Simon Cowell's blunt style judging may never change, but neither will his ability to bring out the best in a performer.
Part the way through 20-year-old Joesph O'Brien's performance REO Speedwagon's "I Can't Fight This Feeling" on America's Got Talent on Tuesday night (July 24), Cowell signaled the singer to stop, criticizing his song choice and "how it sounded."
The young singer shook his head for a moment before deciding to bite back, asking if he could instead perform an original called "The Average."
O'Brien's second attempt was sung with passion. More importantly, it won the approval Cowell, who went on to say, "I think it’s so hard to bond when there’s pressure and I think what we just saw with you there is that you’ve got this fighting spirit in you. You’re not just prepared just to take it. You gave something back. I like that.”
Fortunately for O'Brien, the performance struck a note with judges Mel B, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and guest judge Oli Munn, too, and he was able to advance to the next round.
Check out the video below.