Dr. Brandon Rogers, 29, was killed June 11 in a car crash in Maryland, just weeks before his performance was scheduled to air.
“At the request of his family, we would like to honor his memory by sharing his audition with you,” the show’s producers said in a YouTube post.
In an emotional interview for the show, Rogers said he was inspired to become a doctor by a traumatic experience when he was 6 years old. He said he found his mother in a pool of blood and she was rushed to the hospital.
“The doctors were like heroes. They saved her life and it made me want to be the doctor that I am today,” he said. “I feel like I’m in a field where I’m actually making a difference.”
Rogers, who practiced family medicine, sang Stevie Wonder’s “Ribbon in the Sky” to a standing ovation and unanimous “yes” votes from the show’s four judges.
“You have real control and passion and you can be a star,” said judge Howie Mandel. “You spent so much time going down that medical road. I think it was a waste of time and schooling because you should be a singer – but it’s good to have something to fall back on, I guess.”
Judges Simon Cowell, Mel B and Heidi Klum echoed Mandel.
“Your vocal is stunning,” Cowell said. “I’ve never said this before to a doctor, you’re sick. Really sick. You’re one of the best singers we’ve had in the competition so far, I’ve got to tell you.”
Rogers gained national recognition after an Instagram post of him dressed in scrubs, singing Boyz II Men’s “On Bended Knee,” went viral.