On Tuesday, 21-year-old Atlanta saxophone player Avery Dixon touched the hearts of the audience, the judges and, especially, . Dixon’s premature birth left him with physical ailments that led to him being bullied while growing up.
“At the time I picked up the saxophone, I was getting bullied in elementary school,” Dixon said. Asked what for, he replied, “Well, my voice sounds a little bit different, and I looked a little bit different too. And my elementary school nickname was hammerhead because I had these knots on my head because I’m premature. I was born at one pound eight ounces. And my vocal cords don’t close all the way, so it made my voice sound really airy. Students were so negative about my voice. One called me frog, and she’d get the class in on the joke. It was relentless. I was so — in such a dark place, I actually wanted to commit suicide.”
The saxophone provided a much needed respite for Dixon, but even that proved challenging as one of his neighbors called the cops on him for practicing.
“I can’t exactly practice where I live now,” Dixon said. “Somebody had called the cops on me before I flew out. I wanted to practice because doing a show as big as this, I wanted to get everything perfect. So they had called the cops. The cops came banging on the door. They were like, ‘You gotta be quiet.’”
What practicing he could do clearly paid off as Dixon wowed the crowd and the judges. But most importantly, he impressed Crews. After said he was giving Dixon his first yes vote, Crews said, “There’s no need to vote.” Crews then walked off stage and behind the judges table, setting up behind the Golden Buzzer.
“You’ve been bullied all your life, but you tell every bully that you have a big brother named Terry Crews who is here, who’s got your back,” Crews said. “And all those bullies are gonna have to watch you succeed, my friend.”
Crews then hit the Golden Buzzer.
AVERY DIXON: At the time I picked up the saxophone, I was getting bullied in elementary school.
SIMON COWELL: For what?
AVERY DIXON: My voice sounds a little bit different.
SIMON COWELL: You've got a great voice.
AVERY DIXON: And I looked a little bit different, too. And my elementary-school nickname was Hammerhead.
KYLIE MAR: On "America's Got Talent" Tuesday night, 21-year-old saxophone player Avery Dixon, of Atlanta, melted the audience's heart with his story of being bullied for ailments that were out of his control.
AVERY DIXON: I had these knots on my head, because I'm premature. I was born at 1 pound 8 ounces.
AVERY DIXON: And my vocal chords don't close all the way. So it made my voice sound really airy. And it was relentless. And I actually-- I was so-- in such a dark place. I actually wanted to commit suicide.
KYLIE MAR: Avery said that if he wins "AGT," his first order of business will be finding a new place to live. Because his neighbors called the cops on him for practicing his craft.
AVERY DIXON: I can't exactly practice where I live now. Somebody had called the cops on me before I flew out.
SIMON COWELL: Really?
AVERY DIXON: I was trying to practice. Because doing a show as big as this, I want to get everything perfect.
SIMON COWELL: For sure.
AVERY DIXON: So they had called the cops. The cops came banging on the door. They were like, you need to be quiet.
KYLIE MAR: Hearing that, one viewer tweeted, "Who the hell calls the cops on a kid practicing their instrument? Jeez. This kid can move next to me and play as much as he wants." And once Avery got going, he was anything but quiet.
[UPBEAT SAXOPHONE MUSIC]
TERRY CREWS: Oh, ho, ho! Yeah!
KYLIE MAR: Viewers loved Avery's performance and his story. One viewer tweeted, "What an amazing moment. From someone who was badly bullied and has played the alto sax for 14 years, I felt this one deeply. You go, Avery." While another wrote, "What a superb audition and touching story. Hope to see him succeed in the competition." Before the judges could even vote, Terry Crews made sure that Avery will succeed in the competition when he hit the Golden Buzzer and sent Avery straight to the live shows.
TERRY CREWS: You've been bullied all of your life. But you tell every bully that you have a big brother named Terry Crews--
--who is here who's got your back! And all of those bullies are going to have to watch you succeed, my friend!