‘America’s Got Talent’ Singer Brings Judge Sofia Vergara To Tears

by Shelby Scott

We’ve seen some emotional performances across season 17 of America’s Got Talent so far. However, for one reason or another, one contestant’s singing act had an incredibly emotional impact on judge Sofia Vergara. Taking to the stage with a rendition of Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors,” gospel singer and voice coach Ben Waites brought the 50-year-old TV star to tears. See the clip below.

Just as America’s Got Talent‘s Twitter page promises, the gospel singer’s rendition of the ballad is absolutely moving. When he first came to the stage and approached the microphone, longtime judge Simon Cowell asked him, “Do the people you coach know you auditioned?” Waites’ answer could, likely, be part of what ignited such an emotional response in Vergara.

“No. In that time with them, it’s all about them,” the AGT contestant explained. Heidi Klum assured Waites that the night’s audition was “all about” him. Afterward, the singer launched into the verse, “You with the sad eyes,” which almost immediately met with massive cheers from the audience.

Waites flawlessly moved through his audition. As the camera pans back and forth between his face and the judges, we see tears pricking Vergara’s eyes. As America’s Got Talent‘s judges began voting, CinemaBlend quoted Vergara who said, “I can’t wait to cry again!”

Where Was Howie Mandel During Tuesday Night’s Episode of ‘America’s Got Talent?

During his emotional performance, all eyes were on Ben Waites. However, at the time of Tuesday night’s episode of America’s Got Talent, one incredibly familiar face was missing. Where was Howie Mandel?

Mandel has served as a judge on America’s Got Talent since 2010. As such, it makes him the most veteran judge among all of his famous cohorts. Considering his usual enthusiasm for the reality TV series’ acts, it’s strange Mandel has now missed two episodes of America’s Got Talent this year.

The first time Howie Mandel failed to appear for a taping of an America’s Got Talent episode, he was sick. More than likely then, considering auditions take place weeks in advance, the comedian remained sick while filming Tuesday’s episode.

Mandel’s absence due to sickness isn’t surprising either as the longtime America’s Got Talent judge is a self-proclaimed germaphobe. He has previously spoken out about his mental health struggles, especially at the heights of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, he previously shared that his depression became so bad that he wound up seeking professional help. Though it did take a less-than-gentle nudge from his wife.

“[T]he thing that drove me to go get help and notify myself of my own issues,” the America’s Got Talent judge revealed, “was an ultimatum I once got from my wife where she once said ‘You either go get help, or that’s it.'”