Episodes of America’s Got Talent are always a mixed bag when it comes to the talent of the performers, with some so ridiculous that they’re difficult to watch and some so fantastic that they take the breath away. The July 10 episode was no different, with a robot man getting nixed by the judges before he got the chance to peel an orange (yes, really) and an incredible father/daughter acrobatic team sharing the same stage. A true highlight of the episode didn’t involve any robots or risky balancing acts, however. The Angel City Chorale from Los Angeles performed a cover of Toto’s “Africa” that had even the skeptical Simon Cowell on his feet by the end. Take a look!
Honestly, is there any situation that isn’t improved by a group of talented singers busting out a rendition of “Africa” awesome enough to surely make Toto proud? The entire crowd was clearly feeling the performance as soon as it became clear that “Africa” was what the choir was going for, and they were entertained enough by the rain effects. Simon Cowell was the one who really needed to be won over, as it was clear from the very beginning of the video that he was skeptical a choir stood a chance of moving forward on America’s Got Talent, even telling the music director that a choir had never won and not sounding especially enthusiastic about having to watch a choir give it a shot.
Simon changed his tune pretty quickly, and he was clapping and even dancing along with the music before too long. Like much of the audience, he was on his feet for a standing ovation after they finished singing. Did he fall over in shock or stumble over his words as he tried to find the way to praise them or bemoan that he’d already used his golden buzzer and couldn’t use it for this group? Not exactly. Still, I’d say that his mind was blown simply because of how doubtful he was that a choir — especially one so massive as the Angel City Chorale — could earn a place on a show like America’s Got Talent. I don’t want to say that I watched the video once for the performance and once for Simon’s reaction, but that’s totally what I did.
Even if you’re not a fan of “Africa,” you have to admire the Angel City Chorale for having the nerve to spend a solid 50 seconds just making rain and thunder sound effects on stage. Contestants have gotten nixed by the judges in far less time, and the choir could have been majorly out of luck if the judges weren’t feeling indulgent on the day the performance was filmed. Admittedly, Simon was shown warming up to them just based on the rain sound effects, and it was impressive that the choir leader managed to get the audience contributing, but waiting nearly a full minute to start playing the oh-so-recognizable background tunes of “Africa” could have backfired. Kudos to them! The rain sound effects really add something special to the entire performance. Honestly, I enjoyed this performance of “Africa” so much that it nearly made me forget about the creepy Caterpillar Man and the contortionist who belonged on the set of The Exorcist from weeks past!