The last time that Vietnam War veteran Robert Finley appeared on “America’s Got Talent,” he blew the judges away with his original song, “Get It While You Can.” The blind 65-year old blues singer from Louisiana took on another original song, “Medicine Woman,” when he returned for the Judge Cuts round. As expected, Robert had all five judges — Simon Cowell, Julianne Hough, Gabrielle Union, Howie Mandel and Dwyane Wade — on their feet with his high-energy, rocking performance. Robert easily sailed through to the next round, which means fans will soon see him in the live shows at the Dolby Theatre. Watch the “AGT” video above and read the judges’ comments below.
Howie: “You know, music and performance should move people and you moved us all up off our seats, onto our feet. And the one word that comes to mind when I hear you is authenticity.”
Gabrielle: “Mr. Finley, you did not come to play with us today. You came to go to the finals and you put everybody backstage on notice.”
Dwyane: “I’ve got two things. Robert, one, is it okay if we adopt you in our family? And two, thank you for showing America to never give up on their dreams. Thank you for that.”
Simon: “I once left a show and the big reason was, I could not get over this rule that anyone over the age of 29 couldn’t be part of a singing competition. I think you were better today than you were the first time. I just wish I could be as cool as you.”
In his “AGT” live blog, our recapper Denton Davidson had this to say about the performance: “Next up tonight is Robert Finley, a singer who has been belting it out his entire life. The 65-year old put his dreams aside earlier in life to take care of his daughters, but now they’re ready to stand behind him and watch him pursue his dream. After working as a carpenter, his vision slowly deteriorated and now he’s ready to rock and roll his way to a million dollars. He’s singing an original that I believe is called ‘Medicine Woman’ and if I didn’t know this was an original I would just assume it’s a soul classic I hadn’t heard before. Despite being blind and barely moving, this man owns the stage and has the audience eating out of the palm of his hand. The judges love it and Gabrielle says he just put everyone back stage ‘on notice.'”