Teen Cured of Blindness Gets Golden Buzzer on 'America's Got Talent' After Stunning Jackson 5 Cover
It was the kind of story that can melt the heart of even the coldest America's Got Talent judge. Which explains why ice king Simon Cowell predicted that he had a "good feeling" about 16-year-old singer Christian Guardino on Tuesday night's (June 14) show. After getting over his nerves, Guardino proved Cowell's prescience with a stunning, soulful rendition of the 1969 Jackson 5 single "Who's Lovin' You."
The Long Island, New York, teen worked the stage and drew whoops from the crowd as he confidently crooned the Smokey Robinson cover that helped launch the career of a pre-teen Michael Jackson. Cowell was so overwhelmed he asked for 10 seconds to collect his thoughts. “You were like a little mouse that turned into a lion," said Cowell as Guardino got teary eyed on stage. "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."
The performance was preceded by a segment in which Guardino and his mother, Elizabeth, described how the teen went from being blind for most of his life due to a retinal disease called Leber congenital amaurosis until he was cured thanks to an experimental gene therapy that allows him to see. His inspirational story got him the one thing he told judge Howie Mandel he was after: a golden buzzer to the live rounds.
Check out his performance:
Guardino's golden buzzer is the third of the season, following on the heels of 12-year-old singing ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer and 29-year-old deaf singer Mandy Harvey.