Viewers didn’t have to wait long Wednesday night to learn the fate of Raleigh violinist Tyler Butler-Figueroa on “America’s Got Talent” — the show named him as the first contestant of the night to move forward to the semifinals.
Tyler, the Golden Buzzer pick of judge Simon Cowell, was brought forward on the stage opposite Joseph Allen, the Golden Buzzer pick of judge Howie Mandell.
When host Terry Crews called Tyler’s name to advance, Tyler clasped his hands over his face and fought back tears. All of the judges and the audience stood and cheered. Joseph Allen walked over and gave Tyler a big hug.
Crews asked Tyler how he felt and he replied, “I’m just still feeling very proud of myself.”
Simon Cowell told Tyler: “Oh, I am so thrilled for you, but my commiserations also to the gentleman who just left. But I’ve got to say, you had such a moment last night. I’m so thrilled that you made it through to the semifinals. You have a God-given gift.”
Tyler is an 11-year-old student at Walnut Creek Elementary School who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when he was four-and-a-half-years-old. Tyler underwent three years of chemotherapy and this summer he celebrated four years being cancer-free.
On Tuesday night’s show, Tyler performed “Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia featuring John Martin.
Raleigh represents in the ‘AGT’ semifinals
Tyler isn’t the only Raleigh native who will be representing in the “America’s Got Talent” semifinals next month.
The military singing group Voices of Service, featuring Raleigh’s Sgt. Major Christal Sanders Rheams, performed on last week’s first live show of the season and also got enough votes to advance to the semifinals.
When are the semifinals?
The “America’s Got Talent” semifinals air Sept. 3 and Sept. 10 on NBC, with results shows on Sept. 4 and Sept. 11.
The final live show airs Sept. 17 with the winner announced on the Sept. 18 show.