Simon Cowell Says He’ll ‘Never Forget’ School-Shooting Survivor’s ‘AGT’ Audition

Watch Ava Swiss, 18, give an emotional performance on “America’s Got Talent” after opening up about surviving the Oxford High School shooting last year.
Ava Swiss on “America’s Got Talent.”
Ava Swiss on “America’s Got Talent.”
NBC via Getty Images

Simon Cowell has seen endless auditions in his long career as a reality competition judge. But he found one so moving during Tuesday’s episode of “America’s Got Talent” that he said he’ll “never forget” it.

Ava Swiss, an 18-year-old high school senior from Oxford, Michigan, gave a moving performance of “Remember” by Lauren Daigle. But before she sang the song, she shared how she and her brother survived the Oxford High School shooting last year, which left four of her fellow students dead and seven wounded, including a teacher.

Cowell asked Swiss how she’s been coping since the tragedy.

“It’s been hard,” the teen replied. “I remember my brother and I, we were talking to each other, and we said there’s no way we were ever stepping foot back in the school. But we’ve actually been in person in school for about two months now, so things are getting better.”

Swiss said that when she sings the song “Remember,” she is reminded of “the good” aspects of life.

“I remember my community, my family, just the love, and I remember that it’s all there for me, and it will help me get to where I need to be,” she said before performing the song.

To check out her performance, and see how Cowell — and all the judges responded — check out the video below.

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