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Q&A: Lilly Wilker, local 11-year-old animal impressionist, ecstatic about her America’s Got Talent journey

Lilly Wilker, an 11-year-old from New Bremen, stole judges’ hearts with her animal impressions on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, which aired June 5. 

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Wilker took some time out of her busy schedule to give us a peek at her journey on the television show, and how her roots on a farm in Ohio inspired this journey.

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What did it feel like to audition for America’s Got Talent? 

To audition on America’s Got Talent was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I feel so honored to have made it to audition live in front of the four most famous judges ever. 

 

How did you feel when you found out you moved on to the next round?

Moving on to the next round was an absolutely amazing feeling. Getting four yeses was out of this world. It made me cry because I was so happy. It was an honor to perform in front of them and hear their positive comments. 

 

When did you start practicing and taking seriously the animal impersonations? 

I practice usually every day! It isn’t for long amounts of time. However, at about the age of eight, I got really serious about my talents when I was discovered without searching for opportunities and was asked to go to different shows and do live interviews and be on national TV shows.

 

What is your favorite animal to impersonate? Is there an animal at home of this species that is close to you? 

My favorite animal to impersonate is definitely the rooster. The rooster call has been known to be my signature call. Yes!!! I have a rooster in my barn full of animals. I have eight hens, nine sheep, two goats, three horses and two dogs.  

Lilly Wilker of New Bremen, Ohio, performed her animal impressions on America's Got Talent on June 5. (NBC)

If you won the cash prize, what would you do with the money?

If I were fortunate enough to win the cash prize of a million dollars, I would set some aside for my future, donate a generous amount to hospitals, and animal shelters, etc. 

 

What do you love most about Ohio (home)?

What I love most about living in Ohio, but especially my small little town of New Bremen, is the closeness I have in the community, living on a small farm in the middle of fields, being able to have animals in the barn, swimming in our pond, and hanging with my friends and family. I love the way we get to have all four seasons here and being a girl that loves to be outside and behind the barn with my animal friends.

 

Did any of the judges’ reactions surprise you, or make you extra happy? 

Getting all the yeses from the judges made me ecstatic, but I think especially the one that excited me the most was Simon because he gave me my first YES! Simon loves animals too and he told me I do amazing things with my voice. He told me I am going to go far with my dreams.

 

What would you like your supporters and fans back here in Ohio to know?

I would like all my supporters and fans to know that dreams do come true, you just have to work hard, dream big, have a sense of personality and most of all just have fun. Always remember you can be what you want if you just dream big. I also want people to know that a small-town girl ... can make a difference and that you can achieve anything and everything. At the end of the day, it isn’t about the money, it is about making people smile and touching their heart in some way. I am me and I am just doing what I love to do! ... entertain. Follow me, support me, and I will be sure to make you all proud on this adventure I am on.

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You can watch America’s Got Talent on NBC Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST.

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