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Shy Janitor Richard Goodall Crying After Getting Heidi's Golden Buzzer Is So Emotional

Richard Goodall had never been on a plane before, but that didn't stop him from chasing his dreams on AGT Season 19.

By Tyler McCarthy

America’s Got Talent is a place for people with immense talent, but with sometimes limited access to a grand stage to showcase it. Perhaps no one embodied that more than Season 19 premiere superstar, Richard Goodall. 

How to Watch

Watch America’s Got Talent Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock

The humble janitor from Terre Haute, Indiana closed out the premiere episode by kicking the already high talent bar up another notch with a vocal performance you simply had to hear to believe. In fact, it was so good it earned one of the coveted Golden Buzzers from a Judge who was just as moved by his song as everyone in the crowd. 

How Richard Goodall made it to AGT

Before he took the stage, Goodall noted he grew up loving music and listening to it endlessly as a kid. When he got older, he needed money so he took a job as a janitor at a middle school just three blocks from where he lived. To pass the long hours, he would often belt out some jams in the hallways, much to the delight of the students. 

RELATED: Where You Can Watch AGT 19 This Season

Richard Goodall on stage during AGT Episode 1901.

RELATED: Where You Can Watch AGT 19 This Season

Eventually, he believed them when they told him he had talent, which prompted Goodall to get on a plane for the first time in his life and audition for AGT 19 — and it's a good thing he did! 

What song did Richard Goodall sing for his AGT audition? 

Richard Goodall sings on stage during AGT Episode 1901.

When he took the stage to answer some of Simon Cowell’s preliminary questions, it was clear to anyone watching that Goodall was shy and a little nervous to perform in what was doubtlessly his biggest crowd ever.

However, all nerves seemingly fell away when he hit the first note of Journey’s 1981 classic “Don’t Stop Believin’.” The Judges and the audience were shocked to hear this quiet janitor suddenly hit the song’s notes with the talent of a seasoned professional singer. It didn’t take long before the crowd was on its feet, with some even being moved to tears.

Heidi Klum awards Richard Goodall her first Golden Buzzer of the season

Perhaps Cowell said it best (and most matter-of-factly) when he told Goodall he was his hero. 

“That was special, genuinely special,” he added. “I think America is going to love you.” 

Sofia Vergara agreed, saying: “I mean that was spectacular, that was fun. This was an amazing surprise. I think you are perfect to come to AGT because you made our night.”

Howie Mandel told the singer he “cleaned up” and called him “amazing” before speculating that all his students watching at home were probably screaming for him. 

However, it was Heidi Klum who gave the highest praise in the form of one of her two Golden Buzzers of the season. 

RELATED: Heidi Klum's Got Talent: Watch the AGT Judge Yodel a German Son

Richard Goodall, Heidi Klum, and Terry Crews smile together on AGT Episode 1901.

“Richard, Richard, Richard, you knocked me off my feet,” she said. “I mean we all had the best time with you up on that stage. I really feel something with you up there and I hear you up there… and now, this is what I’m going to do for you, because I love you.” 

With that, she pressed her Golden Buzzer and instantly moved Richard to tears. 

“I’ve never even been on plane,” he said as golden confetti rained down on him. “This was not on my radar to come to California, this was a dream come true.”

After coming up on stage to hug him, Klum accompanied Goodall backstage where he called his fiancée to tell her the good news. While she was clearly proud of him, it was clear she wasn’t surprised his smooth voice earned him a Golden Buzzer. 

Watch all-new episodes of America’s Got Talent, airing Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC and streaming the next day on Peacock.