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It can’t be easy for a child to go on national television and perform for millions. There’s always a worry that the young kids will break down and cry from the pressure. But for 12-year-old Merrick Hanna of Encinitas, Calif., the only tears shed were in response to his incredible audition.

Hanna appeared on “America’s Got Talent” on Tuesday to show off his dancing skills. He told the judges his grandmother was his dance idol as “she’s 80 years old and takes four dance classes a week.”

When judge Mel B asked how Hanna would stand out compared to other dancers on “AGT,” Hanna said he’d impersonate “a robot that’s kinda broken.”


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Set to the song “I Built a Friend” by Alec Benjamin, Hanna dazzled the audience with his heartbreaking routine. Hanna’s body moved perfectly with the lyrics of the song, conveying the sadness that comes from a robot slowly breaking down. The audience was silent for most of the performance — with a few “aw’s” during the really emotional moments — but showed their love for the young dancer with a standing ovation at the end.

“I loved that!” judge Howie Mandel said after the performance. “I loved that! Wow!”

Alex Carrigan About the author:
Alex Carrigan is a copy editor for Rare. He is originally from Newport News, Virginia and graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2014. He has a B.S. in Mass Communications: Print/Online Journalism and volunteers as the Communications and PR Manager for the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop. He longs to travel, write, ...Read more
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