America's Got Talent showcases some of the most, well, talented people in America. Hosted by Terry Crews and judged by Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara, the TV competition draws millions of viewers each season. 2023 marks the 18th season of the show, and has performers competing for a $1 million prize. "This season promises to deliver some of the wildest acts to ever grace the 'AGT' stage," the show says on its YouTube page. While it wasn't wild, the 82nd Airborne Division "All American" Chorus put on a show like no other for their AGT audition.
The performance began at the command of Staff Sgt. Gilbert. Calling the formation to attention, he marched them on stage with true military precision. In their OCP uniforms, full-color 82nd Airborne Division insignias and iconic maroon berets, the paratroopers made quite an impression on both the judges and audience. The seriousness was broken with a charming "Hey everybody" from Staff Sgt. Gilbert who made their intentions clear. "We're here to win," he told Cowell.
Based at Fort Liberty, North Carolina, the All American Chorus is made up of troopers from across the 82nd Airborne Division. Together, they embody "the hearts and souls of the paratroopers, past and present." To that end, the All American Chorus' performance on AGT was dedicated to Spc. Elijah Crawford who died the week before. When Staff Sgt. Gilbert ordered the chorus to fall in, the troopers got to work.
Led by Staff Sgt. Gilbert, the All American Chorus started with a traditional airborne cadence. This prompted slightly puzzled looks from the judges but garnered cheers and applause from the audience. Then the real show began as the troopers broke into an a cappella cover of "My Girl" by The Temptations. The harmony of the soldiers caught Crews and the judges off guard as the crowd got louder. Klum exclaimed, "Yes," Mandel started swaying and even Cowell cracked a smile.
Other troopers took turns leading the chorus as the audience sang and clapped along. The choreography of the performance matched the tune perfectly. In true Army fashion, the All American Chorus had a surprise waiting at the end to ensure victory for the 82nd. With the crowd on their feet and cheering, the troopers accomplished their mission. The 82nd Airborne Chorus received a "Go" from the judges and moved on to the elimination round.