Tensions were high on Tuesday’s “America’s Got Talent”, as Simon Cowell got heated with a contestant during his audition — leading to an eventual walk-off.
Lamont Landers came on stage to perform Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” for the judges, but was stopped mid-way through the song by Cowell, who dismissed his audition choice as “a very safe wedding song.”
When the judges asked Landers what other songs he had prepared, his answer — Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Goin’ On?” — didn’t thrill Cowell any more than the first.
The stand-off between the two got slightly heated when Cowell told Landers, “Your problem is, you don’t take risks,” and asked him to come back later with another song to perform. However, Landers went over the judge’s head, asking the audience what they thought, to a smattering of applause and boos.
“You are getting on my nerves right now, because I actually like your voice,” Cowell told the singer. “I would suggest you think about what I’m saying and I’m gonna give you another shot. Don’t be cocky.”
Ultimately, Landers decided to walk off stage and take some time to decide whether or not to return. “He was really getting on my nerves,” Cowell told his fellow judges as the singer exited.
He eventually returned, and the judges — including Cowell — assured the singer that they were rooting for him, despite the rocky start. This time around, Landers performed “Dancing on My Own” by Robyn. After being stopped once again by Cowell, and being told to “shake out” his nerves, Landers performed a soulful cover of the dance track that left the judges smiling, the audience applauding and even garnered a standing ovation from Cowell. Thank goodness for a second chance!
“Sometimes, someone gives you a little bit of advice, and it opens the door,” Cowell told the singer, before the judging panel gave him unanimous “Yes” votes. “I think the door has opened for you just now.”
Last week, spirits were slightly higher when the Detroit Youth Choir moved the judges with their performance of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Can’t Hold Us,” and struck a particular cord with host Terry Crews, who was born and raised in Flint, Michigan.
“Let me tell you, Mr. White, people like you are the reason I am where I am right now,” Crews told the choir director and the young vocalists backstage before their performance.
“All it takes is one person to believe that you can do it, and you have that,” he added, his voice already shaking with emotion. “That’s more than many people have on this Earth.”
While all the judges were ready to give their “yes” votes following the kids’ powerful performance, that wasn’t enough for Crews, who took the stage with tears in his eyes to share a passionate message about how much the song, and the choir meant to him.
“I’m so sorry to interrupt, but I have to tell you, every young man and woman on this stage represents me and where I came from,” Crews shared. “I remember sitting at my window in Flint, Michigan, dreaming that I wanted to make it and that I wanted to be here. And they’re here.”
“They did so well that I have to do this,” he added, walking over to the judges’ panel and up to the Golden Buzzer.
“All it takes is one person to believe in a young man or woman for them to reach their dreams, and you are that man, sir,” Terry told the choir leader before slamming the Golden Buzzer and showering them in sparkling confetti.
The honor brought the entire stage filled with hopeful young performers to exuberant tears as their family members cried with joy from the audience. See the powerful moment in the video below!
“America’s Got Talent” airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
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