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Pop Culture

Ventriloquist on 'America's Got Talent' performs jaw-dropping tribute to Olivia Newton-John

Celia Muñoz's act was a sight to behold.

ventriloquist agt, agt semi finals, celia munoz agt, celia munoz ventriloquist
"America's Got Talent" via YouTube

A little bit of movie magic.

You might not think that ventriloquism is the highest art form in the world. But after watching Celia Muñoz deliver an amazing musical act on “America’s Got Talent,” you might be singing a different tune.

First off, her skills are incredible. Muñoz revealed to judges that she had previously worked as a professional opera singer in Spain and had picked up the vaudeville act on a whim.

“Normally people take about 20 years to learn how to do this,” judge Simon Cowell recalled. Muñoz nailed it in two.

Second, Muñoz paid an unexpected tribute to another iconic performer in the process, making it all the more special to watch.


Instead of using puppets, Muñoz dressed up the stage to look like a drive-in theater, complete with a shiny red car.

Muñoz approaches the car while talking on the phone to her mother (really talking to herself, of course), popcorn and soda in hand.

“I can’t talk now!” Munoz says before hanging up the phone and settling in.


The “movie” starts playing (again, all voiced by Muñoz) and we realize it's the 1978 classic “Grease.”

Then we hear the beginning notes to “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” originally sung by Olivia Newton-John, who recently passed away on Aug. 8 at the age of 73.

Muñoz somehow manages to sing the song—beautifully, too—all while sipping her soda and eating her movie munchies. Unreal.

The best part comes at the end—with a high note and Muñoz’s mouth absolutely stuffed with popcorn.

Though not seen in this video clip, an episode recap featured on Yahoo! Entertainment showed all the judges floored by Muñoz’s uniqueness and touched by the sweet homage.

Judge Howie Mandel mused that the performance had “given us a glimpse on what would have been if Olivia Newton-John was born in Spain."

No one can say how far Muñoz will go in the competition, but she definitely deserves praise for making the art form entirely her own and giving us new ways to appreciate the classics.

This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.

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