Widower Of Kobe Bryant Crash Victim Stuns 'AGT' With Emotional Audition
By Sarah Tate
July 7, 2021
A widower's emotional performance during an audition on America's Got Talent made sure there wasn't a dry eye in the house.
Matt Mauser took to the stage for his rendition of the Phil Collins classic "Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)," a touching tribute to his late wife, Christina Mauser, who died a tragic helicopter crash in 2020 that killed nine people, including NBA great Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
When speaking to the judges and host Terry Crews before his audition, he spoke lovingly about how he and his wife met and how they retired from teaching so he could focus on music full time, per the New York Post. Christina ultimately got a job coaching girls basketball with Bryant, before tragically passing away in the crash, leaving behind her husband of 15 years and their three children.
"When she left that day, she kissed me and she said, 'I love you,' and that was the last thing my wife ever said to me," he said. "Your whole life changes in a second."
He continued, "My focus immediately went to my children. You start to say, 'Alright, she would want me to carry on.' She would want our kids to have happy lives. I don't know if it's possible but I'm going to try."
Check out Mauser's audition below.
After the performance, the judges were stunned.
"We felt your emotion and regardless of what anybody does on that stage if you're able to move strangers and we can feel it in our hearts – and I'm not only speaking about everybody at this table, but everybody at home that heard that – there aren't words to describe it," said judge Howie Mandel.
Mauser's audition was powerful enough to earn him a standing ovation and four "yes" votes, sending him further along in the competition. After his performance, he said he believed he made his wife proud.
"When I was out there tonight, I was singing to her," he said. "I wanted to make her proud – I think I did that. I felt her in my heart."