Just because he lived day by day as a janitor, this didn’t happen. However, after he sang ‘Don’t Stop Believin’, everyone believed he could become a genuine AGT champion
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Just because he lived day by day as a janitor, this didn’t happen. However, after he sang ‘Don’t Stop Believin’, everyone believed he could become a genuine AGT champion

Richard Goodall performed a breathtaking performance of Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ that had everyone in the audience on their feet…
‘America’s Got Talent’ Season 19 participants arrived prepared to battle as the show returned to action! Fans were treated to an amazing show with amazing dancers, comedians, magicians, and even a 2-year-old mathematician on the May 28 debut.

The most moving scene, though, was when Indiana janitor Richard Goodall went on stage and won one of the judges, Heidi Klum’s Golden Buzzers, at the end of the show. Richard, who goes by ‘Mr Richard’ among the students at the middle school where he teaches, said in his introduction packet that he was born and raised in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Despite his 23 years of employment at the school, Richard has always loved to sing. Richard entered the stage, introduced himself to Heidi and the other judges, Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, and Sofía Vergara, and then launched into a stirring performance of Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’.

Almost everyone was taken aback by the occasion, particularly since Richard’s voice resembled that of former Journey vocalist Steve Perry in both tone and quality.

On Reddit, fans wrote, “Richard is exactly what AGT used to be 10 years ago. A simple man, with a simple story, who has a dream and a hell of a talent to go with it. Well deserved golden buzzer!” Another user added, “I’m so mad at how much I love this man. Voice of a generation.”

On X, fans wrote after the performance, “You KNOW I love Golden Buzzer season on #AGT and Mr. Richard the janitor came through.” Another person chimed in, “I’m not crying, your crying Proof to never judge a book by its cover. A humble janitor from Indiana who had never even been on a plane, received a well deserved Golden buzzer from @heidiklum on #AGT. Best 1st show ever.”

‘AGT’ Season 19 judge Heidi Klum makes Richard Goodall’s ‘dream come true’
“Richard, you are my hero! Cause that was special, genuinely special. I think America is gonna love you,” Simon expressed, as Sofía continued, “That was spectacular, that was fun, this was an amazing surprise. You were perfect to come to ‘AGT.’”

In typical Howie manner, he remarked, “Maybe it’s because you’ve been doing it for 23 years, but you just cleaned up! I would imagine that every kid who’s ever been in a school with you is just screaming.”

Heidi, however, stated that Richard “knocked me off my feet” with his performance.
“We all had the best time with you up there on that stage. I really, really feel something when I see you up there and hear you up there, and now this is what I’m gonna do for you because I love you,” she stated before pushing her buzzer, which caused gold glitter to fall from the ceiling.

Richard was brought to tears by the experience, later addressing the applauding crowd, “I’ve never even been on a plane. This was not on my radar to come to California. It’s just a dream come true.”
Richard Goodall first auditioned for ‘AGT’ in 2009
“Golden Buzzer [winners] are an elite group of people. I never in a million years expected to be in that class,” Richard exclusively told PEOPLE. “And I still can’t believe Heidi did that!”

After earning the Golden Buzzer, Richard told PEOPLE that the song’s title summarized his path up until this point.

“I tried out for AGT in 2009 and didn’t make it past the first round in Chicago…But like the song says, ‘Don’t stop believing!’ How can I tell the kids that and not reach for dreams too?” he noted.

“The songs I love to sing are timeless, and they give everyone hope. That’s what I really want to do; just give people hope [and encourage them to] never give up.”
Richard Goodall is determined to win ‘AGT’ title
Richard says he has “no expectations” of winning the competition, but “that definitely doesn’t mean I’m not going to give it everything I’ve got.”

“I’m a normal person who does regular things for people. My singing, I have done mostly every year in our schools. Anytime they have asked me to sing, I did it,” he continued.

“To this day, I know how lucky I am. And I’m not taking any of this for granted.”

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