NFL Players Choir advances to next round of 'America's Got Talent' after 'Lean on Me' performance 

The NFL Players Choir performed not once, but twice in Tuesday night's America's Got Talent.

Following a pair of renditions of Bill Withers' classic "Lean on Me," the NFL Players Choir will continue performing on the national television stage as it advanced with three "yes" votes from judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara.

Host Terry Crews, who was drafted and played for the Los Angeles Rams, along with the Chargers and Washington in the 1990s, was also complimentary of the choir's showing.

Debuting as a group in 2008 at Super Bowl XLII, the NFL Players Choir is comprised of current and former NFL players including choir director Demarcus Williams, Tully Bunta-Cain, Michael Gaines, Bryant McKenzie, Isaiah McKenzie, Cameron Newton, Steve Pierce, Nick Roach, Bryan Scott, Willie Yarborough and Leonard Weaver, who performed on AGT.

The choir performs annually at the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration and performed the National Anthem at February's 2022 Pro Bowl in Las Vegas.

On Tuesday night's AGT, though, the choir sang for an NBC audience and was the final act of the episode.

Following their rendition of "Lean on Me," the choir got a healthy applause from the audience and a good reaction by the judges. However, Cowell surprised the performers and the audience when he asked for an encore, only this time without a track playing.

Coming through in the clutch, the players stepped up and belted out an a cappella version of "Lean on Me" and elicited a resounding ovation -- and the aforementioned 3-0 yes vote to move past the audition.

How far the NFL Players Choir can go remains to be seen, but Cowell was particularly impressed by their skills and intangibles.

"I can tell you really want to win," he said, "and I love that."

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