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Broken Roots were a vocal duo from Season 15 of America's Got Talent. They were eliminated in the Judge Cuts. The duo returned for the Quarterfinals as a replacement for Thomas Day. They finished the competition in 2nd place, winning a new KIA car along with Brandon Leake.


Austin is a popular country musician and plays all over the Chicago-land area. Joey, on the other hand, is a popular rock/pop musician who also plays all over the Chicago-land area. In 2019, Austin and Joey were being told repeatedly by many venues and people that follow both musicians that they should perform a show together. They finally met at one of Joey's shows and realized they actually had many things in common – both battled cancer and worked in law enforcement, which affected their lives in devastating ways. They struggled with their decision to come together musically, both wanting to support each other but feeling like their styles were too different to work together. They eventually decided to break their musical roots and give it a shot by joining forces as a duo on America's Got Talent. Their audition received a standing ovation and four yes votes from the judges. They immediately felt the good that can come from courage, sacrifice and compromise in the face of challenge.


Broken Roots' audition in Episode 1501 consisted of singing and playing guitar to "Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi. Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel all voted "Yes", sending them to the Judge Cuts round.

Judge Cuts[]

Broken Roots was automatically eliminated from the competition without performing in Episode 1508. However, after Thomas Day was unable to attend the live shows due to contracting COVID-19, they were invited back to replace him in the Quarterfinals.


Broken Roots' Quarterfinals performance in Episode 1515 consisted of singing U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For".  They received enough votes to advance to the Semifinals in Episode 1516 instead of Alex Hooper and Lightwave Theatre Company.


Broken Roots' Semifinals performance in Episode 1517 consisted of singing Blake Shelton's "God's Country".  They received enough votes to advance to the Finals in Episode 1518 instead of Double Dragon.


Broken Roots' Finals performance in Episode 1521 consisted of singing Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight".


For the finale in Episode 1522, Broken Roots reprised their Semifinals song "God's Country" with Blake Shelton.  They received enough votes to advance to the Top 5 instead of BAD Salsa. Broken Roots finished the competition in 2nd place, ahead of Cristina Rae, Roberta Battaglia and Alan Silva but behind Brandon Leake. As runner-up, they, along with Brandon Leake, won a new KIA.


  • Broken Roots is the first act to replace a withdrawn act since Alondra Santos and DADitude! replaced Silvia Silvia and Duo Volta in Season 10.
    • However, unlike these two acts as well as other replacement acts like Donald Braswell, Nick Pike, and Melody Caballero, Broken Roots actually got to compete against the act that they initially replaced, after Thomas Day returned in the Semifinals.
  • Broken Roots is the second replacement act to reach the Finals, the first being Donald Braswell from Season 3.
  • Broken Roots and Alan Silva were the only non-Golden Buzzer acts in the top 5 in Season 15.
  • They were also the highest placing non-Golden Buzzer act and highest-placing singing act of the season.
  • Broken Roots is the highest placing act to have been initially eliminated, but to be reinstated into the competition, having finished in 2nd place.
  • Broken Roots is the fourth non-winning Finalist to receive a consolation prize, the first two being All That! and The Millers from Season 1 and Quintavious Johnson from Season 9. Like All That! and The Millers, they won a car as their consolation prize.
  • Broken Roots is the first act in Season 15 to sing a song in the finals that was the same song that got stopped by Simon in the auditions round, that being "In the Air Tonight" which was covered by Cristina Rae.

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