The Pantano name is a familiar one within the Italian community in Australia: the pint-sized performer is the son of singer Mary-Anne Mercuri Pantano and presenter Philip Pantano, and grandson of the legendary Tony Pantano.
Born for the stage, JJ has been acting since he was four years old.
His natural talent was showcased in last night’s episode of AGT, as he captivated both the audience and judges with his brazen comedy routine.
“You have a massive personality and you take the stage like someone a lot bigger than you,” judge and actress Lucy Durack said following JJ’s performance.
Fellow judge Manu Feildel added that JJ was the funniest seven-year-old he’d ever met.
But the really moving moment came when it was time for comedian Shane Jacobson to cast his judgement.
“JJ, where you’re standing right now is where my career started at the age of 10, on that stage,” Shane said.
“This venue has the ability to launch careers, and do you know how they get launched?”
JJ replied with a curious “no”.
“By one lucky break,” Shane continued.
“And do you know how they can come? They can come in gold.”
Shane then stood up and threw his hand down onto the Golden Buzzer, causing JJ’s jaw to drop to the ground.
Golden confetti poured down and the crowd erupted as JJ’s parents ran onto the stage to hug and congratulate their son.
There are only five Golden Buzzers on offer during the entire competition: one for each of the four judges and the host, Ricki-Lee Coulter, to give out.
By scoring the Golden Buzzer, JJ will now move straight through to the competition’s semi-finals.
JJ said it was extra special to receive the Golden Buzzer from Shane, as he is one of Australia’s favourite comedians.
“I didn’t expect to get it at all,” JJ added.
And he wasn’t the only one who was surprised.
“We didn’t really talk about the Golden Buzzer because we wanted to manage expectations and we wanted JJ to just do his best and have a great time,” Mary-Anne said.
“So it was an absolute knock-out for us all.”
JJ said he practised his routine around “100 times” and will do the same for his semi-finals performance.
“We’re trying to instil a work ethic in JJ that if you work hard in life you’ll be rewarded and this was a really lovely example of that because he worked so hard on his routine,” Mary-Anne concluded.
Good luck for the semi-finals, JJ... In bocca al lupo!