Talent Recap

‘AGT’ Finalists The 82nd Airborne Division Chorus Will Reject The Cash Prize If They Win, Here’s Why

82nd Airborne Chorus on 'America's Got Talent'Photo by:Trae Patton/NBC

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The 82nd Airborne Division All-American Chorus has been making waves on this season of America’s Got Talent, but they’re not in it for the fame or fortune. In a surprising twist, the group’s spokesperson, Staff sergeant Marcus Gilbert, announced that they plan to reject the $1 million cash prize if they emerge as the winners. Instead, they intend to donate the prize money to a charity of AGT‘s choice.

82nd Airborne Division Chorus Will Donate The $1 Million Cash Prize

For this military ensemble, it’s not about personal gain; it’s about representing their country and their division with pride. Gilbert emphasized their commitment, stating, “We are simply here to represent our country, our division, and that is it.”

This statement reflects their dedication to a higher purpose beyond themselves. Their mission extends beyond the confines of a talent competition stage. They aim to honor and acknowledge the support they’ve received from fellow service members and veterans. Instead, for them, AGT is a platform to express gratitude and solidarity with those who have worn the uniform.

Their song choices are meaningful and purposeful. During their most recent performance, they sang “I Am Here” by Pink, dedicating it to their entire Airborne Division. In their memorable audition, they performed The Temptations’ classic “My Girl,” dedicated to the memory of Specialist Elijah Crawford.

As they prepare for the two-night AGT finale, starting on Tuesday, September 27, the 82nd Airborne Division All-American Chorus carries aspirations of their members and the broader military community they symbolize. Their performances exude patriotism and gratitude, and their choice to prioritize charity over the cash prize underscores their dedication to a higher purpose.

Howie Mandel Salutes The 82nd Airborne Division

During the most recent episode of AGT, fans noticed a touching moment, when Mandel stood up to applaud the chorus. Following their unique rendition of Pink’s “I Am Here.” Their powerful performance earned them not only a standing ovation from Mandel but also the entire judging panel.

Simon Cowell, the franchise creator, executive producer, and judge, joined Mandel in his appreciation. Cowell commended the group for their choice of a non-obvious song and their ability to infuse it with the perfect lyrics, making it both fun and emotive.

“I’m on my feet, and I speak for everyone here when I say thank you for your service,” Cowell said. “You are one of my favorite acts this year.”

The 82nd Airborne Division All-American Chorus’ dedication to their craft and their service to the country was not lost on the judges. Sofia Vergara, Heidi Klum, and Mandel all praised their performance and thanked them for their service to the nation. Mandel, in particular, called their performance “perfect” and extended his gratitude not only for their performance but also for their dedication to the country.

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