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The judges on America’s Got Talent never have an easy choice ahead of them when it comes time to cut down the number of competitors on the show. Out of the dozens of acts that make it through the initial auditions, the judges are tasked with selecting only a few to continue into the show’s next phase.
During Tuesday night’s (August 1) episode, the judges picked six acts to join the “Golden Buzzer” contestants in the live shows. There were 20 total contestants to pick from, so many talented people were forced to pack their bags and head home.
But one person who can breathe a sigh of relief is 56-year-old singer Mike Yung. Those who have traveled on the subway system in New York City may have heard Yung singing there. As someone used to performing for passerbys, Yung told the judges his dream would be to perform a concert at Madison Square Garden.
After his performance, Yung proved that he is more than capable of achieving that dream and so much more. He chose to sing “A Change Is Gonna Come,” one of soul singer Sam Cooke‘s most well-known songs. It is also a favorite of judge Simon Cowell, as he told Yung beforehand that he “love[s] that song.“
Yung effortlessly transitioned into singing “A Change Is Gonna Come,” drawing in the audience from the second he sang the first note. He used the song to show off all of the limits of his voice, especially his range. At one point he hit a high note and held if for so long that the crowd had several seconds to cheer for him before he moved on.
Once he finished singing, the crowd made it clear how much they enjoyed the performance by flying to their feet. But they weren’t the only ones who gave Yung a standing ovation. Cowell also rose to his feet, proving that he liked what he heard.
Speaking to Yung after the excitement died down, Cowell thanked him for delivering such a high-quality performance.
“I applaud the fact that you have paid your dues,” he said. “You have such a great heart, such a great talent. This has been amazing yet again, thank you.“
At the end of the night, the judges collectively decided that Yung deserved to move on. So now he will join a select group of contestants in the next phase of the competition!
Tune in below to watch the performance that helped Yung earn that coveted spot on the live shows. We can’t wait to hear more from him as the show continues!