Earlier this summer, the news was first announced that Brandon Rogers, a singer on America’s Got Talent this season, died in a car accident. He had a magnificent voice judging from his social media, but until tonight, we hadn’t had a chance to see him perform on the show.
The producers opted to make Rogers the final performer of the audition season in the edit tonight — we don’t know if it was planned that way, but that is what they decided to do tonight. Before the audition even aired, NBC aired a title card saying that Rogers had died in between the show filming and when it aired. The audition was aired at the request of his family, who wanted everyone to see his talent and his passion for performing. The opening montage, knowing what we know now, was all the more devastating since you learned about his difficult past and upbringing.
This performance was a reminder of the brevity of life, and how something terrible can happen to a good person at anytime.
As for the performance that we actually saw from Rogers on the show, he took on a Boyz II Men cover that he made famous on social media previously. He was charming with the judges, and he got Mel B singing along at one point. The audience was on his side, and he received all sorts of praise for what he did on stage. The fact that they played “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday” during the critique portion of this audition made this even more difficult and emotional.
Ultimately, it was a good choice to air the audition — everyone got a chance to see Rogers’ talent, hear his story, and be uplifted. He was clearly a positive person, and he deserved the opportunity that was given to him on this show. It’s too sad to even think about how far he would’ve made it on the show in the event that the terrible accident had not occurred.
At the end of the segment, the show offered one more title card thanking Brandon for sharing his talent. We do think that they handled this about as well as they possibly could have given the circumstances. This is thankfully something that has not transpired all that much on this franchise or any other edition all over the world, but they reacted in a way that made sense and didn’t feel exploitative. While it was known in advance that Rogers’ performance would air tonight, NBC didn’t go out and aggressively promote it or try to make additional money off of it by putting it on any of their promotional platforms beforehand.
Check out the video of the performance below.
Once again, our thoughts go out to Rogers and his family during what has to still be a difficult time. (Photo: NBC.)