Grace VanderWaal, the 2016 “America’s Got Talent” winner became an overnight sensation with her precocious stage presence, her quavering, throaty singing voice that seemed far too big for her then-12-year-old body, and her stellar songwriting skills. Reminding viewers at home of a pre-Harry Styles T-Swift, with the confidence of someone who sells out stadium shows instead of a pre-teen who sings at open-mics to her collection of Hello Kitty stuffed animals- VanderWaal didn’t fit the usual singer/songwriter mold- and we loved it.
Now, with over 1 million YouTube subscribers, a freshly-minted Columbia Records deal, AGT prize money galore, and an EP titled “Perfectly Imperfect” peaking at number 9 on the BillBoard 200, VanderWaal proved she isn’t going to Reuben Studdard-herself into award show obscurity.
This Monday, Windex, a titan in the cleaning product industry released a surprisingly emotional 3-minute long advertisement with the help of VanderWaal’s emotive voice that will make you want to scrub your windows until your nail polish chips just so you can feel something again. While we’re all fans of binge-watching YouTube videos on multiple Incognito windows just to avoid ads, Windex’s video montage of a father’s relationship with his daughter coming full circle doesn’t come off like it’s desperate to sell you anything.
Watching the father press his neatly-manicured nails against the glass of the hospital nursery window to cast a first look at his baby girl, and then 30(ish) years later pressing those same, now-wrinkled and weary fingertips against that glass once more, gazing in awe at his newborn grandchild feels like…probably what it feels like to have Windex sprayed in your eyes.
With VanderWaal’s “Beautiful Thing” playing softly in the background with lyrics like “We make hours turn into seconds together//The weight of the world feel like a feather” complimenting the dialogue-free video, we can forget (if only for three minutes) just why we were crying into our day-old Starbucks pastry this morning.