HOLLYWOOD - The entire America's Got Talent audience as well as all three AGT judges gave Houston opera singer Barbara Padilla a standing ovation.
And that standing O from the judges is extremely rare especially considering the fact that British judge Piers Morgan very rarely even claps for the contestants much less stand up.
The finals are really heating up with the four front-running favorites being Padilla of Texas, Kevin Skinner of Kentucky, Grandma Lee of Florida, and Lawrence Beamen of California.
AGT host Mr. Mariah Carey (Nick Cannon) said that it is so close even a well-known gambler like Charles Barkley isn't placing any bets just yet.
Vegas odds-makers do give the slight edge to the senora from south of the border, Barbara Padilla.
Padilla was born in Guadalajara, Mexico. Her mother was asked how old Barbara was when she first started singing. She replied that little Barbarita started singing when she was still in the womb.
Her mother went on to say that she could not make out the words or the songs because her husband usually had the TV on way too loud while watching the bullfights.
But she said that she could hear her baby clearing her throat and practicing the music scales prior to actually singing a song.
Mrs. Padilla said that when her husband went to work, he worked as a door-to-door pinata salesman, she could hear her little Barbarita singing away.
One song that little Barbi did more than all of the others put together was Richie Valens' "La Bamba." Little Barbarita for some reason especially liked that one song.
She also did a set that included "The Mexican Hat Dance," "La Cucaracha," "Que Sera Sera," and "The Streets of Laredo."
When Barbara turned three, she was voted The Best Little Singer In Guadalajara. She then went on to win The Best Little Singer in The State of Jalisco, and then she captured The Best Little Singer in The Republic of Mexico title.
When she won the national title three-year-old Barbarita's parents received several nice prizes including his and hers silk serapes, three cases of Jose Cuervo Tequila, a life time supply of maracas, and front row season tickets to The Guadalajara Bullfights.
When Barbara became a teenager she left Guadalajara and moved to Houston where she was hired to sing the National Anthem at all of the Houston Astros home games.
She also worked as a lettuce chopper at one of the local Taco Bells. It wasn't long before she became the assistant chipmaster and from there she moved up the ladder to salsa supervisor, director of guacamole, and soon to the restaurant assistant manager.
Ms. Padilla soon began participating in local Karaoke contests within the state. Within one year she had been crowned the best karaoke singer in Houston, Galveston, San Antonio, Waxahachie, Corpus Christi, and Laredo.
It was while Barbara was performing at the infamous Karankawa Karaoke Klub in the beautiful border city of Laredo, Texas that she was spotted by a local talent agent named Miguel Ivan Rodriguez, Sr.
Rodriguez told her that she had a voice like the cutest pajarito (little bird) in the entire world. Rodriguez made some phone calls and that is how Barbara Padilla ended up on America's Got Talent.
SIDENOTE: Barbara Padilla is not only an extremely talented singer, she is also a fantastic cook. Last year her 'Enchiladas Esposas de Pancho Villa'* were named The Best Friggin' Enchiladas on The Texas-Mexico Border by the monthly publication The Streets of Laredo.
* The Wives of Frank Villa Enchiladas.