Voices of Our City Choir performed their original song titled “Sounds of the Street” during their audition on America’s Got Talent 2020 (Season 15).
The choir is composed of people who are experiencing homelessness in San Diego. They were the subject of a documentary titled “The Homeless Chorus Speaks” produced by Susan Polis Schutz. The choir had their first public concert four years ago, according to the Times of San Diego. Founded by Steph Johnson (who acted as spokesperson at the AGT audition), and Nina Deering, the vocal group now has a total of 225 members. About one fifth (40+) of the members performed at America’s Got Talent 2020 auditions round.
The Voices of Our City Choir’s emotional performance moved and wowed everyone. America’s Got Talent judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, and Sofia Vergara, as well as the audience, gave them a standing ovation.
All of the AGT judges praised the choir’s audition. But even before they were able to give their votes, host Terry Crews emerged from backstage and proceeded to press the Golden Buzzer, automatically sending the group to the live shows.
Season: AGT 2020 (Season 15)
Contestant: Voices of Our City Choir
Song: “Sounds of the Street” by Voices of Our City Choir
Audition Result: Terry Crew’s Golden Buzzer, advanced to Live Shows
Golden Buzzer: Voices of Our City Choir Delivers Emotional Performance – America’s Got Talent 2020
Sofia Vergara said the performance was beautiful. “The words of the song were really special. They were so perfect for you guys. I think we need more people like you that are really, you know, taking matters in their own hands. Fantastic.”
Howie Mandel said homelessness is pervasive and is huge in the United States. “We need to solve this problem and we need to come together. I have to say who you are and why you’re doing it and what you’re doing does blow me and the entire audience away.”
Heidi Klum said she feels the camaraderie and the togetherness of the choir members and it moved her. “It moved me, it really did. It was really, really beautiful.”
Simon Cowell felt by watching the choir that there is indeed strength in numbers. He noted the part of the performance where an old lady member of the choir had a spoken part. “My favorite moment was the talking. Never heard that happen in the choir before. The tone of your voice, it’s just sensational.” Simon continued, “What we have here is a collection of really talented people and we need that raw talent to begin with and that’s what we’ve got. We live in a world at the moment there is so much talking but you’ve actually made something happen.”
Host Terry Crews got on stage and said there’s nothing but talk going on and it’s time to make something happen right now for everybody on the stage. “What they did today has moved me to this point right now.” Terry then pressed (more like slammed) the Golden Buzzer for the Voices of Our City choir.
America’s Got Talent (AGT) Season 15 premiered in the United States on May 26, 2020, on NBC. For this season, AGT judges are Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, returning Heidi Klum, and newcomer Sofia Vergara.
This season is most notable for its production being affected by the COVID-19 or coronavirus pandemic in 2020, which impacted audition sessions. The program initially moved to filming without an audience present at auditions, before ultimately suspending production. Auditions were later allowed to continue, but via online applications from those quarantined in their homes.
The production staff decided to push through with the broadcast as planned and premiere on May 26. Debate continues on how many episodes would be broadcast with the amount of material that had been recorded.
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