On Tuesday’s America’s Got Talent, the show paid tribute to Brandon Rogers, who died in a car accident on June 11, after already having filmed his audition.
AGT explained that, at the request of Rogers’ family, they were honoring the 29-year-old singer’s memory by sharing his audition.
Rogers, who was a doctor of family medicine, was interviewed before his performance, and opened up about his ideal life. “If I could find a way to combine being a doctor and medicine with singing, that would be a dream come true,” he shared.
In his audition, Rogers performed a soulful, touching cover of Stevie Wonder’s 1982 classic “Ribbon in the Sky,” that had Mel B singing along from the judges’ table.
The performance earned Rogers a standing ovation from the entire auditorium, and the powerful response brought tears of joy to the singer’s eyes.
“You have real control, and passion, and you can be a star. You spent so much time going down that medical road, I think it was a waste of time and schooling because you should be a singer,” Howie Mandel joked. “But it’s good to have something to fall back on.”
“Your vocal work is stunning,” Simon Cowell added. “You are one of the best singers we’ve had in the competition so far.” Rogers was awarded “yes” votes from each of the judges, and would have been moving on to the next round of the competition.
AGT honored Rogers on-screen after the audition with the kind sentiment, “Thank you for sharing your talent.” It was an emotional, poignant moment and a touching tribute to the young talent.
Before the memorial to Rogers, which came as the last segment of the night, Tuesday’s episode featured some of the best musical performances, comedy routines and daredevil acts of the season thus far, and viewers got a chance to watch some performances that are unlike anything they’ve seen before.
One of the episode’s most hilarious auditions was served up by a Las Vegas-based group of vaudevillian comics called The Quiddlers.
The foursome delivered a hilarious bit of impressive physical comedy, set to The Village People’s classic “YMCA,” which defied explanation but kept the judges laughing throughout their set, and earned them enough love to continue on in the competition.
Joining the ranks of daredevils and acrobats who have tried to impress the judges this season, performer Jonathan Rinny took the stage to show off his amazing balancing act. However, for the young performer, there was a lot more at stake than just his chance at fame.
As Rinny explained, he recently married his lovely assistant, but not everyone is aware of their union — specifically, Rinny’s mother-in-law. According to the daredevil, his wife’s parents “don’t understand” what he does as a professional acrobat, and he hoped to impress them with his death-defying Rolla Bolla act.
Stacking several skateboards on top of an unsteady rolla bolla was just the first step in his mesmerizing performance, and, as Simon Cowell said of Rinny’s mother-in-law, “If she does not like you after this, Jonathan, there’s nothing more you can do, mate.” At the very least, the performer will continue to get to show off her talents as he got enough votes to move on to the next round.
Dancer Canion Shijirbat delivered one of the episode’s most visually stunning auditions, which saw the young entertainer perform a beautifully choreographed dance with projected images on the screen behind him.
The routine culminated with Shijirbat performing opposite a holographic projection of himself that was done so well, Cowell admitted that he actually thought another person had stepped out from behind the screen, and was promptly mocked by Heidi Klum and Mel B.
However, an actual two-person team took the stage next, in the form of a father and son acrobatic act. Danylo and his adorable 8-year-old boy, Oskar — dressed in snappy pin-striped ensembles — blew the judges away with their amazing audition.
Melding elements of balancing acts and contortionism, Oskar showcased his amazing flexibility while simultaneously impressing and terrifying the judges.
“It was brilliant!” Mel B gushed after the act received a standing ovation from each of the judges. The duo got nothing but love and earned four “yes” votes, moving them to the next round of competition.
16-year-old twin brothers Colton and Trent Edwards — who go by the stage name Mirror Image — blew the judges away with their dazzling audition that saw them singing and dancing in mirrored unison.
After kicking off with a cover of The Jackson 5’s “Who’s Lovin’ You,” they showed off their insane, acrobatic dance skills with a high-energy routine that surprised everyone, and had Klum and Mandel doubled over with laughter. While Cowell wasn’t totally sold on their performance — and voted “no” — they got enough support from the rest of the panel to move on.
Check out the video below for a look at some of the other amazing acts that have brought down the house throughout this season.
America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
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