On tonight’s episode of America’s Got Talent, dancer Ben Trigger hit the golden buzzer for himself at the end of his performance. In an unprecedented and hilarious moment for the reality talent competition, the burlesque performer brought his dance down to the judge’s table and, as he threw himself back onto their table, accidentally landed on the golden buzzer button.
Before his performance, Ben Trigger opened up about how he struggled to find acceptance for being “big” and “gay.” Even though his dance teacher bullied him for his weight, he stuck with the dance school and graduated so that he could get closer to reaching his dance dreams. At auditions, however, he said they would cut him after seeing him in the audition line-up, without even seeing him dance.
Trigger walked onto the stage in a suit, barefoot. The Brisbane, Australia native revealed that his dream was to be on Broadway before he badly dislocated his knee when he was 18. Julianne Hough, who rose to fame as a professional dancer on Dancing With the Stars, was particularly excited to see Trigger’s performance.
He began by showcasing his big personality and dance technique with his jazzy choreography before doing a striptease of his gold suit jacket, undershirt, and pants, revealing a black bodysuit with nipple tassels. He stepped down off the stage and continued his performance interacting with the judges, who all seemed to be enjoying themselves. He turned his attention to Julianne Hough and Gabrielle Union, and leaned back onto the table between them to finish his dance. When he leaned back, however, his body weight triggered the Golden Buzzer and sent golden confetti raining down onto the stage and audience.
Trigger’s shocked expression suggested that the moment wasn’t planned (although he made sure to play up his big moment under the confetti on stage), and the judges found the situation to be equal parts shocking and hilarious. Howie Mandel and Simon Cowell assured new judges Hough and Union that something like that has never happened before on the show.
Following Trigger’s jaw-dropping performance, Julianne reflected on how she didn’t know “what was to come” when she saw him walk onto the stage without shoes on, she told him that he really had some serious skills. Although the golden buzzer press obviously didn’t count, all four judges agreed to send Trigger through to the next round for his lively dance routine.
The golden buzzers actually given out so far this season were received by blind singer and pianist Kodi Lee (given by Gabrielle Union), 11-year-old violinist Tyler Butler-Figueroa (given by Simon Cowell), singer/songwriter Joseph Allen (given by Howie Mandel), and the Detroit Youth Choir (given by Terry Crews). Julianne Hough still has her golden buzzer to give out to an act she believes deserves to go straight to the live round of the competition; according to Hough, she will be giving out the last golden buzzer of the season during the July 9 episode.
Tune in to new episodes of America’s Got Talent, Tuesday nights at 8/7c on NBC.