AGT: Ava Swiss “Remembers” Slain School Mates After Shooting

America's Got Talent Audition Ava Swiss
(Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

America’s Got Talent 2022 Audition: Ava Swiss “Remembers” Slain School Mates After Shooting

America’s Got Talent Episode 8, came with a timely audition. At a time when school and other mass shootings have become a norm in the United States, this audition from 18 year-old Ava Swiss, who had experienced tragedy firsthand, illustrates the reality of the times we live in.

Prior to Ava’s audition, a black card flashed on the screen explaining that the audition had been filmed (in April), “prior to a recent string of tragic mass shootings across the country.” The message continued, “Our hearts go out to all of the families and everyone impacted by gun violence.”

The Detroit native touched her community with her singing, after recording a version of Andra Day’s “Rise Up” in the wake of a shooting at her high school in Oxford, Michigan. Ava continued the tribute to those who were lost, choosing Lauren Daigle’s “Remember” as her audition song.

She shares with the judges, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara and Simon Cowell that on November 30, she and her brother were at school when the shooting took place. She reveals that four students died, and several others were injured, including a teacher.

“It’s been hard”

“It’s been hard,” Ava says about coping in the aftermath of the shooting. She and her brother believed they would never be able to return to school. But at the time of her audition, she had been in person at school for two months. “Thinks are getting better,” she added. For Ava, music is therapy, and singing helps her “remember the good.” 

Ava sings with an emotive tone, great phrasing and enunciation. Her tone shines particularly in her low register. The high notes could use better breath control, but she has loads of potential. She’s a diamond in the rough that is a bit raw in places. But that makes her special. Later in the song, she displays more range and the whole performance is very passionate. She is another talented singer, adding to the crowded singing field this season.

Simon calls Ava “gutsy” and unforgettable

The audience and judges give her a standing ovation. When Simon asks her, “how does that feel?” Ava responds with “amazing.” Howie observes that “it is tough to show up in life, especially after going through incredible trauma,” he continues, “The fact that you can break through that and shine, the way you did is inspirational for every human.” Heidi says that her vocal “pipes” are “special.” Sofia loved the song. It gave her “goosebumps.” Simon calls her “gutsy” and unforgettable. She is part of a group of “extraordinary people” that the show has met over the years, he says.

Ava’s mom who joined her at the audition said she’s proud of who Ava has become, calling her “a beautiful person.” The young singer advances to the next round with 4 yeses. Next week, it’s the last of the auditions, and the judges get together to decide which acts move on to the live shows.

Other acts that may have a shot at going to the live shows along with Ava are aerial strap artists Duo Mico, dangerous acrobat act RCC Aruba, and magician Maxence Vire. Honorable mentions go to indie singer-songwriter Debbii Dawson and energetic tap dancer Bayley Graham.


About Blake Busch 279 Articles
I am a graduate of Drake University with a BSBA in marketing and minor in data analytics. My favorite shows to follow are American Idol and The Voice. I also love crime thrillers, Top Chef, and Masterchef. My hobbies include cooking, baking, playing basketball, and watching sports.