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On June 22, NBC viewers got to see Josh's season 16 audition, where he introduced himself to judges Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Sofía Vergara and Simon Cowell. Before beginning his stand-up set, the 42-year-old Denver-based comedian revealed he has cerebral palsy (CP), a group of disorders that affect movement and muscle tone or posture. He quipped that he likes to "get that out of the way early." And with that, he told the judges to "buckle up" and began cracking self-deprecating jokes left and right.
After a wonderful performance, Josh earned praise from the judges and a place in the next round of the competition. Several rounds later, he's now a favorite to win America's Got Talent in the season finale on September 15. But before voting for the finalist, many fans want to know ...
Who is Josh Blue and what is the AGT finalist's backstory?
Though we only learned a tiny bit of info when he made his AGT debut, Josh actually has a very impressive comedy résumé. According to his website, Josh has already enjoyed headliner status at top venues around the world and usually performs about 200 shows a year.
What's more, fans of NBC's Last Comic Standing might recognize him as the 2006 winner of the competition series. After coming in first place on the show, he has since made several TV appearances, including becoming the first comedian to do stand-up on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and performing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Plus, his story has been featured on Fox, CBS, ABC, MSNBC and CNN.
But comedy isn't his only talent. In fact, Josh competed on the U.S. Paralympic soccer team in the 2004 Athens Paralympics, per ESPN. On his website, it's noted that "Josh and his team were thoroughly disgraced in the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece by not scoring a single goal." Commenting on his double-life as a comedian and athlete, Josh once told ESPN, "I can’t think of two more opposite career choices. One you stay up late and party and the other you get up early and jog."
Today, he is a single father living in Denver with his son, Simon, and his daughter, Seika.
Opening up to Brain and Life in 2012, Josh explained that despite being born in Cameroon, West Africa in November of 1978, he had to be medically evacuated to the United States after enduring serious complications during birth. A year later, he was diagnosed with CP.
"I don't think I'd know I had cerebral palsy if other people didn't tell me," Josh explained. "That's my viewpoint; I just tackle the world, whatever comes at me. This is just how I've grown up and how I live."
During much of his comedy, he pokes fun at himself, which he explains stemmed as a defense mechanism and a way to cut down differences between him and his classmates when he was young. In college, he began getting serious about comedy and built a name for himself — and the rest is history.
"As I get older and mature and see the world, I think it's really rewarding to have people take inspiration — I hate the 'I' word — but I think a lot of disabled people really thank me for putting disability out there in a positive way," he told Brain and Life. "That feels good."
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