13 Highly Emotional America's Got Talent Auditions That Will Make Your Heart Burst
After watching episode upon episode of America's Got Talent over the years, we knew what we were in for when the reality competition show's 14th season debuted on NBC on May 28. Jaw-dropping performances? Check. Quotable one-liners from judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Gabrielle Union, and Julianne Hough? Check. Oh, and no less than one billion gallons of tears? Check.
Since the series isn't limited solely to musical auditions, there are plenty of lighthearted moments that come courtesy of hilarious comedians and shirtless flutists (yes, really). And we love those moments! In fact, we desperately need them to help balance out our emotional state by the end of every episode, since AGT also features some seriously talented and inspirational performers who have us reaching for the nearest box of tissues.
We're still in the midst of season 14, but we figured now was as good a time as any to reflect on the most emotional America's Got Talent auditions so far. Just be warned: happy tears ahead!
Emanne Beasha Singing "Caruso"
Emanne Beasha, a 10-year-old opera prodigy, was awarded the Golden Buzzer by guest judge Jay Leno after an astounding performance of "Caruso."
Chris Kläfford Singing "Imagine"
Chris Kläfford hit the stage looking every inch a rock star, but the 30-year-old Swedish singer belted out a delicate, absolutely gorgeous cover of John Lennon's "Imagine." As soon as he finished, people in the audience jumped to their feet and visibly wiped away tears, and all four judges joined in giving him a standing ovation.
Luke Islam Singing "She Used to Be Mine"
Luke Islam is one step closer to his Broadway dream after a very successful America's Got Talent audition. The 12-year-old from New York participated in the show's final round of auditions, singing "She Used to Be Mine" from the musical Waitress. It impressed Hough and the audience so much, his performance was greeted with a standing ovation and a golden buzzer!
Robert Finley Singing "Get It While You Can"
65-year-old Vietnam War veteran Robert Finley blew the judges away with a soulful and inspiring performance of his own original song. While auditioning, he revealed that he lost his eyesight due to glaucoma a few years ago, leading him to rediscover his passion for music. "I had to lose my physical sight so I could see my true destiny," he said.
Tyler Butler-Figueroa Playing Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)"
The 11-year-old North Carolina native was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 4, and began playing the violin as he got older as a way to cope with bullying in school. "I just didn't want to be the kid with cancer, so now, I'm the kid who plays violin," Tyler, who has been in remission for four years, tells the judges during his audition. Fortunately Tyler's performance was just as awe-inspiring as his story, and earned a a golden buzzer from Simon Cowell.
Kodi Lee Singing "A Song For You"
During the NBC show's season 14 premiere, contestant Kodi Lee, a blind singer with autism, brought the audience to tears. After being introduced by his mother, who told everyone that music "saved his life," Kodi played piano and simultaneously belted out a chills-worthy cover of Donny Hathaway's "A Song For You." We haven't been able to stop thinking about his falsetto since, and clearly new judge Gabrielle Union was also fan — she awarded Kodi her first-ever golden buzzer!
The Detroit Youth Choir Singing Macklemore and Ryan Lewis's "Can't Hold Us"
Don't forget that host Terry Crews can also slam the golden buzzer! After hearing an exceptional performance of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis's "Can't Hold Us" by the Detroit Youth Choir, Crews sent them through to the next round. "I have to tell you, every young man and woman on this stage represents me and where I came from," he said, tearing up. "I remember sitting in my window in Flint, MI, dreaming 'I wanted to make it.' I wanted to be here." What's even sweeter? The group also got a standing ovation from all four judges.
Ansley Burns Singing Aretha Franklin's "Think"
We have to imagine that auditioning for a competition show like this would be nerve-racking, but you'd never know that by watching 12-year-old Ansley Burns. The pint-sized powerhouse wowed the judges wit her vocal chops during her America's Got Talent audition in June, where she sang Aretha Franklin's "Think." Following a slip-up with the backing track, Simon asked her to sing the song again a cappella, and unsurprisingly, she killed it.
Voices of Service Singing Katy Perry's "Rise"
A quartet of army veterans who make up the military singing group Voices of Service took the stage on AGT to sing their take on Katy Perry's inspirational anthem "Rise." Their harmony-filled performance left everyone in earshot in awe, but it was the touching message behind their group — which uses music as a form of therapy for service men and women struggling with post-traumatic stress — that really made hearts swell.
Voices of Service Singing Wiz Khalifa's "See You Again"
The musical ensemble returned to the show with an emotional performance of Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth's "See You Again." Prepare for goosebumps.
Joseph Allen Singing an Original Song
Howie Mandel awarded 21-year-old Texas native Joseph Allen with his golden buzzer after the talented young man sang and rapped an original song. While up on stage, the competitor said his desire to "make a major impact in the world" motivated him to try out, and by the end of his audition he was on his knees in tears while the judges gave him a standing ovation. Cue the waterworks!
Mackenzie Singing "Nothing Compares 2 U"
A singer by the name of Mackenzie proved just how smooth of a crooner he is by performing Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U," which had judge Gabrielle Union wiping her eyes by the end of it.
Mackenzie Singing Journey's "Faithfully"
Mackenzie's second time on stage was just as chill-inducing as his first go (if not more). Watch him sing the classic Journey song and prepare to lose it.