A 20-year-old man who has never been in a relationship and has yet to experience his first kiss left America’s Got Talent’s judges — and viewers — after a sensational performance of Lionel Richie’s Hello.
Joseph O’Brien, from Columbia, a small Tennessee city of approximately 36,000 residents, performed during Tuesday night’s episode of the talent show in front of judges Mel B, 43, Howie Mandel, 62, Simon Cowell, 58, and Heidi Klum, 45.
The indoor trampoline park monitor explained before his performance that he has never had a girlfriend, telling the camera during a segment filmed backstage: ‘A lot of my songs are wishes of wanting to have a relationship.’
Singer: Joseph O’Brien, 20, from the small city of Columbia, Tennessee, left America’s Got Talent’s judges swooning during Tuesday night’s episode
Relationship status: Heidi Klum, 45, asked Joseph who he had brought with him, leading him to reveal he has been single throughout his entire life
‘The only time I’ve ever asked a girl out was to coffee, which is sort of — I guess — a date, but in her brain it wasn’t a date. In my brain it was,’ he added.
When Joseph took to the stage, Heidi asked him who he had brought to the audition with him, to which Joseph replied he came ‘all alone’.
‘Did you leave someone at home? Do you have a girlfriend? A Wife?’ Heidi insisted.
‘No, I don’t have a girlfriend,’ Joseph said. ‘I’ve actually been single my entire life. I’ve actually never gone on a legit date or anything like that.’
Mel and Heidi empathized, with Heidi adding: ‘But you’re a handsome fella! How is that possible?’
‘I guess the right opportunity has never come along,’ Joseph said.
The supermodel then asked him whether he had ever ‘snogged’ anyone yet, prompting Mel to clarify that ‘snog’ is an informal word sometimes used in the UK to refer to kissing with tongue.
Performance: Joseph settled behind his piano to start singing Hello, and as soon as he made his way through the first sentence of the classic ballad, the crowd started cheering
Compliments: Mel B, 43, and Heidi, both praised Joseph’s performance. Heidi called his voice ‘angelic and pretty’ while Mel said she ‘absolutely’ adores him
Impressed: Members of the audience were surprised when Joseph told the judges has never been on a date
‘No. I have not,’ Joseph said. ‘No kissing. No. It has not happened.’
Heidi was encouraging, telling him: ‘It’s gonna happen!’ Joseph, however, seemed only half convinced, responding only: ‘Maybe, who knows.’
He eventually settled behind his piano to start singing Hello, and as soon as he made his way through the first sentence of the classic ballad, the crowd started cheering.
Joseph, who seemed nervous before his performance despite joking he wasn’t scared at all, showed off his vocals during an emotional performance that left Heidi and Simon smiling, visibly touched.
When Joseph reached the end of the song, the crowd got up to give him a standing ovation while the judges clapped.
Simon asked the singer why he had picked this specific song, prompting Joseph to explain he feels a close connection to the tune.
‘Some of the lyrics I relate to on a personal level,’ he said. ‘”I long to see the sunshine in your hair and tell you time and time again how much I care.” I’m just like, I want to say that one day!’
‘I have a feeling you will be,’ Simon replied.
Confusion: ‘The only time I’ve ever asked a girl out was to coffee, which is sort of — I guess — a date, but in her brain it wasn’t a date. In my brain it was,’ Joseph said
Loving it: The audience seemed quite taken as Joseph showed off his vocal during his emotional rendition of Hello
He did it! Joseph earned a ‘yes’ from each of the four judges, enabling him to progress to the next stage of the competition
The judge added: ‘I wouldn’t say this has been a perfect audition. But you have a good energy about you, I think you’re very relatable. You’re someone who could and should have a moment.’
Mel praised Joseph’s performance, telling him: ‘There’s so much potential in where you could go with your vocals and your technicality and I absolutely adore you.’
Howie was optimistic about the future of Joseph’s singing career. ‘I thought that the nerves got in the way but I sense that there’s talent there,’ he said after the performance. ‘I think you’re going to go really far.’
Heidi was clearly won over too. ‘I didn’t really expect this voice to come out of your mouth, but it’s so angelic and pretty. I absolutely loved it,’ she said.
Joseph earned a ‘yes’ from each of the four judges, enabling him to progress to the next stage of the competition.
The singer also earned the following prediction from Simon, who told him: ‘I think there will be a lot of snogging after people see this audition.’