Follow TV Tropes


Heartwarming / America's Got Talent

Go To

  • Season 6: Landau Eugene Murphy Junior giving a comforting hug to Anna Graceman after Anna's elimination.
  • Jonathan Allen's Season 8 audition was just one long moment of heartwarming. After revealing that he was kicked out of his house on his 18th birthday for being gay, Jonathan nails his audition of "Time to Say Goodbye", and get a standing ovation from all four judges. Mel B even tells him that she was fortunate enough to sing with Luciano Pavarotti, who originally performed his song, and she said he would be so proud of Jonathan's performance.
    Howie: Let me tell you something. You seem like a nice guy, and you have a dream and a talent. With that talent, you can say that we are your family now. Welcome home. We love you, we accept you, and we are so proud that you came here.
    • Not to ignore the other openly gay tenor of this season: Branden James is similar to Allen in that his parents were not accepting of his sexual orientation, with the difference in that he at least had some support from them. (James' mother did see him perform at his audition.) Since his great audition performance, Branden has reconciled with his mother and father, who did apologize to him for the way they've treated him in the past.
  • In Season 9: Anna Clendening, a guitar player and singer, came on to perform. Hearing she has an anxiety and depression disorder, Howie, having an anxiety disorder himself, says he knows it can be hard for people to understand how difficult their lives can be and encourages her to pretend she's just in her room to help her cope. After she gives a beautiful performance, he comes on stage to make sure she's alright and hug her.
  • Speaking of judges consoling contestants, crossdressing comedian Scott Heierman from Season 10 completely bombs, forgetting his entire set, during Judge Cuts week after having an extremely successful audition. When backstage in tears, Howard Stern comes to talk to him and give encouragement, telling him that although he may not be ready for AGT this season, to not give up and continue on.
  • Season eight; after the audition performance of teen magician Collins Key, he gets a standing ovation from the whole audience that brings him to open tears, since he had never gotten such an overwhelmingly and unanimous positive response before.
  • Season 10, comedian Drew Lynch shares the story of his extremely debilitating stutter, caused by a sports injury, how his girlfriend works three jobs in order to support his dream of being a comedian, and mentions that (paraphrasing), the person he was would never talk to the person he is today. After giving a successful performance during auditions, Howie Mandel picks Drew as his Golden Buzzer act, immediately sending him to the quarter finals. In response, Drew falls down on stage in tears, and it's difficult not to feel something for him.
  • After a successful audition from a music group of high school students, Mel B wants to know about the crush one person mentioned earlier, said person repeats a scene from The Office and brings out a coffee pot which his crush opens with a note asking her to prom, and she says yes.
  • In a way, Tapeface. His performances after his initial audition always involve judge or audience participation. In fact, the only judge he didn't touch was Simon. This serve to humanize the judges. Also, for the final act, he got Victor Kee, Brian Justin Crum, Ekoe from Linkin' Bridge, and Jon Dorenbos to make a human table and even took a selfie of it. All of his acts are also very funny.
  • On June 11, 2017, doctor-singer Brandon Rogers was tragically killed in a car accident, weeks before his audition was set to air. There was some discussion on whether it would be aired after. A full month later, on July 11, the final audition of Season 12 was his, preceded by a message saying that it was his family's request. Brandon blows the judges away with a cover of Ribbon in the Sky. As his closing montage of his getting four yeses rolls, the Background Music is "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" by one of his favorite bands, Boyz II Men, and the final shot is another message card, reading:
  • In Season 12, trainer Sara and her dog Hero performed a pirate themed act that showed off his tricks, and the audience absolutely loved it. But when the time came for the judges to give their thoughts, while Heidi liked it and wanted to see more, Howie and Mel B were fairly critical and didn't share the same sentiment, causing outrage among the audience and sending the poor girl in tears. We are told in her intro package that Sara suffers from severe anxiety issues and family alienation, which makes this all the more devastating because the poor thing literally cannot take the rejection. But just as it seemed Sara was going to be turned away, who came in to defend her? Simon Cowell, who not only liked her performance, but loved it. And not only did he love it enough to defend her and tell her he sees something great in her and Hero, but he also got Howie to change his votes, giving her the three majority votes needed to advance to the next round. Sara immediately reverts into Tears of Joy and hugs Simon.
    • By the time of the Judge Cuts audition, after a museum-theft themed act, everybody loves them. But when Simon is praising them, what does Hero the dog do? He runs up to Simon at the judges' table, as if in appreciation. And then runs away when guest judge Chris Hardwick tries to pet him next. And then comes back.
    • To top it all off, she made to 5th place!
  • Simon's entire relationship with season 12 contestant Mandy Harvey, a deaf singer, who is his Golden Buzzer for that season. Right from the word 'go' he is her biggest champion, bubbling over with effusive praise after every performance, and he admits that she has touched him and his emotions in a way very few contestants ever have. It's just adorable.
    Simon: You know what, Mandy? We found each other.
    Mandy: [beaming] Yes.
  • During the Season 12 live shows, technical difficulties hit Light Balance at the worst possible time because their act can't go on without the use of the electronics that control their lighted suit displays. Unfortunately, they are forced to resort to their pre-recorded dress rehearsal as a backup... which turns out to be incredible and still gets the audience roaring with cheers.
  • When Darci Lynne won Season 12 and Angelica Hale was crowned the runner-up, Angelica was the first person to give Darci a congratulatory hug. In return, former host, Tyra Banks, comforted Angelica after her loss.
    Tyra Banks:'s amazing, it's been incredible. I gotta help Angelica. You were amazing as well. [hugs Angelica and kisses her] Give me a hug sweetie.
    • During the ending, Tyra Banks, as always, informs viewers that they'll be back next year for more talents and invites viewers to give them an opportunity to show them what they've got.
    Tyra Banks: ...auditions will commence soon. And I know, you want to be up here to show us what you've got and want to win the 1 million dollars and a headline show in Las Vegas...
    • Upon Darci Lynne winning, the first people, following Angelica Hale, to congratulate Lynne, were her two brothers, Nick and Dalton Farmer.
    Tyra Banks: Darci! [notices her brothers hugging her] Hey, who are you? Who are you?
    Nick Farmer: I'm Darci's brother.
    Tyra Banks: [gasps in surprise] And who are you?
    Dalton Farmer: I'm Darci's other brother.
    • Not only did Darci Lynne get to perform in Las Vegas, she invited Angelica Hale to perform with her.
      • After Season 12 and the Las Vegas events wrapped up, Angelica Hale and Darci Lynne have been best friends ever since then, with Darci Lynne calling it "a bond that will never be broken".
  • Season 13 has sibling live band We Three performing an original song dedicated and written from the perspective of their late mother, who passed from lymphoma. It was a moving performance that touched the audience and the judges so much that Mel B, who had also lost her father to cancer, is barely able to speak. Coupled as a Moment of Awesome as Simon points out, as a live band is not easy, but they made it work so well it felt like a professional recording. Adding to all of this is their very proud father, who is standing off-stage being held by Tyra, both of them teary-eyed.
  • The judges and Nick showing concern for Ryan Stock after he got injured with an flaming arrow during his and his wife Amberlynn's act, with Howie and Simon in particular saying Ryan should go to the hospital rather than listen to the judges critiques, even though he claimed to be fine. Howie even tried to get fans to vote for them, despite the act going wrong
  • The season 13 finale. Specifically, Zurcaroh lifting up season winner Shin Lim like it was his Bar Mitzvah.
  • The Ndlovu Youth Choir's audition for Season 14. Just...everything about it. Gabriel, the choir leader, explains that this little group from South Africa comes from very poor provinces and made this choir to give them hope, stating that they came to AGT to give a message: "Just because you're born from poverty, it does not mean that you are poverty." (In the backstage interview he even stops talking so he can wipe the tears falling down) The choir's song "African Dream" had everyone stand in ovation and four Yeses.
  • Kodi Lee, who is blind and autistic, blows everyone away with his performance of "A Song For You". After getting praise from the judges, first-time judge Gabrielle Union praises his mother for being so caring and supportive. After making the analogy of how she would want to give her child "The moon, the star and the rainbows"...
    Gabrielle: I'm going to give you something special. (cue Golden Buzzer)
    • Kodi ended up becoming the first autistic winner of the show. It just goes to show you that anyone in the world, disabled or not, has their own unique talent.
  • Speaking of the Golden Buzzer, Brad Paisley's went to Sophie Pecora, a 15-year-old singer-songwriter who had struggled with bullies. During that episode, Simon told her never to sing about bullies again because they didn't deserve her attention.
  • Again with Dwayne Wayde's going to the 29 person (30 in spirit) Indian Dance Crew V. Undefeatable. The dancers were dedicating their dances to a fallen friend, Vikas, who became paralyzed six years ago and then died (hence the name on the back of their shirts and their hand sign).
    Dwayne Wade: This is y'all house. (Golden Buzzer)
  • Season 15 started off with a VERY emotional rendition of "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" by Archie Williams. Williams was serving a life sentence for a crime he didn't commit and was released in 2019 thanks to DNA evidence after serving thirty-seven years. No tear was left unshed.
  • Season 15 finished off with a bang. Brandon Leake wins the season, shares a fist-bump with Howie Mandel, who does a tiny victory dance prior. We then pan up to the night sky with fireworks lighting up the sky. As for the viewers, they finished the night with the official trailer for the 2020 reboot for Animaniacs being live-broadcasted for the first time as a stinger, much to the joy of fans everywhere. What. A. Night.
  • Season 16: Nightbirde's original song "It's OK" wowed everyone, particularly when she brings up how she has cancer (with a 2% chance of survival) but still does her best to live her life to the fullest by stating that you can't wait till life isn't hard anymore before you to decide to be happy. Simon is absolutely moved by this. And though she had to drop out due to health issues, they still gave her a chance to speak during the Quarterfinal results.
    Simon: (sets his drink down) There have been some great singers this year. And, I'm not giving you a yes. (cue a sea of shocked gasps) I'm giving you something else. (Golden Buzzer)
    Nightbirde: (post-audition interview) I have a 2% chance of survival. But 2% isn't 0. 2% is something and I wish people know how amazing it is.
    • Tragically, Nightbirde would pass away on February 2022, but America's Got Talent would still go on to pay tribute to her. Needless to say, her words inspired many so she still left her mark.
  • Jayy's audition in the same season, who is dedicating it to her parents who died when a robber pulled a gun at their grocery store in front of her very eyes. Throughout the song you can clearly see her holding back tears. Simon Cowell is amazed at how she was able to sing this despite all of the horrible memories and trauma she went through and it's a no-brainer when all four judges give her a Yes.
  • Léa Kyle has no sob story, but she states in her interview that she's performing to impress Heidi Klum, her fashion inspiration. After her audition, it's Heidi who gives her the Golden Buzzer. Léa's face when she realizes how much Heidi liked her act is priceless.
  • Nightbirde's story inspired Lebanese dance group the Mayyas to participate in the 17th season of AGT, and they delivered a spectacular performance that Simon describes as one of the best in the show's history and won Sofia's golden buzzer. Throughout the narration, Nightbirde's song "It's OK" is played as the background music. Nightbirde would absolutely be proud.
    • The Mayyas' finale act has another moment for people who know about Lebanon. They're clearly invoking phoenix imagery because the phoenix is considered a national symbol of Lebanon and a symbol of how the nation will always rise again from hardship. A beautiful way to pay tribute to their homeland while half a world away.
  • In Season 17, a comedian named Mike E. Winfield was performing in qualifiers (new format) and Howie makes Mike a deal. If he doesn't get voted through (as the new voting methods are incredibly stringent on only letting two acts in per qualifier) he wants Mike to open for him when he does a comedy show on one of the biggest stages in America.
  • 2023 brought the Mzansi Youth Choir from South Africa to perform a beautiful rendition of Nightbirde's "It's OK", citing that she (much like the Mayyas above) was a huge inspiration to them (she'd even seen their performance online before passing and sent them words of encouragement and praise). The performance leaves all of the judges - in particular Simon, Terry, and Sofia - weeping, and Simon decides to let the audience have their first Golden Buzzer for the choir as a tribute to how good they were and for Nightbirde's memory. Nightbirde's brother Mitch even came out and said that the choir was incredible and that his sister would have felt honoured.
  • For the opening of the finals, Avantgardey and all the other Season 18 finalists collaborated to produce a music video. It's a real treat to see all the contestants just having fun with each other and appreciating each other's crafts. Also doubles as an awesome moment for Avantgardey for leading the whole shebang, and being able to incorporate such a wide variety of routines into their act.
  • A subtle one: Season 2, filmed in 2007, features a Muppet Cameo where the Swedish Chef acts as a judge. For the first time since his debut in 1975, he's seen wearing a wedding ring!note