On Tuesday’s season 11 premiere of “America’s Got Talent,” Linkin’ Bridge, a quartet from Kentucky, shocked the judges with a surprisingly sweet rendition of “Over the Rainbow.” Above, watch as the four fellows, who do not impress the panel with their low-key answers about where they are from (a “rough neighborhood”) and their musical influences (“hip-hop”), then pull off a jaw-dropper with their a capella version of the Best Song Oscar champ from the 1939 classic “The Wizard of Oz.”
Indeed, by the time they sang the last note, both Mel B and Heidi Klum were standing and cheering, as was much of the audience. The tart-tongued Mel B readily admitted, “I wasn’t expecting that at all. I’m actually a bit speechless. It was that good. Well done.”
Simon Cowell, who is new to the judges’ table this season, tempered his praise initially. “I thought the first half of the song was okay.” However, he continued, “when you picked it up in the middle and you slowed everything down and we heard your lead, it was sensational.” Then, he added the kicker “this could be your time now” which rendered one of the Linkin’ Bridge quartet speechless.
The fourth judge, Howie Mandel, leapt to his feet as he told this fearsome foursome that the four “yes” votes from the panel meant that they would make it to boot camp, the next stage of this competition which has a grand prize of one million dollars and a contract to headline a show on the Las Vegas strip.