Western Wisconsin made an appearance on national television last week.
Twenty-eight year-old Boyceville native Madilyn Bailey performed on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” July 6 during its audition stage.
In describing her hometown, she told judges Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel, “it was a very tiny town where there are more cows than human beings,” drawing laughter from those in the audience.
When Mandel asked why this show, Bailey said the choice was simple.
“The dream for me is to sing songs that I’ve written that I love and get it out too as many people in the world as possible,” she said.
In describing the song, she was about to sing, Bailey explained she wanted to turn the hate comments the trolls posted to her YouTube videos into a song.
“That’s a good idea,” Cowell, known for not handing out praise during his time as a judge on “American Idol.”
The song played on guitar contained lyrics such as “Ear murderer,” “Her voice is bad” and “She’s so overrated,” over a melody which had the audience hooked.
The audience’s opinion didn’t matter when it came to advance. The judges determined Bailey’s fate.
“I love that it was so unexpected,” Vergara said. “It was so honest. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you.”
Added Cowell: “I like hearing someone who has a great talent and Madilyn, you have a great talent.”
Klum wasn’t as sold as the other three judges but thanks to some prodding from Mandel said “yes” and made it unanimous that she advanced.
For those who know Bailey, a musical career isn’t surprising.
“I grew up with music all around me,” she said in the introduction portion before her song. “When I was eight years old, my dad sat me down and taught me how to write a song.”
Bailey now resides in Los Angeles. She has over 8.5 million subscribers to her YouTube page. Among the songs on there is “Wisconsin,” an original song in which she filmed the video in Boyceville.
“I’m lucky I grew up in a place like Wisconsin with so much nature and life around me,” she said in the YouTube description. “I had two amazing parents who always encouraged me to be creative, and I’m lucky that I’ve always known I wanted to do music. Now I can look back and be proud of all the ways growing up in Wisconsin shaped me.”
Another popular video on her page is an acoustic rendition of David Guetta’s “Titanium” which has over 115 million views.
“America’s Got Talent” is in its 16th season on NBC. The show features singers, dancers, comedians, contortionists, impressionists, magicians, ventriloquists trying to win the $1 million prize. The show is currently airing audition episodes until the network starts airing the Summer Olympics from Tokyo later this month. Live episodes return next month in which people across the country can start voting on their favorite acts.