‘AGT’s Mzansi Youth Choir Cover Nightbirde, Move Cowell to Tears

America’s Got Talent returned for the summer on Tuesday night (May 30), and the first Golden Buzzer has already been issued.

Golden Buzzer slaps are dealt out by one of the judges — Sofia Vergara, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum or Simon Cowell — and automatically advance the contestant directly to the live shows later in the summer.

Season 18’s first Golden Buzzer recipient is the Mzansi Youth Choir, a children’s choir from South Africa. As soon as they began their performance, the judges looked almost in shock at the energy that began emanating from the stage.

The group, wearing all white, took turns delivering lyrics and powerful harmonies accented by dance moves. All four judges gave the Mzansi Youth Choir a standing ovation.

Klum shared that the song they chose to sing, “It’s OK” by Nightbirde, holds special meaning to the judges because it is something they associate with a previous contestant, Jane Marczewski who went by the stage name Nightbirde. Marczewski died in 2022, and the group made the conscious decision to sing the song in her honor.

Cowell was moved to tears after seeing the tribute, saying he knows how much the performance would have meant to the late singer. Cowell’s tears transferred to the children onstage, who were comforted by the audience chanting “Golden Buzzer.”

Listening to the audience’s heartfelt wish, the panel of judges — plus host Terry Crews — pressed the Golden Buzzer. Crews congratulated the choir for earning the Golden Buzzer from the “fifth judge,” the audience — an AGT first!

Earlier in the night, a wide variety of contestants took the stage including a fiddle player, breakdancing dinosaur, magician and an acrobat group from Ukraine.

America’s Got Talent airs throughout the summer on Tuesday nights at 8PM ET on NBC.

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