‘America’s Got Talent’ Stars Chapel Hart Reveal They Nearly Didn’t Audition for the Show

by Craig Garrett

Country trio Chapel Hart are the breakout stars of this season’s America’s Got Talent, but the group revealed they almost didn’t audition. Back in July, America’s Got Talent judges were blown away by Chapel Hart, a Mississippi-based country trio. They performed the original song “You Can Have Him, Jolene,” a contemporary version of Dolly Parton’s hit that topped the charts in 1974. Sisters Danica and Devynn Hart, as well as cousin Trea Swindle, make up Chapel Hart.

“We were so inspired by the song ‘Jolene’ and we just love the storyline,” the trio told the judges. “We figured though, from 1973 to 2022 we could not still be fighting over the same man, so we just decided to tell her, ‘You can just have him, Jolene.'”

After the performance, Chapel Hart was awarded the Golden Buzzer on America’s Got Talent. The judges use the Golden Buzzer to allow contestants to skip to the following round. “Trust me, I needed you today,” judge Simon Cowell said after the group’s audition. “I mean, fantastic. Amazing. I love you.” This was only the second time in America’s Got Talent history that the Golden Buzzer has been awarded.

How Chapel Hart “almost didn’t audition at all” for AGT

Looking back on the break-out performance, the members of Chapel Hart admit they weren’t prepared for what was in store. “We had no idea what we were really walking into,” Devynn Hart recently told Taste of Country.”It’s a super long process.” Danica Hart chimed in with the real kicker. “I think the craziest part is we almost didn’t audition at all,” she said.

It was only after a persistent television producer and a sad occurrence of COVID-19 that Chapel Hart was persuaded to the audition. Even then, they needed to find time in their busy schedule to audition. “We were actually scheduled to go on tour with the Indigo Girls and one of them got sick with COVID,” Swindle explained. “(AGT talent scout) Lindsay Rush had reached out a couple of times. Maybe more than a couple of times.”

Of course, things did line up so that Chapel Hart could blow the socks off of the AGT judges. Their performance caught the attention of some country music legends. Dolly Parton also had strong praise for the American’s Got Talent performance. She posted a message on social media about the performance. She noted that her husband’s birthday was also the same day as the trio’s auditions. “What a fun new take on my song, Chapel Hart,” Parton wrote. “Carl’s birthday is today so I think I’ll hang on to him, and I’m not notifying Jolene that today is his birthday.”

In 2021, Chapel Hart released The Girls Are Back in Town, which features “You Can Have Him, Jolene.” Following their America’s Got Talent audition, the album went to No. 1 on the iTunes Country chart.