On Tuesday evening over 10 million people watched in anticipation as an unassuming older man walked on to the America’s Got Talent stage, wearing a button-down shirt with a toucan on the pocket, tucked into his khaki trousers.
He was then asked the usual questions by the judges:
What’s your name? ‘John Hetlinger’
Where are you from? ‘I’m from Bloomfield, Colorado’
How old are you? ‘I am 82 years old’
The more information that Mr Hetlinger revealed, the more the audience fell for him. His past professions included being a pilot in the Navy, and an Aerospace Engineer, where he managed a project that created the COSTAR instrument, designed to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. But now his dream is to conquer America’s Got Talent.
The music started, and Hetlinger began to chant ‘Let the bodies hit the floor’, the opening line from the heavy metal band Drowning Pool’s classic song ‘Bodies’. Jaws dropped as the audience’s assumptions about this man were shattered. The video now has almost 4 million views on YouTube, and over 40,000 likes.
Mentions of the performance on Twitter garnered an Adorescore of 40 as viewers expressed their shock and awe at this unexpected song choice, with one Twitter user describing Hetlinger as their ‘favourite person of the decade thus far’. High levels of emotional language and language evoking trust were used when discussing this powerful performance, with key reoccurring emotions including admiration and ecstasy.
The band have reached out to Hetlinger on Twitter, letting him know that they loved the performance and would like him to join them onstage in the near future.
As for the judges’ vote, Hetlinger was put through to the next round, with only Heidi Klum voting no. It remains to be seen what song he will choose next but rest assured, the world will be watching.