Members of a Chicago high school choir group who stole the show during their first audition on “America’s Got Talent” went for their second performance this week still reeling from a tragedy that rocked the group.
“Every single one of us is hurting right now,” said “Musicality Vocal Ensemble” director Michael Gibson.
Shortly after stunning the judges in their first audition, one member of the singing group learned his sister had been murdered.
“After the audition I got the news while I was in school that my sister was murdered and put behind a dumpster and left where nobody would find her,” said member and Curie Metropolitan High School student Reggie Woods.
Suddenly, the group went from its highest of highs to its lowest of lows.
“Getting through the first audition it was like a dream. We’ve come a really long way but in those areas where there’s so much violence things really bad can happen,” Gibson said.
Gibson noted that the area where many of the students live on Chicago’s Southwest Side is “pretty rough.”
“These kids are afraid to even come to school,” he said. “That’s when I came up with the idea to start an after school program.”
With the pain still present on their faces, the group took to the stage for their second “America’s Got Talent” audition Wednesday, and the moving performance that followed had the entire audience on their feet.
“It’s incredible to watch you guys perform,” said guest judge Louis Tomlinson, of the band One Direction. “The unity and the love you have for each other is so infectious. It was really, really nice."
The group now moves on to the live rounds of the hit show, with contestants vying for a $1 million prize. “America’s Got Talent” airs at 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays on NBC.