NEW BREMEN — Lilly Wilker, 11, daughter of Amy and Tom Wilker, of New Bremen, first appeared on NBC-TV’s “America’s Got Talent,” June 5.
Her second appearance will air, Tuesday, July 17, at 8 p.m., on Channel 2 on Spectrum and NKTelco cable. It was taped in April.
The elimination talent show will feature 80 performers over four episodes. Celebrity judges Simon Cowell, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel will cut some of them at the end of each episode. The remaining 36 will then perform on live shows, to be eliminated by popular vote of the viewers. The eventual winner will get a performance contract worth $1 million.
Lilly’s talent is imitating the sounds made by animals. She has hundreds in her repertoire. Between the two TV tapings, she added more.
On Tuesday’s show, “she will present a different theme of animals” from her first appearance, Amy said. “She went outside her box.”
The June show resulted in an explosion of interest in Lilly from across the country. She was interviewed by an Indianapolis radio station and by a writer for an article on ModernFarmer.com.
“Our phones and social media have been blowing up. She’s quadrupled her fan base,” Amy said.
In addition to Lilly’s performance, Tuesday’s episode may include a profile of the New Bremen sixth-grader. While she was in California, a camera crew took her to a park, where she “talked” with swans, and to a ranch, where she picked oranges right off the tree as the crew had their cameras running. They also taped a session with Amy, who got to talk about what it’s like to be Lilly’s mother.
“It’s a whole different experience from round 1 to round 2. You can realize how competition gets tighter,” Amy said.
Lilly’s favorite moments so far were when Cowell, the judge she likes the best, went backstage specifically to talk with her.
“I cried because I was so happy to see him,” she said. “I hugged him. He said he really loves my talent. He said he’s done the show a long time so he knows a talent when he sees it, and he sees me doing voiceovers for the next ‘Jungle Book’ or ‘Lion King.’”
Lilly enjoys watching herself on television. Besides “America’s Got Talent,” she has been featured on “Harry” and “Little Big Shots.”
“When I see myself, I say, ‘Oh, I remember saying that. I remember when he said that,’” she said.
In June, her family returned to Gulf World, a marine animal park in Panama City Beach, Florida, where Lilly had “talked” with dolphins. Her dolphin imitation is so good that the animals talk back to her. This time, she got to be trainer of the day. With park staff, she spent one-on-one time with every kind of animal in the park. She swam with the dolphins and the sting rays and did acrobatic tricks with the dolphins.
When she performs locally, people try to stump her. Recently, someone asked her to imitate an alpaca.
“I can’t do that,” she laughed. “They spit.”
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