“America’s Got Talent” host Terry Crews is sounding off on why he anointed Voices of Our City Choir with his Golden Buzzer during the Season 15 premiere. In NBC’s video interview (watch above), Crews says emotions “just welled up in me” after the homeless choir sang their original song about listening to the sounds of the sidewalk, so he had to press the button. The adult choir now fast-forwards all the way to the “AGT” live shows, which typically film in mid-August at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Voices of Our City Choir was created four years ago in San Diego to help give new life to “people living unsheltered” on the streets, explained its director. Through the money raised by the chorale group, some members are no longer living on the street. “What an amazing idea,” judge Simon Cowell proclaimed after hearing their emotional story during Tuesday’s episode.
Crews, who watched the performance from his position backstage, now declares, “I knew I was gonna hit the Golden Buzzer as soon as [the judges] wrapped the comments. I remember I was just sitting there full of emotion after seeing this beautiful rendition of an original song with spoken word in it — the whole thing by people who had been marginalized, who had been homeless, who were living in shelters, and they all decided to show their creativity.”
This is actually the second singing group in a row to earn Crews’ Golden Buzzer after Detroit Youth Choir last year. Those underdog students ended up making it all the way to second place, finishing behind only singer/pianist Kodi Lee. (See the “America’s Got Talent” winners list.) Will Voices of Our City Choir now have a similar trajectory on Season 15?
“When you talk about the people that were on that stage, they have typically been counted out of society,” Crews adds about the homeless choir. “They have literally been treated as less than human. They told me later that they were in a shelter a year ago and they never thought they would be in front of millions of people on TV. But look! Look at how one little thing can change the trajectory of your life. So what I want to say is, take this opportunity and enjoy it. I want to see more, because there’s more there.”