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The U.S. Army‘s 82nd Airborne Infantry Division may be known for its capabilities on the battlefield — soldiers belonging to the 82nd specialize in parachute assault operations and can deploy anywhere in the world in 18 hours – but it was the division’s chorus that made a splash on “America’s Got Talent.”
The 82nd Airborne chorus brought the house down – and the audience to its feet – in a recent appearance on the competition show, getting cheers from judges Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara, and Simon Cowell.
The chorus took the stage in typical military fashion, calling cadence as they marched to their places and prompting a look of slight confusion from Cowell. After getting them to their places, the group’s leader — Staff Sergeant Gilbert – got a laugh from the audience with a casual, “Hey, everybody.”
Gilbert introduced the group, explaining that they were all a part of the 82nd Airborne Division’s “All-American Chorus” out of North Carolina.
“This is amazing!” Cowell remarked.”I’m really curious, so obviously this is what you do full time. What’s the big dream, then, coming on the show?”
“We’re here to win,” Gilbert declared.
“Oh, wow,” Cowell replied, and the audience cheered. “Who are you doing this for?”
“So, we wanted to dedicated this performance — last week, we lost one of our soldiers, Specialist Elijah Crawford — so we’re dedicating this performance to him, and all of the soldiers that have passed before him,” Gilbert replied, tearing up a bit before he added, ” I told myself I wasn’t going to …”
“That is very respectful,” Cowell responded, adding, “And I’m really sorry, by the way. Really sorry. We’re all rooting for you.”
Gilbert kicked off the performance with a harmonized version of a routine cadence – and then after a few lines, they switched gears and launched into an a cappella rendition of the Temptations hit “My Girl.”
Their last notes were still ringing out when the audience jumped to their feet — Cowell included – clapping and cheering.
The 82nd Airborne Chorus’ full performance will air on “America’s Got Talent” on July 11.