36-year-old nervous singer Wesley Plumber does not look like your typical America’s Got Talent performer, but he had a little surprise up his sleeve which had the crowd up on their feet and cheering by the end. In the recently screened performance, which you can see below, Wesley began singing ABBA’s “Take A Chance On Me”, but after a bum note he quickly got rejected by the judges.
As Wesley profusely apologized, an audience member stood up and begged the judges to give him another chance. Then the surprise began as the ‘audience member’ began singing a strident song about giving him another chance, before other audience members and even the camera guy stood up and joined the song. The in-studio audience were loving this already but there was more to come.
The group of singers then joined Wesley on stage and began a triumphant version of “Take A Chance On Me”, with Wesley not missing a beat this time. Soon after, a huge choir stood up from the audience and joined the song, as the full UCLA marching band stormed the studio with brass instruments and played along.
This had the audience up on their feet and clapping as they enjoyed the feel-good moment together. At the end of the song Wesley revealed that the performance was arranged by New York City performance art group Improv Everywhere. It’s not the first time they’ve entertained the public with a big surprise, such as their viral video Grocery Store Musical, or when they all froze at Grand Central.
The 2023 judges line-up of Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Sofía Vergara and Howie Mandel then had to make the big call about whether the audition was successful. Klum was a big fan of the performance and gave a yes vote, praising how fun and light hearted it was. Vergara admitted that the band and idea was “spectacular and fun”, but quickly poured water on their audition hopes by giving a no vote, explaining that she didn’t feel surprised enough by the big reveal.
Cowell was having none of this naysaying, replying with “are you serious? The whole point of this was to surprise us. Right? And I actually was surprised. I loved that it just got bigger and bigger and bigger. I loved the song choice. So I actually really like this audition.” The audience was clearly with team Cowell and Klum here, with a huge applause following Cowell’s vote of confidence.
However, every story needs a villain and in this case it was old man Howie, who cantankerously declared that “I’ve got to be honest with you. This is great for a party gag. For a party I’d hire you, but it’s not for this show. What could you do next? you couldn’t surprise us.” The audience were chanting for a yes vote at this point, but Howie came down with a hard no vote, which got him boos from the audience and even the disapproval of host Terry Crews. And when you’ve disappointed living legend Terry Crews you know you’re definitely the bad guy.