America's Got Talent is known for its incredibly emotional and powerful auditions, but one contestant may have just delivered the most affecting one in the show's 15-year history.
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On Tuesday night's show, AGT hopeful Matt Mauser revealed that his wife of 15 years, Christina Mauser, was killed in the same helicopter crash that took the life of pro basketball player Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
The Orange County native spoke about how inspiring his wife was before he launched into a powerful performance of Phil Collins' Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now), which earned him a standing ovation. See his amazing audition below…
WATCH: AGT contestant who lost wife in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash wows with emotional audition
Unsurprisingly, the singer then got a 'yes' from judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara and Howie Mantel, sending him through to the next stage of the show. His three children, watching from the wings, couldn't contain their excitement and ran onto the stage to give their dad a big celebratory hug.
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In his audition, Matt revealed that he and Christina, who met back in 2004, both previously worked as school teachers before deciding to give it all up. While Matt pursued music full-time, Christina landed the opportunity to coach girls basketball with the late NBA star.
Matt and his wife Christina were married for 15 years and share three children
Sadly on 20 January 2020, she, along with Kobe and his daughter Gianna and six other people lost their lives when the helicopter they were travelling in crashed in Calabasas, Los Angeles. They were all travelling to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks for Gianna's basketball game.
NBA star Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna sadly died last year
Matt tearily told the judges: "[Christina] would want me to carry on. She would want our kids to have happy lives — I don't know if it's possible, but I'm going to try." He added that he decided to audition for AGT to show his children that "this grief does not define" their family.
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Ahead of his audition's broadcast, Matt spoke to People and said that he hoped to bring attention to the charity set up in his wife's memory, the Christina Mauser Foundation, which supports female high school athletes through scholarships and financial aid.
"If I were blessed enough to win the show, 100 percent of my earnings would go to Christina's foundation," he said at the time. "Christina loved nothing more than to empower young females in life so this is a great way to keep her legacy alive."
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