While the auditions in Tampa didn’t impress me too much, the final act of the night definitely made the episode worth watching. Mary Joyner, daughter of Olympic winners Al Joyner and the late Florence Griffith-Joyner, better known as Flo Jo. Her audition began with Howard asking if she was going to be doing track and field (jokingly, of course). That was definitely not her act. But what she did do was grace the stage with her beautiful voice.v Here is the act that ended the AGT auditions:
I tweeted that even with the first few seconds of the act, she was already a contender for the finals. The judges seemed to agree, with Howard saying he got goose bumps, and the others praising her. It was immediately obvious that she was a crowd favorite as well.
Joyner was eight years old when her mother passed away. According to an article written in the NY Times back in 1999, she wanted to quit gymnastics and become a track and field star like her mom. Her father said that she could clear the 33″ hurdles that grown women had to clear. He also talked about his relationship with Joyner and the joy she brought her during that dark time:
Mary is dealing with things. She keeps my spirits up. That comes from Florence, who laid down a foundation. Mary’s gotten her strong personality and beliefs from her mother. Aside from jumping, I run a bit. I’m not too faithful with it, but Mary says, ‘Daddy, Mommy wants you to run.’ So I run.
Beyond running, Joyner obviously discovered her beautiful talent for singing. Her mother, Flo Jo, before she was even pregnant with Mary, had stated her daughter would be a singer:
There was just one problem with all of it: Florence wasn’t pregnant. She’d simply assure Al that she’d soon be having a baby girl, and that this girl would be an extraordinary singer, the one talent Florence wished she’d had.
Joyner sang from the time she was little, where she could sing the Olympic theme song before much anything else. She sang at her mother’s funeral, and at one time stated that music was her therapy and way to connect with her mom. In addition, she plays the piano and violin and majoring in music in college.
She has released a good amount of music before AGT and has been well-received. Hopefully AGT will be just the thing to get her career even more successful and eventually have people connecting not just track and field with the last name Joyner, but music as well.
Here is one of her popular songs, To Have Only You: