Terry Crews has come a long way since his days of sitting in his Flint, Michigan, bedroom, dreaming of becoming a star.
The actor and former pro football player is currently hosting “America’s Got Talent,” and when he looked into the hopeful young faces of the Detroit Youth Choir he felt an instant connection. In fact, Terry saw himself reflected back in the eyes of each young man and woman on the stage that day.
Choir director Anthony White is the man behind the mission for this large group of singers. He explained that the choir provides a beacon of hope for the kids of Detroit. “The Detroit Youth Choir is a community-based choir,” Anthony stated. “We have a lot of inner-city kids, some of them have bad home situations or they can be in the streets. There’s violence. We give them something positive to come and be a part of.”
And what a positive thing it is!
As the judges watched in shocked silence the choir took to the stage, and our first impression is that there are just so many performers! The kids all look sweet in their matching uniforms and knee socks, and each one of them looks like they simply can’t believe that they’re there.
Once they began their ultra-high energy performance of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Can’t Hold Us” it was clear that these kids didn’t come to play — they came to win.
As the choir provided the backup an individual singer would step forward to sing a portion of the song. Everything from classic choral notes to rapping was represented, and within seconds all four judges seemed fired up. Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough could hardly stay in their seats as the choir jumped in synchronized dance moves and nailed every note.
When the kids finished the song with the line, “This is our moment,” the crowd and judges couldn’t wait to leap to their feet for a rousing standing ovation. They certainly earned the reaction!
Howie Mandel started off the judging with nothing but positivity, and then it was Julianne’s turn to lavish praise on the choir. “It starts with the people, and you guys came together and created something that was traditional choir and you … made it fresh,” she told them.
“The dancing and the singing and rapping is so much more than you would expect from a choir. I love you,” Simon said. “If you keep doing this, where every performance is the last thing you would expect a choir to do, you could win this.” Gabrielle agreed, telling them, “What we all witnessed here tonight is nothing short of absolute brilliance.”
Yet the most exhilarating moment of the performance was yet to come. The judges were about to begin their voting when Terry emerged from backstage. “Every man and woman on this stage represents me and where I came from. I remember sitting at my window in Flint, Michigan, dreaming about wanting to make it and wanting to be here – and they are here.” As he said this, his voice cracked… but actions speak louder than words when he stepped off the stage and hit the Golden Buzzer, launching the group into the next round of competition!
The entire auditorium erupted with joy as the golden confetti fluttered down. Anthony and the choir members were beside themselves with glee, most of them in tears as the reality of the situation began to sink in. We’re rooting for them for sure!
Share Detroit Youth Choir’s exciting performance to encourage all children to never stop dreaming!
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