Matt Mauser made it to the next round of “America’s Got Talent” with some help from his late wife, Christina.
The musician lost his wife in the same helicopter crash that took the lives of NBA Hall of Famer, Kobe Bryant, and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, on January 26, 2020. Christina was the basketball coach of Gianna’s team, and the party was on their way to a basketball tournament at the time of the crash.
In addition to Matt losing his wife, he also lost the mother to their three children. Following an emotional performance on Tuesday, Matt made it past the audition rounds of “AGT” and following his performance he told Access Hollywood’s Zuri Hall that he felt his wife’s presence during his audition.
“I was so in the moment, I was talking to her and it was something that was so surreal, I had never experienced anything like that,” he said. “You know I had been performing for a long time, but here it was this kind of manifestation of everything you had worked for 20 years as a musician, and I couldn’t share it with her. So, there was a lot of emotions, there were all these nice things said, but I just miss my wife. I really do, I miss my wife.”
Matt could barely hold back the tears at the end of his performance and got a standing ovation from the judges. He said getting through the audition was “stressful all the way through,” but he felt that it was where he needed to be and what he needed to do.
“I got through it and,” Matt told Zuri. “Just that little bit at the end, it’s just like ‘I did it.’ Just like that moment of release when you finally just go ‘okay’ and you can take a breath, you got through it and then the emotions kind of hit you.”
Matt also wasn’t alone at his audition; his three kids were there cheering him on from the side of the stage, and he revealed that they were a major inspiration for his audition and performance. Although, he also revealed that it was a bit of challenge taking care of three young kids during his audtion.
“It was great, it was a lot of work you know they’re not easy,” Matt said to Access Hollywood. “Thank God for the iPads and the distractions because they wanted food, they had to go to the bathroom, I was like just be happy for two minutes.”
Adding, “But when I got out there and I could see my kids, I was like this is why I am doing this. Those three babies are why I am doing this. So, I was glad they were there.”
The “AGT” contestant said part of the reason he went on the show is to demonstrate to his kids that you have to keep pushing forward.
“I want them to see that life goes on, I want them to see that you know, you could get beat up, punched, taken down, but you got to get back up and that is what we are doing,” he said.
Matt got four YES votes from the judges pushing him to the next round of the competition. He said after his audition, he and his family felt relief.
“It was the first time, in a long time, that we felt this sense of just kind of relief, you know, that it was over,” he told Zuri. “It’s like when you’re kind of always on edge, you’re always, you know, in kind of survival mode for the last year and a half, and so that first, it’s like you can finally take a breath and feel a little bit of normalcy, so that was nice.”
“America’s Got Talent” airs Tuesdays at 8/7c.
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– Emely Navarro