The audience at Radio City Music Hall in New York was on their feet chanting “USA! USA!” after the American Military Spouses Choir performed Mariah Carey’s “Hero” in the “America’s Got Talent” competition Aug. 6.
“What an amazing, moving, inspirational, heroic way to end tonight’s show,” said Howie Mandell, one of the four judges for the NBC show.
Now, the 36 women whose husbands serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps must wait for America to vote to find out tonight whether they will be one of the four groups, out of the 12 who competed, to move on to the next round.
In introducing the choir, the show’s host, Nick Cannon — who is married to Mariah Carey — said the choir members “have two things in common: They’re married to service members and they all love singing.”
In a film clip shown before they sang, the women talked about their sisterhood and passion for singing. “Music helps us all through the difficult times,” one spouse said.
After the performance, which included photos of troops with their families, judge Mel B was so moved she wiped tears from her eyes.
“You picked the perfect song. It’s about heroes. You women are all heroes,” said judge Heidi Klum. “You’re keeping the family together here at home while your hero husbands are overseas taking care of business.”
One of the Navy spouses said “what inspires us is the response we’ve been receiving from the entire country.”
The spouses are part of a group of about 50 military spouses from all branches of service across the country who were originally brought together by Army Entertainment veteran Victor Hurtado for a May 6, 2012, performance at the Kennedy Center. Hurtado also founded the nonprofit CAMMO — the Center for Military Music Opportunities, which supports the spouse choir, as well as other military music endeavors.