During the July 19 episode of “America’s Got Talent,” judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara met Sam Cieri of the band Nicotine Dolls. The New Jersey resident auditioned as a solo singer, telling the panelists, “I came here because I’ve been making music my entire life and a month ago was the first month that I ever actually paid my bills or anything with making music, and that’s really cool.” Watch the “AGT” audition video above.
Prior to being a musician, Sam made a living cleaning and painting houses, but he readily admits, “I wasn’t very good at the second one … If you’re watching, I’m sorry that I did that to your house.” He’s living his dream right now as a self-sustaining musician. “I’m gonna be creative and that’s gonna be my job,” he confidently states.
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Sam performs an original song on the big stage, and his gravely singing voice takes the audience by surprise. When Heidi jokes that he’s the offspring of Rod Stewart and John Mayer, Sam replies with a smile, “Those are my parents.”
Heidi goes on to say that his voice is “special,” while Sofia calls him “different and sexy” and Simon declares him to be “authentic.” Simon adds, “You were very honest with us as well. We got to know you really quickly and it was like you swallowed a great singer. Because the way you talk, it’s like there’s somebody else in you.” As usual, Simon is right on the money, as Sam’s singing tone sounds nothing like his speaking voice.
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The “AGT” judges give him three “yes” votes, sending him through to the next round, which will be the Judge Cuts. The fourth panelist, Howie Mandel, was out sick so he didn’t get to vote.
If Sam goes on to win “America’s Got Talent,” he’d be the eighth singer to prevail following Bianca Ryan (Season 1), Neal E. Boyd (Season 3), Kevin Skinner (Season 4), Michael Grimm (Season 5), Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. (Season 6), Grace VanderWaal (Season 11) and Kodi Lee (Season 14). See the show’s winners list.