America’s Got Talent auditions performers with all kinds of backgrounds, but Tuesday was the first time a mass shooting survivor made an appearance. High school senior Ava Swiss survived the Oxford Michigan school shooting on November 30, 2021, which left four students dead and seven injured.
While she is still mentally and emotionally recovering from the ordeal, she is doing well. She uses music to help her cope with the trauma, particularly musician Lauren Daigle’s song “Remember.”
“I chose the song because back on November 30th, my brother and I were a part of the Oxford school shooting,” Swiss said. “When I sing it, I remember the good, I remember my community, my family, just the love, and I remember that it’s all there for me, and it’ll help me get to where I need to be.”
Swiss sang the song for her audition, which the audience and judges seemingly loved. She received a standing ovation and much praise from the judges.
“I mean, for me, this is one of those auditions I’ll never forget,” said judge Simon Cowell. “I really have so much respect for you. And on top of that, you’ve got a great voice.”
All four judges voted for her to move on to the live rounds. Production also opened the segment with a statement on both the timing of the audition and the current mass shooting epidemic plaguing the US:
“The next audition was recorded prior to the recent string of tragic mass shooting across the country. Our hearts go out to all the families and everyone impacted by gun violence.”
America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays at 8 pm on NBC.
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