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AGT Golden Buzzer Janitor Believed Heidi Klum ‘Didn’t Like Me’ Before Winning

Photo from AGT’s Instagram

AGT Golden Buzzer Janitor Believed Heidi Klum ‘Didn’t Like Me’ Before Winning

By Movieguide® Contributor

When janitor Richard Goodall sang his cover of “Don’t Stop Believin'” on AMERICA’S GOT TALENT, he thought he wasn’t winning any favor with judge Heidi Klum.

It turns out he not only earned her favor but all of the judges’.

“To be honest with you, when I was singing, Heidi looked over and was talking to Howie, which now I know what she was saying,” Goodall told Fox News Digital. “But when I was on stage, you don’t — you don’t hear what’s on the microphones, you know? So, I thought she didn’t like me.”

“And I thought, well, she didn’t ‘X’ me…and it looked like I may get three yeses…I was like, well, you know, I’ll maybe get three yeses…maybe I’ll get to go through,” he said.

But then, the judges pressed the Golden Buzzer. The buzzer is only pressed when all judges are unanimously extremely impressed with a performer — a rare event. The judges can only press the button once per season.

When a contestant gets the Golden Buzzer, they also move on to the live shows and surpass all other audition rounds. Goodall not only got buzzed but received a standing ovation, too.

“Richard, Richard, Richard, you knocked me off my feet,” Klum said as she reached for the buzzer. “Now this is what I’m going to do for you because I love you.”

“The thing is, is when she pushed that buzzer, there was a huge a loud boom…And when I looked up and you see my mouth open up…I didn’t have really anything going on my mind. I was just like, I made it through, I made it through,” he added.

Movieguide® previously reported on Goodall:

“Golden Buzzer [winners] are an elite group of people. I never in a million years expected to be in that class,” Goodall told PEOPLE. “And I still can’t believe Heidi did that!”

Despite his need to pay the bills through his janitorial work, Goodall has always loved to sing.

“I was that kid up in my bedroom with the Radio Shack stereo,” he explained. “My favorite thing was just to sit up and listen to my music, and I just belt it out. Eventually, I was like, I gotta find me a job. So I become [sic] a janitor at Chauncey Rose Middle School, which is only three blocks away from my house.”

Goodall started making videos, and several years ago, AGT reached out and asked him to audition. It didn’t work out. But then recently, AGT contacted him again, and he auditioned.

“Nowhere, even remotely, could I ever have imagined what happened, happened,” Goodall told Fox News Digital.

“It’s very surreal for you to be that person on stage, to be talking to the people that you’ve watched for years, you know?” he said. “I mean, you’re actually here. You are living what you’re seeing on television. So, it’s very surreal.”

The 55-year-old singer has worked as a janitor at a school in Terra Haute, Indiana, for 23 years.

“Unfortunately, Goodall couldn’t celebrate with the students this year because his episode aired just a week after school let out for the summer. Still, he was being cheered on over social media,” Fox News said.

“He said one student’s mom shared a TikTok of her daughter’s tearful reaction, saying he ‘deserves the Golden Buzzer.’ Goodall added he plans to meet with her soon and give her a gift for her support,” Fox News reported.

Goodall handles his newfound fame well.

“I’m just me,” he said. “I’m not doing anything differently any other day that I’ve done it and just getting this attention and recognition and it’s not overwhelming to me. I’m enjoying it, but I think people…people are looking for something good in the world right now.”

“And, when they see me and they see me taking my shot…I’m just going out there singing,” he said. “I’ve been doing [it] for 23 years. I’ve sang to the kids every single year, I’m not doing anything different than I have ever done. So my brain is still trying to process, you know, really what is going on?”

He previously said, “How could I possibly become a diva type of person, I’m not, that is not going to happen. I am not a fancy person, I never have been, and I never will be. I am a basic person just like everyone else.”

If Goodall wins, he’ll take a grand prize of $1 million and an opportunity to make his mark in Las Vegas. Whether he wins or loses, he says he’ll be fine either way.

“The way I’m looking at it is, if I do quit the school corporation, I’ve got a different platform now, and it’s gone from a saucer to a plate. And depending upon how well I do, it, could go to a meat platter or a platter that you put watermelon on in the middle of summer. But I don’t have any expectations for that. I’m happy with the saucer. If you hand me the plate, I will do my best to make everybody proud,” he said.

“Being a janitor or a custodian, you have a certain platform,” Goodall said. “Meaning that, the kids love you. You love them. They know that you do quite possibly the humblest job in the whole school. And, as a custodian, janitor, I would teach them the small things… ‘Yes, sir.’ ‘No, sir.’ ‘Please.’ ‘Thank you.’”

He knows that those “small things” go a long way.

“And those are the small things. And I’m not a teacher. I mean, it just goes without saying, but you can teach people small things that would help in life and those things are immeasurable.”


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