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Why Simon Cowell Let Alex Rivers Audition Twice on AGT

The Las Vegas street performer left a lasting impression.

By McKenzie Jean-Philippe

Sometimes in life all you need is a second chance, and Alex Rivers got just that during July 12's episode of America's Got Talent Season 17.

How to Watch

Watch the Season 19 premiere of America’s Got Talent Tuesday, May 28 at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock

The Judges were instantly obsessed with the 26-year-old violinist after his first Audition. However, Simon Cowell still wasn't convinced Rivers had what it took to compete on AGT—but that didn't mean his time on the show was over. 

"I absolutely love Alex. I hated the track," Cowell said. "Alex, you're 'gonna have to bring back a different track. We're not saying yes or no, we love you. I just want you to be amazing."

Determined to make it to the next round, Rivers returned to the stage the next day for another Audition. He came back with a brand new song: Dua Lipa's hit "New Rules." 

"I know I'm 'gonna do good because I practiced my butt off," he said. "Everything I've been going through, everything I've fought for. I'm 'gonna leave it on the stage, and I'm 'gonna make them feel something."

The Las Vegas street performer did just that, charming the Judges with his outgoing personality, a glowing violin, and electrifying dance moves. This time, he earned a "Yes" vote from all three Judges, including Simon Cowell. (Howie Mandel was out sick and not available to vote.)

Rivers' performance is currently live on YouTube and quickly racking up hundreds of thousands of views. The musician even left a comment on the clip to give fans a bit more insight into his Audition.

"Thank you everyone at home for watching, you all are the reason we even have careers and can share our art in the first place, and I’ll forever be grateful for this moment," he said. "My favorite part was meeting the audience outside! I wish I was allowed to spend some more time with them!"

Rivers' debut album, Impact, is currently available on Spotify. And if you'd like to keep up with him, he also has a YouTube channel.

Watch AGT on NBC Tuesdays at 8/7c and next day on Peacock