Matt Mauser, a 51-year-old Orange County musician, and father of three, who tragically lost his wife in the horrific 2020 helicopter crash, which also killed NBA legend and his daughter among other victims, took the stage Tuesday night to honor his late wife with a tribute.
"On January 26th of 2020, I lost my wife in the same helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant," Mauser told the judges.
Mauser also shared, "You know, if I had it my way, I would have my wife, and I would be supporting her. But that's not what happened. You know, it's been a rough year. But here I am."
Following his wife's death, Mauser launched the Christina Mauser Foundation in her honor to support single mothers, women and girls in sports. "You start to say, 'All right, she would want me to carry on.' She would want our kids to have happy lives, which I don't know it's possible, but I'm gonna try," said Mauser.
Mauser's three kids waited in the wings while their father sang Phil Collins's "Against All Odds," and the contestant almost made it through the entire performance without shedding a tear, but succumbed at the very end during the final "take a look at me now." The moment tore at the heartstrings of viewers at home and all four judges.
“We felt your emotion, and regardless of what anybody does on that stage, if you're able to move strangers and move, 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, I mean, I don't, there aren't words to describe it," said Howie Mandel.
Heidi Klum stated, “There was just a different, kind of, vibe to your voice, and when you were singing it, it went inside of me. It was beautiful, it was sad, and as a man, as a strong man standing there, it was very special."
“It was very emotional, very touching. Thank you. Thank you for being here,” Sofia Vergara told Mauser.
In the end, Mauser received four yeses, which turned all the tears into happy tears.