It’s often said on “America’s Got Talent” that two or three minutes can change your life.
That rang true for singing trio Chapel Hart, whose vibrant audition on Tuesday’s episode inspired judges Simon Cowell, Sofía Vergara, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel and host Terry Crews to do something they only reserve for the most exceptional of acts.
After taking the stage, the Mississippi trio, made up of two sisters and their cousin, said they want to bring back the pop culture reign of girl groups.
They sang an original song written as an ode to their musical hero Dolly Parton. It was called “You Can Have Him, Jolene,” a follow-up to Parton’s 1974 classic “Jolene.”
The trio got the crowd moving and grooving. By the time the song ended, the audience was chanting “Golden Buzzer.”
Their raucous performance even put a happy face on Cowell, a notoriously tough critic. “Trust me, I needed you today,” he said. “That was fantastic. I love you.”
Chapel Hart then opened up about their struggles to forge a place for themselves in country music.
“We’ve been trying to break into Nashville for the last couple of years, but it’s been kind of hard,” said one of the members. “Country music doesn’t always look like us.”
Klum said the trio’s joy “is infectious,” and Vergara added that the act “was perfect.”
“You guys look like you’ve been doing this for a long time, and I’m so proud of you guys,” Vergara continued, holding back tears.
Cowell and Klum both quipped that, if they hadn’t used their Golden Buzzers already, Chapel Hart would have definitely earned it from them.
But on “AGT,” rules can be flexible.
The judges broke away into a huddle, with host Crews coming down to join them. Afterward, on Cowell’s count of five, all of them simultaneously hit the Golden Buzzer, sending Chapel Hart directly through to the live shows.
Amanda Mammana overcomes speech impediment in inspiring audition
Another moving audition came from Amanda Mammana, a 19-year-old from Connecticut who opened up to the judges about living with a speech impediment.
“As you can probably tell, I have a bit of a speech impediment, and it was definitely something that caused me to shy away and to hide,” she said. “But I found that I don’t stutter when I sing.”
Mammana sang an original song she wrote about difficult times in her past. “And if I could go back and change those things, I wouldn’t because they made me me,” she added.
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After her song, Mammana said there have been times in her life when she didn’t feel good enough. An audience member shouted back, “You are good enough,” with the rest of the crowd erupting into affirmative applause.
“It’s not only good: It’s great,” Mandel added. “And look how you’re moving this audience.”
Klum said the contestant has “a really, really beautiful voice.”
“There’s a fire inside of you and I want to see more of it,” she added.
Vergara thanked Mammana for “having the guts to follow your heart.” Cowell also commended her bravery.
“You spoke to us very honestly about the issues you have with your speech, and it’s terrifying auditioning when you don’t have an issue like that,” he said. “And then you were amazing. Your voice is so pure, so beautiful… I think you’re an incredible person. I’m so happy you came here.”
Mammana earned a “yes” from all four judges, sending her to the next round.
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Ukrainian aerialist dedicates stunning audition to dad fighting on frontlines
Svitlana Rohozhyna, a 26-year-old aerial performer from Kiev, Ukraine, wasn’t just performing for herself.
She dedicated her audition to her father, who she said is fighting on the frontlines to ward off Russia’s invasion of the country. Rohozhyna said she lives in Las Vegas and that her mother and sister came to America last week.
Rohozhyna’s act was nothing short of mesmerizing. Hanging from a chandelier from only her neck and later from only her angle, Rohozhyna delivered a fluid, suspended routine that seemed to hypnotize anyone watching.
“What you’ve just done is beautiful,” said Klum. “You are beautiful. You’re so strong. You’re so elegant. You’re also very sexy, and you’re doing this with heels on.”
Vergara said Rohozhyna “didn’t miss a beat. It was perfection.”
“Obviously, with what your family have gone through recently, that additional pressure with an act like this, it was actually quite incredible to watch,” Cowell marveled. “The level of perfection, it was absolutely stunning, and you have honest, genuine star quality.”
After earning a “yes” from three judges, Rohozhyna facetimed her father offstage with the good news.
Simon Cowell rejected man’s whips. Then he brought the judge on stage
NPR news anchor Jack Lepiarz, known by his stage name Jack the Whipper, failed to impress Cowell at first with his act, which involved whipping the edge off sticks precariously close to his body. Cowell, clearly bored, hit his X.
Well, Cowell soon ate his words. Because when Lepiarz asked for a volunteer, Crews offered up Cowell for some payback.
Lepiarz asked the stern judge to squat while holding a stick in between his knees. The judge’s life must have flashed before his eyes, as Lepiarz whipped the stick in half, narrowly missing Cowell’s torso (and other very sensitive body parts).
Cowell let out a relief-fueled expletive as soon as it was over.
“I am gonna take my X away actually,” he said, upon returning to his seat. Cowell gave him a yes, as did the other judges.
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