Avery Dixon appeared on Tuesday night’s (May 31) episode of America’s Got Talent and left crowd feeling emotional after telling judges Howie Mandel, Sofia Vergara, Heidi Klum, and Simon Cowell about his life struggles. But he kept the feels coming later on when he stunned with his incredible saxophone talent that even left host Terry Crew teary eyed.
Before beginning his performance, Dixon told the judges that he experienced bullying in school largely due to his appearance and unique way of speaking, which are due to being born premature.
“At the time I picked up the saxophone, I was getting bullied in elementary school. My voice sounded a little different and I looked a little bit different too. My elementary school nickname was Hammerhead because I had these knots on my head because I’m premature. I was born at one pound and eight ounces. And my vocal cords don’t close all the way so, it made my voice sound really airy. Students were so negative about my voice — one called me frog and she’d get the class in on the joke. They were relentless. I was in such a dark place,” he told the judges, adding that he at one point even considered ending his own life because of the pain he felt.
After being vulnerable with the judges — and briefly explaining that the police were once called on him for trying to practice — Dixon began his saxophone performance with an instrumental track providing an assist. The musician expertly trilled the keys up and down, creating dynamic runs with his instrument so effortless and infectious that it got Klum, Vergara, Mandel and the entire audience out of their seats to dance and clap along. Crews, meanwhile, looked in awe from the wings of the stage.
“Every time I hear a story about a kid being bullied at school, it breaks my heart. It breaks it even more now because I have a son myself, and I could not think of anything worse. Any one of those idiots who bullied you now, I hope is watching this audition,” Cowell told Dixon. “All of us were willing you to be good. I didn’t know you would be great!”
The host, visibly emotional, came on stage following Cowell’s commentary and told the audience that there was “no need to vote.” He popped over to the judges area, and slammed down the coveted golden buzzer. Golden confetti rained down on Dixon, his spot in the live shows secured.
Watch Dixon’s performance below.