Kelvin Dukes, a 14-year-old singer (and aspiring dentist), took the stage during Tuesday’s second episode of “America’s Got Talent” and wowed all four judges — Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara and Howie Mandel — with his cover of Aretha Franklin‘s “Ain’t No Way.” Before his performance, this high-energy Burtonsville, Maryland resident told a funny story about how the last time he performed in front of a large crowd he accidentally burped. Howie later burped at the talented tyke to make him feel better, which prompted Simon’s jaw to drop. “I can’t believe you just did that,” he scolded. Watch Kelvin’s audition video above.
“I believe it was my first performance,” Kelvin recalled when he first stepped in front of the judges. “I was nine years old. It was so funny. I was singing, I was doing what I was doing, then I stop and accidentally burp in front of [everyone], which was like really embarrassing.”
Following Kelvin’s powerful performance of the Franklin classic, the judges and studio audience gave him a wild standing ovation. “That was pretty amazing,” Simon started. Heidi added, “You are awesome. Big song, big voice and you did it justice.” Sofia proclaimed, “For me it was like perfection. I wouldn’t change a thing.”
That’s when it was Howie’s turn to chime in. “First of all, you are great and talented. I — [burp] — oh, excuse me. Sorry, so embarrassing.” After Simon’s shocked reaction, Howie continued on, “But you are amazing. I love you. America loves you. And this room loves you.” All four judges voted “yes” to send Kelvin through to the next round, with Howie joking it was a “no” to dentistry.
In his “AGT” live blog, our recapper John Benutty had this to say about the performance: “The very enthusiastic 14-year-old Kelvin Dukes got to live out his dream of performing in front of Simon. Somehow, majestically, Kelvin went from spirited young kid to mature, soul truth-teller the second he began singing. Heidi loved that he chose a big song and delivered with a big voice, but honestly the only opinion anyone wanted to hear was Simon’s (let’s forget Howie pushing out a burp)! Simon called it an ‘amazing audition’ and told him that he has a very special talent. Kelvin was so happy to receive all four YES votes!”