Brooke Simpson.jpg

BROOKE SIMPSON

Following auditions, quarterfinals, semifinals and the finals, Hollister native Brooke Simpson — and her family, friends and fans — will learn tonight whether she will be the next champion on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”

Her parents, Mike and Jimille Mills had stayed in contact with their daughter on a regular basis by text so that Simpson can rest her voice. She gave everything she could in her finals performance, and, now nothing is left but to await the results of the final vote.

During last week’s semifinals, the Mills anxiously waited for their daughter to perform. Jimille said that while they waited, they evaluated the other competitors.

“We were critiquing the other competitors and seeing if they were real competition for Brooke,” she said.

The Mills were proud of Simpson’s performance of “Bad Habits” by Ed Sheeran, but they had to wait until the following day to learn whether she advanced to the finals. However, the Sept. 8 results show proved to be suspenseful, leaving the Mills family on the edge of their seats. They wondered if they would have to wait until the show was almost over before they would hear whether Simpson had advanced.

“When the commercials came on, we would relax and pray,” Jimille said. “When they called the other people, I thought, ‘my heart can’t wait until the end.’”

Finally, Simpson’s name was called along with that of ChapKidz, a dance team that developed a reputation for consistently impressive performances.

When Simpson was named a finalist, she hugged the members of ChapKidz. Jimille noted that later, on social media, Simpson thanked the public for voting for her, but was also heartbroken that many outstanding performers, like the ChapKidz, had to go home.

“She genuinely loves people,” Jimille said. “When she meets you, she puts you in her heart. There were so many people that she got to meet and love that were going home.”

On “America’s Got Talent,” Simpson expressed gratitude to be voted into the finals. Back home in Hollister, the Mills could not contain their excitement.

“Everyone was jumping up and down,” Jimille said. “After her name was called, my phone started blowing up.”

So did social media. The Mills texted their daughter about the response they had received. When she had a spare moment, Simpsons replied, “Thank you so much. I love you.”

Tonight will mark the end of this round of “America’s Got Talent,” but it will also mark the beginning of the next phase in Simpson’s singing career — whether she wins or not. Jimille said thatmany social media posts state that Simpson will become a star, no matter what happens tonight. 

“Whether she wins or not, she will have so many doors open, it will blow your mind,” Jimille said that one fan wrote.

She said that, growing up, Simpson loved to sing in church and would encourage other youth to use their gifts. Jimille has told her daughter that she is using her musical gift well.

“You have used your gift with everything you have,” she said.

The Mills are proud of their daughter’s achievements so far and that she continues to use talent given to her by God.

“So many people say that when they see her, they see light,” Jimille said. “I told her, ‘Baby girl, you know what that light is. Keep letting it shine. Don’t hide it under a bushel.’”