The 51-year-old musician auditioned and opened up about how his wife, Christina Mauser, was killed in the incidente in elicottero that also took the lives of Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gigi Bryant and six other people in January of 2020.
She was the coach of the basketball star’s Mamba Sports Academy team.
“I’m a singer. And I’m here because my wife and I… we were both schoolteachers, and we retired from teaching so that I could do the music full-time,” he told judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Sofía Vergara, and Howie Mandel. “And she got the opportunity to coach girls’ basketball with Kobe Bryant. But on January 26th of 2020, I lost my wife in the same helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant.”
Matt recalled how on the morning of the crash “[Christina] kissed me and she said, ‘I love you.’”
“There was pain,” he said of dealing with grief. “My focus immediately went to my children. You start to say, ‘All right, she would want me to carry on.’ She would want our kids to have happy lives, which I don’t know it’s possible, But I’m gonna try. Sai, if I had it my way, I would have my wife, and I would be supporting her. But that’s not what happened. Sai, it’s been a rough year. Ma… here I am.”
Matt called his late wife a “molto umile, potente, beautiful human being.” They were married for 15 years and shared three kids.
“I would like to make sure that my children see that, in spite of the grief that we’ve been through this year and that grief is not gonna define who we are as a family and that my children see that you have to find joy in life and you have to continue,” Egli ha detto. “And if this can anyway help my children to chase their dreams, then I’ll take it.”
Matt then performed “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins and received a unanimous “sì” from the judges to continue on in the competition series.