AMERICA’S Got Talent fans slammed Howie Mandel for using his one Golden Buzzer on a choir group due to a “sob story” not their “singing ability.”
On tonight’s season premiere of the NBC competition, viewers were shocked the 65-year-old comedian advanced The Northwell Health Nurse Choir over other acts.
Read our America’s Got Talent live blog for the very latest news and updates…
Howie Mandel used his first and only Golden Buzzer of the seasonCredit: NBC
The Northwell Health Nurse Choir received the first Golden Buzzer of the seasonCredit: NBC
Fans were furious that the show was awarding ‘sob stories’ more than vocal talentCredit: Twitter
As the group came out in scrubs, they discussed their difficult year working through “a really dark, trying time” the pandemic.
The choir then sang a stunning rendition of a medley that included Lean on Me and Ben E. King’s classic Stand by Me.
As they sang, the group moved in choreographed motions and even added a rap verse to the middle to pick up the pace.
“Back in March 2020, when New York was the epicenter of COVID, we were so scared.
The choir group comprised of a group of frontline workersCredit: NBC
Each of the incredibly nurses had an emotional story to tell from this challenging yearCredit: NBC
“One patient became 10, 100, 1,000. Nobody knew how many people COVID would kill,” he confessed.
Another member, Danielle Filippone, who is a nurse at Staten Island University Hospital, said the “hardest part was seeing these patients alone.”
She added they: “couldn’t have their families with them so we stepped in as their family.”
Due to the hard times, The Northwell Nurse Choir was formed in November 2020 to serve as a “beacon of hope” for the community.
Simon – who made his big comeback on Tuesday’s premiere – said their performance was “touching.”
Howie was so impressed with the group, he couldn’t stay in his seatCredit: NBC
Each judge is only given one Golden Buzzer per seasonCredit: NBC
However, Howie had the strongest reaction as he called it a “perfect” audition.
“You stand by people you don’t know, you watch horror and you watch strength and I thought… I want to stand for you,” he said getting up out of his chair.
The Deal Or No Deal alum then hit the Golden Buzzer – which each judge only has the opportunity to do one time per season.
Any act who received the coveted prize will automatically advance to the live show semi-finals – skipping the next round of competition.
Howie Mandel used his one Golden Buzzer on the groupCredit: NBC
The frontline choir was elated and celebrated on stage as gold confetti fellCredit: NBC
The group will be able to advance straight to the live showsCredit: NBC
As gold confetti fell on stage, the dozens of singers began celebrating with shocked facial expressions.
However, fans accused Howie of only sending the group through due to their touching story rather than their actual talent.
One person said: “Nurses in general are incredible and the Northwell choir is talented but they got their golden buzzer more for the story than their skills (as is the case w most golden buzzer acts).”
“America’s got sob stories,” a second quipped on Twitter.
A third wrote: “I’m tired of these golden buzzer sob stories.”
“Raally?? The golden buzzer for a choir?? REALLY?!?” Someone questioned alongside a confused gif.
America’s Got Talent airs on Tuesday’s at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.
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