The Tabernacle Choir Blog

Alex Boyé’s America’s Got Talent Surprise

During the Choir’s Atlantic Coast Tour in the summer of 2015, we caught up with Alex Boyé in Boston before the tour’s final show. Boyé was on tour as the Choir’s guest soloist and performed the spirituals “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me” and “I’m Runnin’ On.” At the time of our interview, he was fresh off the stage from sound check and excited about his America’s Got Talent television audition performance that was making its way around the Internet and being shared by celebrities.

When we asked him what it was like to perform on America’s Got Talent, he let us in on a well-kept secret: “In 2010, I auditioned for America’s Got Talent in Portland, Oregon. When I got on that stage I opened my mouth—within five seconds of performing I got the first buzzer. Ten seconds after that, I got another. Now I’m performing really hard, trying to pull out magic—you’re trying to think, what have you got left?” Before his 90-second performance was up, he heard the final buzzer, and they stopped the song.

He stood before the three judges at the time—Howie Mandel, Sharon Osbourne, and Piers Morgan—and each gave him the feedback he had hoped not to hear. Of the negative comments, Boyé said, “The nicest comment I got was from Sharon Osbourne. She said ‘Look, you’re not right for this competition. It’s just not you, but keep trying.” Even some of the crowd got into it, yelling for him to get off the stage and booing.

When producers of America’s Got Talent reached out to Boyé’s management this time in 2015 and asked him to audition, a flood of emotions went through his mind. His first thought was, “No way!” But, after some serious contemplation and prayer, Boyé felt like he should do it again and put his faith in his inspiration.

This time around when he auditioned and saw judge Howie Mandel standing on his seat dancing and the audience giving him a standing ovation, he was floored. Reflecting on the experience, Boyé said, “I was not going to do it. I almost let my fears get the best of me.” If you missed his first performance on America’s Got Talent, he made it through the first round with four "yes" votes from the judges, and the crowd loved him. Watch it here.

Boyé hopes someday to find the old footage from his first audition when he didn’t make the cut so he can use it to spread a positive message. He said, “I want to try and find that footage so I can show people and say, especially to the kids, 'Don’t ever give up on your dreams.'”

Watch part one of our three-part interview with Alex Boyé: