in the competition.
Courtney travelled to LA with dad Paul Hadwin, a takeaway delivery driver, back in March to audition after applying for the show online last year.
Now back in the UK, Courtney, from Hesleden, is rehearsing a number of songs before she returns to LA for the next stage of the competition, set to be filmed in August.
On her audition she said: "It was really exciting. Being on the stage was like a dream, it didn't seem real.
"I was really nervous before I went on stage but the nerves went away when I started singing.
"I was not expecting that kind of reaction and I was really happy with the performance.
"I chose the song because its was one that I really like to sing and most of my songs are old ones.
"Being on the stage and meeting the judges didn't seem real - it was like watching them on TV."
Courtney, who made it to the finals of ITV show The Voice Kids in the UK last year, said she had wanted to appear on America's Got Talent as it was one of the biggest shows in the world.
So it was a dream come true for the young talent to find out she had been selected to audition.
She said: "I have watched the show on YouTube in the past and it is where all of my idols are from.
"I always said that if I was going to do another show it would be America's Got Talent as is is such a big one.
"I applied online last year and got an email to say that I was going on the show.
"It was really overwhelming as I didn't think I would get through."
Since returning home the pupil at The Academy at Shotton Hall, said the reaction both at home and in America has been non-stop.
Courtney said: "Since I was on the show the reaction and everything has just been amazing - it doesn't stop.
"I was really surprised to get such a positive reaction from the judges.
"I was really excited to meet Howie as he is really funny and entertaining and I was also really excited to meet Simon."
Full-time mum Annemarie Hawdin, who also has daughter Melissa, nine, and son Paul, 11, said she was so proud of Courtney.
She said: "I am really proud of her.
"I was just waiting for a phone call to say how she had done.
"It was really emotional."
The video of her audition has been viewed more than 50 million times.
The show, presented by supermodel Tyra Banks, hosts acts of all ages, including singers, dancers, comedians, contortionists and impressionists, who are all vying to win America’s hearts and $1 million.