Northern Virginia singing group eliminated in ‘America’s Got Talent’ championship

A Northern Virginia singing group comprising active-duty and retired members of the U.S. Army did not have enough votes to become the champion of “America’s Got Talent.”

Members of the quartet Voices of Service Master Sgt. Caleb Green, Sgt. 1st Class Jason Hanna and Sgt. Maj. Christal Rheams, of Woodbridge, along with retired Staff Sgt. Ron Henry, of Williamsburg, came short of winning the $1 million prize Wednesday night.

The group made it to the Top 5, coming in fifth place. Fourth place was dance group V.Unbeatable; third was comedian Ryan Niemiller; and in second place was the Detroit Youth Choir. The winner was singer Kodi Lee.

Voices of Service performed Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Some Gave All,” accompanied by Cyrus himself.

During their first appearance on the show, Henry told the show’s judges that the group is using the platform to show what music can do as music therapy for military members coping with post-traumatic stress disorder.

It is the bond of music that got the group through their journey of recovery, said Henry, who told the show that it took him 10 years to realize he had PTSD.

“Every day of you life that you spent (in Iraq), you have to make it your best,” Henry said. “Because you could be having lunch with your buddy one day, and the next day, he could be gone.”

The group is affiliated with the Virginia-based Center for American Military Music Opportunities, reported.

“We would sit around and start singing,” Henry told the show.

Green said their message is about resilience. “It is really for anyone on a recovery journey, from post-traumatic stress, to substance abuse, to physical abuse, domestic violence. We attempt to use our gifts to heal.”

Green is a longtime national anthem singer for the Washington Capitals, InsideNoVa reported.

For their first performance in front of the judges, they performed a rendition of Katy Perry’s “Rise.” Rheams said that it was a perfect and fitting song because, “We want everybody to rise.”

Not only did they wow the judges, the audience got on their feet. “It was overwhelming,” Green said.

Their next performance was a cover of Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s “See You Again,” which earned them enough to advance to the quarterfinals.

At the quarterfinals, backed by a military chorus representing all five service branches, they received enough support following a performance of Gavin DeGraw’s “Fire” to move on to the semifinals.

And at the semifinals, they advanced with a performance of OneRepublic’s “Choke.”

And Tuesday during the first night of the finals, they sang an emotional rendition of Leona Lewis’ “Footprints in the Sand.”

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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