America's Got Talent/YouTube
16-year old Christian Guardino earned the third of this season’s golden buzzers during Tuesday night’s episode of America’s Got Talent. Guardino overcame his nerves to deliver a stunning cover of the Jackson 5’s 1969 hit “Who’s Lovin’ You.”
“You were like a little mouse that turned into a lion. You are one of my favorite contestants I’ve seen this year. Not only in terms of your voice. I just like you. There’s something about you, and it’s just the best possible feeling when we meet someone like you,” judge Simon Cowell said.
Judge Howie Mandell asked the teen if he could make any dream come true for himself right at that moment, what would it be. Christian hesitantly said, “Probably the golden buzzer.” Mandel made that dream come true by sending Guardino directly through to the AGT live rounds.
In addition to showcasing his impressive vocal abilities, Christian had a story to tell. Like the another of this season’s golden buzzer recipients Mandy Harvey, Guardino has overcome challenging physical impairments.
Christian was diagnosed with an eye disease called Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA). According to an issue of National Geographic that highlighted Christian’s story, he was cured of his blindness after receiving experimental gene therapy treatment.
“From the day Christian Guardino was born, his mother, Elizabeth, knew that something was wrong with his eyes. They would jiggle and jerk and roll up into his head. One eye turned inward,” writes National Geographic. “When she fed him, instead of gazing up at her, Christian would stare at the brightest light around—a lamp if they were indoors, the sun if they were out. It was unsettling.”
Christian’s parents were told that he would “see little of the world” and would always walk with a cane. Thanks to Jean Bennett and 20 years of research, Christian proved other doctors wrong.
Now with eyesight between 20/50 and 20/70, Christian has a new-found confidence to share his God-given vocal talent.
Watch Christian Guardino sing “Who’s Lovin’ You” in the video below.