There are moments on shows like "America's Got Talent" when you know you've seen something worthy of note, perhaps even the beginning of something amazing, the blossoming of a career that has the potential to be stellar. And that was the feeling that many watching Wednesday night's Judgment Day episode undoubtedly felt after watching the singing soldier, Paul Ieti, sing for the judges for a slot in the Top 48 and a chance to sing on the live shows at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
As was noted in the recap at Reality Rewind July 23, Wednesday's performance would be the first time the audience would hear a different song from Paul Ieti. The soldier had had a YouTube video go viral (him singing Rihanna's "Stay") while he was on tour in Afghanistan and that was the song that had got him to Judgment Day. He'd chosen to sing Rascal Flatts' "Bless The Broken Road."
But prior to his performance, in the video clip run-up, he admitted having a difficult time without the support of his family, which are thousands of miles away in American Samoa. He gets a little emotional talking about them.
But then its time to perform. He's as impeccable with "Bless The Broken Road" as he was with "Stay" during his first audition, which he admitted was nerve-wracking for him. His voice of seamless and when he went high at the end, it was mesmerizing.
Judge Heidi Klum admitted that he made it look effortless.
The judges conferred and brought him back out on stage. When host Nick Cannon told him the judges wanted to see him, he asked, "Am I in trouble?"
Not quite. They had decided not to make him wait. He was being sent straight through to New York City to the live shows.
Paul Ieti had survived Judgment Day. His competition from the Male Singers category: Miguel Dakota and Jaycob Curlee. And, of course, there will be those 45 other acts he'll have to contend with when battling for that million dollar prize.
"America's Got Talent" goes live from Radio City Music Hall next week. The show airs on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST.