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AGT Judges Award Singing Janitor With Golden Buzzer

YouTube/ America's Got Talent and Trae Patton / NBC
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Middle School Janitor Auditions For America's Got Talent - the Judges Make Him Sob

He didn't stop believin'...and he sang it too!

"It's just a dream come true," Richard Goodall said after his jaw-dropping rendition of Don’t Stop Believin’ earned him the Golden Buzzer.

In times of opportunity, ordinary people often rise to extraordinary heights. Richard Goodall, a 54-year-old janitor from Terre Haute, Indiana, is one such individual whose passion for singing transformed his life overnight on America's Got Talent.


From School Talent Show To The National Stage

Man with glasses and a cap singing.

Man with glasses and a cap singing.

Mariah Denehie via Storyful

Richard Goodall, the humble custodian of Chauncey Rose Middle School, took the America's Got Talent stage by storm on May 28th. For 23 years, Goodall has worked as a janitor, but his love for music has been a constant companion. He shared with the audience how he would belt out songs in his bedroom with his "Radio Shack stereo," dreaming of moments like this one.

"I just belt it out," he said. "Eventually, I was like, I got to find me a job, so I became a janitor at Chauncey Rose Middle School, which is only three blocks away from my house. The kids would hear me sing, and they tell me that I've got talent. That's why I'm here. That's why I got on a plane."

Overcoming his fear of flying, Goodall boarded a plane for the first time to pursue his dream. "I’ve never even been on a plane," he admitted. "But the kids at school encouraged me, and I knew I had to take this chance."

Nerves of Steel and Notes of Gold

Despite his nerves, Goodall's performance was nothing short of spectacular. As he began to sing the first note of Journey's iconic Don’t Stop Believin’, the entire auditorium was captivated. Simon Cowell, known for his critical ear, could only listen in awe as Goodall's voice soared.

The crowd, along with host Terry Crews, erupted in cheers. Fellow judges Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, and Sofia Vergara were visibly moved by the performance. "So amazing!" Klum exclaimed during the song.

The Golden Moment

Goodall's rendition earned him a standing ovation. Simon Cowell called him a "hero," praising the special nature of his performance. "I think America is going to love you," Cowell declared. Sofia Vergara described the experience as "spectacular" and highlighted how Goodall made the night special for everyone present.

Howie Mandel added, "You just cleaned up," alluding to Goodall's long tenure as a janitor. "Every kid that has ever been in a school with you is just screaming. I just think you're amazing." But the good news wasn't over. The pinnacle of the evening came when Heidi Klum pressed the Golden Buzzer, sending Goodall directly to the live shows. Golden confetti rained down as Goodall shed tears of joy, overwhelmed by the moment.

"Oh, my gosh, you guys. I’ve never even been on a plane," Goodall said. "This was not on my radar to come to California. It’s just a dream come true."

Watch Richard Goodall's Video Now:

Goodall's journey has resonated with many. In the YouTube comments section of his performance video, former students and community members recognized him, celebrating his newfound success.

Goodall's story is a powerful reminder that dreams can be realized at any age and from any walk of life. His remarkable performance on America's Got Talent not only showcased his incredible talent but also inspired countless others to believe in the power of perseverance and passion.

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