“I thought this would be the perfect time,” Herrod said of his decision to compete. “When opportunity presents itself you run towards it. I’m just excited to share what I have to offer.”

When Cowell heard that Herrod was planning to sing “Tomorrow” from Annie, the Brit sucked the energy out of the room. “That is my worst song in the world,” he explained. “You should do another song.” Ouch.

Herrod didn’t have another. He stuck to his guns and blew the judges away with his big-throated interpretation. He didn’t need another song.

With several theatrical peaks, Herrod’s “Tomorrow” was a huge hit with everyone in the room, including three of the four judges who stood to applaud.

“Wow wow wow. This isn’t my worst song anymore,” Cowell admitted, giving off the appearance of a man who’d been thunderstruck. “Unbelievable.”

Sofia Vergara was the only judge to not get out of her seat. “I must say, I didn’t like it that much,” she said, to a chorus of boos. It was all a set up. “I loved it,” she shouted as she slammed the golden buzzer.

Watch it all unfold below.

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