“America’s Got Talent” paid tribute to one of its contestants less than a month after his tragic death.
Brandon Rogers, 29, died in a car accident just before his audition on the reality singing series was set to air, leading his family to request the show play it in his honor on Tuesday.
“At the request of his family we would like to honor his memory by sharing his audition with you,” the show said in a statement before airing the segment.
In the video, Brandon talks to his mom on the phone, revealing how nervous he is to sing for judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howie Mandel. His mom assures him he is going to do a “wonderful, wonderful job.”
He later explains that he became a family doctor after he watched medical staff help his mother through an emergency when he was a child.
“I feel like I’m in a field where I’m actually making a difference, and there can be some tough days too,” he said. “My way to cope with the stress has always been music. If I could find a way to combine being a doctor and medicine with music and singing that would be a dream come true.”
He goes on to wow the judges with Stevie Wonder’s “Ribbon in the Sky.”
As the judges offer glowing remarks, Boyz II Men’s “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” plays in the background. It is a fitting song, considering Brandon liked posting covers of Boyz II Men, and even performed with the group in Las Vegas in January.
Heidi loved Brandon, saying “There is something so special about your voice.” Mel B said he was the complete package, telling him, “You’re great.”
Howie joked that his medical background was waste of time, but something to fall back on, and Simon told him his vocal was “stunning.” He earned a “yes” from all four judges.
Afterward, Brandon calls his parents with the good news, gushing, “I made it!”
Rogers died June 11 in a single-car crash in Maryland.
Reports are he was riding in the front passenger seat when his friend veered off the road and crashed into a tree.
In the crash report, the driver revealed that he had fallen asleep behind the wheel after a long work shift.
Along with the driver, Rogers’ other friend, who sat in the backseat, also survived.