Buffalo Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie won’t be singing with his teammates on the NFL Players Choir on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” Tuesday.
McKenzie, who has been getting rave reviews for his performance at Bills training camp at St. John Fisher University, won’t be part of the group’s second appearance on the popular reality show.
NBC announced Tuesday night that the Players Choir will be performing on the program’s first live show next Tuesday.
McKenzie told a team spokesman, “He will not be going and will be supporting (the choir) from a distance.”
McKenzie was part of the first appearance of the choir when it advanced after performing “Lean on Me.” That performance was taped during the offseason and aired in June.
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The live show Tuesday is two days before the Bills break camp at St. John Fisher and four days before the preseason opener against Indianapolis.
As I wrote last month, it was hard to imagine Bills coaches would have looked kindly on McKenzie missing too many practices to perform on a live reality show across the country in Pasadena, Calif. Presumably, all the members of the choir who are still playing in the NFL would have the same problem.
The 55 acts that have advanced to live shows will be paired in five qualifying rounds of 11 participants. Two acts in each of the five shows advance, along with a wild card, before the two-night final on Sept. 13 and 14.
If the choir beats the odds and advances to the finals, there could be a chance that McKenzie could be available depending on what days the players get off between the first and second regular season games.
The Bills regular season opener against the Los Angeles Rams is Sept. 8 on NBC and the home opener against Tennessee is Sept. 19 on ESPN’s Monday Night Football.
The choir received “yes” votes from judges Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara and Simon Cowell (Howie Mandel wasn’t there to vote) in June after their performance.
When the choir performs Tuesday, you hope the program will do a better job identifying the players than they did in last June’s performance.
None of the players were identified, not even the spokesman, former Bills linebacker Bryan Scott.
The former Bills on the choir include:
• Running back Dwayne Wright, who was drafted by the Bills in the fourth round out of Fresno State and played in Buffalo from 2007 to 2008. He rushed for 94 yards on 29 carries and caught three passes for 17 yards.
• Scott, the Penn State alum who played for the team from 2007 to 2012 and had four interceptions in his final season in Buffalo.
• Tight end Michael Gaines, who played at Central Florida and caught 25 passes for 215 yards as a Bill in 2007.