America’s Got Talent star Courtney Hadwin says she is being congratulated in the street after returning home from US TV performance

The teenager who wowed the judges on America’s Got Talent said she felt like she had “switched bodies” during her performance.

Courtney Hadwin, 13, has become a social media sensation following her appearance on the US talent show and judge Simon Cowell described her as a “lion”.

The music mogul’s fellow judge, Howie Mandel, was so impressed by her cover of Otis Redding’s Hard To Handle he pushed his golden buzzer, meaning the Year 9 schoolgirl goes straight through to the live shows.

Mandel, sitting alongside judges Mel B and Heidi Klum, then compared the youngster to the late US singer Janis Joplin.

Read more: Courtney Hadwin’s TV appearance was ‘like a dream’

Courtney is now back at home with her father, Paul, 32, mother Annmarie, 31, her brother, also named Paul, 11, and nine-year-old sister Melissa.

She will fly back to the US for the live shows in August to fight for the one million dollar (£750,000) prize money, but for now is enjoying the UK.

She said: “Everybody is just really proud and happy for me. I have had people coming up to me in the street saying well done. It makes me feel proud.

“It’s really weird at school, people I have never met before are coming up to me and saying well done and the teachers are really happy for me.

“My family is on top of the world. My little brother, Paul, thinks I am famous and he wants to be famous too.”

Howie Mandel with Courtney Hadwin. Picture: Justin Lubin/NBC.

Howie Mandel with Courtney Hadwin. Picture: Justin Lubin/NBC.

Courtney said she is “really looking forward to the next round”.

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Speaking from her home in the village of Hesleden, Courtney said: “It’s just been hectic. I was really nervous before it. We wanted to do America’s Got Talent because it’s the biggest show in the world and it’s where all my idols are from.”

Courtney admitted she was “nervous” while speaking to the judges before her performance, but as soon as the music kicked in she transformed, stunning the audience.

Courtney Hadwin has wowed the judges on America's Got Talent.

Courtney Hadwin has wowed the judges on America's Got Talent.

Asked what she remembered of the audition, she said: “It feels like I have switched bodies. I remember singing and then getting to a certain point in the song and seeing people enjoy it, which made me really happy. I must’ve been doing something right.

“It was just overwhelming knowing that these people, who the public love to listen to, had enjoyed my performance too. All of their comments were amazing.”

Courtney performs at the Best of Hartlepool awards.

Courtney performs at the Best of Hartlepool awards.