tv 60 Minutes CBS July 12, 2015 7:00pm-8:02pm PDT
captioning funded by cbs and ford >> whitaker: this is the man responsible for the largest and most damaging swiss bank heist in history. it doesn't involve stolen money but stolen computer files which are being used by governments all over the world to track down thousands and thousands of tax cheats and that's just part of the story. looking at these documents here, this is shocking. >> for the average american taxpayer, it is beyond shocking. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> take your time. >> the older people are passing it onto the younger generation so the younger generation can pass it onto the next generation. >> this is your mission.
>> i don't want this music to die. >> ♪ i'm going home ♪ ♪ i'm going home ♪ ♪ to leave ♪ >> stahl: there didn't seem to be any risk of any music dying here, as they took the stage to perform "live, 55 plus and kicking," before a packed house in harlem. >> i'm steve kroft. >> i'm leslie stahl. >> i'm morley safer. >> i'm bill whitaker. >> i'm scott pelley. those stories tonight on "60 minutes." start your day... with 150 nourishing calories in a bowl of special k. eat special, feel special. a new season brings a new look. a chance to try something different. this summer,
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named herveé falciani stole the huge cache of over 100,000 names in 2007 and gave it to the french government. and as we first reported last february, those files now are being used to go after tax cheats all over the world. "60 minutes," working with a group called the international consortium of investigative journalists, obtained the leaked files, which offer a rare glimpse into the highly- secretive world of swiss banking. they show the bank did business with a collection of international outlaws-- tax dodgers, arms dealers and drug smugglers. this is the stolen data that's shaking the swiss banking world to its core. it contains names, nationalities, account information, deposit amounts. but most remarkable are these detailed notes revealing the private dealings between hsbc and its clients. >> well, the amount of
information here that has come public is extraordinary. absolutely, extraordinary. >> whitaker: few people know more about money laundering and tax evasion by banks than jack blum. he's a former u.s. senate staff investigator. we asked him to analyze the files for us. >> blum: if you read these notes, what you understand is the bank is trying to accommodate the secrecy needs of the client. and that's the first concern. >> whitaker: take the case of british citizen emanuel shallop. he was convicted for selling blood diamonds, those illegal gems used to finance conflicts in africa. the documents show in 2005 hsbc knew shallop was under investigation, yet helped hide his assets. "we have opened a company account for him based in dubai," one entry read. "the client is very cautious currently because he is under pressure from belgian tax authorities, who are investigating his activities in
the area of diamond tax fraud." >> blum: you get into the notes and you find that they offer various products-- shell corporations, trusts, various ways of concealing the ownership of the account. they offer products that they're going to give to the customer that will help with concealment. >> whitaker: concealment is what irish businessman john cashell got from hsbc. his file contained these notes by a bank employee: cashell's "preoccupation is with the risk of disclosure to the irish authorities." the employee went on-- "i endeavored to reassure him that there is no risk of that happening." cashell was later convicted of tax evasion. the bank files we examined contained more than 4,000 names of people with connections to the u.s., holding more than $13 billion in hsbc accounts. one was a new jersey realtor. the notes in her file reveal that she and her family wanted
assurance that her assets would be well hidden from u.s. tax collectors. >> blum: and she expresses the concerns to the bank, which in turn reassure her that they will find ways to keep her name out of the sights of i.r.s. >> whitaker: this seems to be evidence of the bank actively helping clients evade, if not cheat. >> blum: of course. >> whitaker: you say, "of course." but for us, looking at these documents here, i... this... this is shocking. >> blum: first of all, for the average american taxpayer, it's beyond shocking. >> whitaker: but perhaps not that surprising. swiss banks have been caught protecting tax dodgers before but never has this much detail been revealed. >> blum: under u.s. law, any bank that does that, that assists a u.s. person in evading u.s. tax, is guilty of a felony. and it doesn't matter where the
bank is located or where the bankers are located. >> whitaker: so, we're looking at evidence of a felony here? >> blum: potentially, yes. >> whitaker: the bank notes also show hsbc was a popular place for people in trouble with the law to stash their assets. british citizen jeffery tesler was convicted by the u.s. of funneling $132 million in bribes to the nigerian government to win billion-dollar engineering contracts. we found he used his family's hsbc accounts as conduits for the bribes. the documents show bankers knew tesler was under investigation yet failed to shut down those accounts. none of this would have surfaced had it not been for this man herveé falciani, an hsbc computer security specialist at the geneva, switzerland, branch. he stole the data in 2007. he likes that he's been called the "edward snowden of swiss
banking." now a fugitive living in france, he says he grew disillusioned with what he saw at hsbc and began to download proof of illegal tax evasion, those internal bank files. the information you took was not just names but it was... >> falciani: no. >> whitaker: ...correspondence deposits, deposit numbers, wh... >> falciani: exactly. exactly. >> whitaker: how did you do it? >> falciani: friends, let's say, partners give... gave me these datas. >> whitaker: so, you had accomplices inside the bank. >> falciani: of course. i am not the only person in banking system that wants to raise alarm. >> whitaker: but swiss authorities say falciani acted alone. when they came looking for him he fled to france and turned over his files to french authorities. >> eckert ( translated ): after he came to france, we realized his information was useful to us. we protected him and we used his skills to understand the documents. >> whitaker: christian eckert is
secretary of state in charge of the budget of france. about six years ago falciani gave the french eight dvds of encrypted data. it took a year to decipher the information. eckert told us almost every french citizen on the list was evading taxes. >> eckert ( translated ): we have already reclaimed $250 to $300 million dollars from penalties and back taxes. >> whitaker: french authorities began to disperse the falciani list to other countries. the europeans went after tax evaders and so far have collected hundreds of millions of dollars. since 2010, billions of dollars have been recovered worldwide. the hunt for tax cheats is ongoing. >> serge michel: i think this leak is the biggest banking leak ever. >> whitaker: ever? >> michel: ever, yes. >> whitaker: serge michel is an editor of le monde, france's leading newspaper. le monde was first to obtain the secret hsbc files, leaked by a french investigator with access
to the data falciani stole. overwhelmed by the mountain of information, the paper called on the international consortium of investigative journalists, which gathered more than 140 reporters from 45 countries, who spent more than seven months digging through it all. "60 minutes" was the only u.s. news organization included. >> michel: "le monde" can deal with 3,000 french names, but it cannot deal with 120,000 names all around the world. we understood it's too big for us and we can't have "le monde" reporters working on italian greeks, chinese, and american names. >> whitaker: hsbc declined to respond on camera to what journalists found in the files but acknowledged to us the bank had been used to evade taxes in the past. in a written statement, the bank said it "has undergone a radical transformation that began in 2008." it says it will no longer do business with clients it
suspects of evading taxes. but repercussions of the bank's earlier activities still are being felt. in 2012, the u.s. found hsbc laundered hundreds of millions of dollars of drug cartel money. as a result, the bank had to pay $1.9 billion in settlement. >> blum: for these big banks the fines that have been imposed amount to a parking ticket. >> whitaker: $1.9 billion in fines is a drop in the bucket for hsbc? >> blum: exactly. maybe one quarter's profits. >> whitaker: as for herveé falciani, he's still a wanted man. in december, swiss authorities charged him with industrial espionage. he says he's a whistleblower. the swiss say he's a thief. his ex-girlfriend considers him a con man. when falciani first took the files, she traveled with him to beirut.
she told a british filmmaker he had hoped to sell the data and make millions. she says she discovered he was a liar and a manipulator. falciani says he shopped the files around beirut, hoping to set off alarms and trigger an investigation back in switzerland. but as we learned after spending time with falciani, the truth can be elusive. the young woman you were traveling with says that you were trying to sell this information in lebanon? >> falciani: of course not. she didn't know at the time. i wanted... i wanted just to trigger an alert. >> whitaker: so you...you were using her? >> falciani: yeah. >> whitaker: so, you're manipulating her? >> falciani: excuse me. who is not manipulating? manipulating just the way to proceed, to convince that what you're doing is important. is no... nothing more than that. everyone is manipulating. >> whitaker: falciani did
trigger an international alert... for his arrest. he became a man on the run. over the next four years his strange saga became absolutely bizarre. he says there were attempts on his life and that he was kidnapped by israeli mossad intelligence agents, things we could not substantiate. what we know for sure is that he ended up in a spanish jail for five months, fighting extradition, and made court appearances wearing disguises, saying he feared for his life. i've read mossad, kidnappings, shootings, disguises, fake names. come on, is this guy for real? >> falciani: yeah, this is real. everything is real. >> whitaker: you know how fantastical this all sounds? >> falciani: yeah. but i can assure you i was not prepared for that. >> whitaker: today, he's a hero in parts of europe for helping recover billions in unpaid
taxes. he says he hasn't profited from any of this and has been reduced to collecting unemployment. did he get paid in any way for the information that he turned over to the french government? >> eckert ( translated ): he was never paid by the french government. i know other countries buy information from certain bank employees, but it is not the case in france. >> whitaker: did you want to be paid for this? >> falciani: i want it, of course. i deserve that. i... >> whitaker: you deserve to be paid? >> falciani: ...deserved. but i knew that in europe it was impossible. >> whitaker: it does leave one wondering if you did this for high-minded purpose, or because, as you were saying, you thought there was profit in this? >> falciani: yeah, common profits. i have no problem with profit. i knew that, at the same time, i could have both. >> michel: what is important is not really the man. what is important is the data that he provided. >> whitaker: it sounds like what you are saying his motives may
not have been great? >> michel: yes. >> whitaker: but the result of what he did has been a good thing? >> michel: has been a transformative thing. this is something that can change laws and practices all over the world. >> whitaker: when the interview with falciani was over, the man responsible for the biggest breach and leak in swiss banking history left the way he'd arrived at our meeting, through the streets of paris on his scooter. after our story aired, a criminal investigation was launched against hsbc in france. the bank's operations were temporarily suspended in argentina, and swiss authorities raided hsbc's geneva offices. the bank's c.e.o. has publicly apologized for what he called his company's "terrible list of failures." >> stahl: a show opened in new
>> cbs money watch update brought to you in part by: >> glor: >> glor: good evening. finance ministers are working into the night on a deal to keep greece in the euro zone. janet yellen talks to congress this week about plans to raise interest rates, and there's a $1 million reward for a stolen pair of judy garland's wizard of oz slippers. i'm jeff glor, cbs news.
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>> stahl: a show opened in new york recently that didn't get a whole lot of attention, but it features some of the most powerful singing voices you've never heard. you haven't heard them because for most of the performers, this is their first time on the stage. they've been singing their whole lives-- in church, in amateur groups, in the shower-- but like so many who had big dreams of making it, life somehow got in the way. as we first reported back in january, the show was created by a theater producer and former disc jockey named vy higginsen who has made it her mission to preserve a special part of american culture-- african-
american music, both gospel and popular music like soul and r&b. she found a pool of untapped talent, men and women in what she calls their "second half of life" just waiting for their chance to shine. >> ♪ i have a testimony... >> stahl: the show is called "alive: 55 plus and kickin'" and while that certainly fits the men and women who fill this harlem stage on saturday afternoons, "alive" also refers to the music. and that is just how vy higginsen wants it. >> higginsen: the older people carry the music in their body, in their mind. if they die, then that sound may be gone forever. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> stahl: her idea was not just to celebrate the music. she also wanted to produce a
show about the life experiences and struggles that created it. she figured she'd start by finding the voices, then write stories for each character afterward. at least, that was the plan over a year ago when she put out the call for auditions. >> higginsen: we talked about it on the radio, auditions for 55 plus, and they said, "this is a youth-oriented society. nobody wants to hear about us." i want to hear about you! >> ( singing "ain't no sunshine" ) >> stahl: theo harris, 65, was one of more than 200 people who showed up to audition. he had caught one of the radio announcements on his way home from work. >> theo harris: i pulled the car over to the side of the street. i said, "this is what i've been waiting for." >> stahl: 55 and over, i'm there. >> harris: i'm there. that's for me, yes. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> stahl: debbie bingham, 56
always wanted to sing, but she needed a steady job to raise her family, so she became a nurse. >> debbie bingham: i worked in pediatrics, in the trauma center, so i did a little bit of everything. >> stahl: did you ever dream of being a professional singer? >> bingham: all the time. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> stahl: renee walker, also 56, works for her local school district. >> renee walker: when i started working there, i told myself it would just be a temporary job until i made it as a singer. so i've been there 31 temporary years. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> stahl: in some cases, the talent was obvious. in others, like a 75-year-old named matthew brown, a little less so. >> higginsen: oh, matthew brown. when he walked through the door, he came in... he was bent over looking down, and i was thinking
to myself, "what's going to happen here?" >> stahl: he's not right for this show. >> higginsen: well, i don't know. i mean, look at... whew. >> stahl: she looked at you and said, "uh-uh." >> matthew brown: yes. yes. yes. >> stahl: she told you that? >> brown: she told me that. >> higginsen: he took the mic. he pulled his shoulders back. he started to sing. and i fell out in my chair. ah! >> brown: ♪ shall always be my song of praise... ♪ >> higginsen: my god! that's what i'm looking for. >> brown: and i looked at her. and she straightened up. ( laughs ) >> higginsen: who sings like that today? you can't turn on the radio and hear that. but i heard that when i was a young girl. >> stahl: he sounded to her like nat king cole. did you know you had... that you got it? >> brown: i... i told myself "you got it."
but i won't... i... i won't say anything. >> ( singing "ain't no sunshine" ) >> stahl: at audition, vy heard a different sound in theo harris' voice. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> higginsen: i put him a little bit in the crooner doo-wop section. >> stahl: the doo-wop. >> higginsen: the doo-wop time. >> stahl: vy's plan had been to create a story for each singer that would match their individual sound. that was before she knew what kind of stories were right in front of her. theo harris revealed at his audition that he had spent time in prison. when he said how much time, he wasn't sure anyone heard him correctly. >> harris: greg kelly, who was the pianist, said, "wait a minute, how many years did you say?" and i said, "40." >> kelly: 40? >> harris: yes. >> kelly: four zero? >> harris: yes. and that's when vy heard it. >> higginsen: 40 years in prison? >> harris: in and out. >> stahl: harris told her he had committed burglaries, many in
her neighborhood, harlem, to get money to feed a drug habit. vy told us she was conflicted, but when she and her husband and collaborator, director ken wydro, made their choices and assembled a cast to start creating the show, theo was sitting front and center. why did you pick him if he's this person who destroyed your neighborhood? >> higginsen: because he's part of it. he's part of the big picture. i can't ignore that. and perhaps it was necessary for him to have a second chance. perhaps he deserved it, another chance. >> stahl: and theo harris wasn't the only one they had chosen with a dramatic story, and he wasn't the only one who needed a second chance. matthew brown, born the fourth of 13 children in north carolina, had spent most of his life illiterate. >> brown: i was just ashamed, or i don't know what it was.
but i just... just couldn't learn. you pull up a piece of paper and say, "read one word," i'm ready to run some place. >> stahl: for decades, he drank until the alcohol started to affect his singing voice, and that terrified him. >> brown: i remember the last drink i had. it was a guy i was drinking with. i told him, i said, "this is the last drink you ever going to see me drink." >> stahl: of course, he didn't believe you. but was it the last... >> brown: he might have been too drunk... that was it. >> stahl: that was it? >> brown: that's been 28 years ago. >> stahl: 28 years ago. >> brown: november the 2nd, 28 years ago. >> higginsen: when we heard his story, i just fell apart. i just... that's when you knew that you had to tell that story. >> stahl: yeah, you couldn't... >> higginsen: you can't... you couldn't really make that one up. >> stahl: it was a turning point. vy and ken decided to take a risk-- to have each singer tell his or her own true story paired with a song. debbie bingham, the nurse,
wanted to talk about losing her son. he passed away four years ago. >> bingham: my son was diagnosed with cancer when he was 34 years old. >> stahl: oh, my word. she's the one who took care of him. >> bingham: it didn't matter how much i knew. it didn't matter how much i helped other people, i just couldn't do anything. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> stahl: debbie knew what she wanted to sing in the show-- "i will always love you," the song made famous by whitney houston. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> bingham: only problem was, vy wasn't crazy about it at first. >> higginsen: i wasn't sure. >> stahl: why weren't you sure? >> higginsen: if that song is not sung the right way, it misses big time. >> bingham: ken said yes. vy said no. ken said, "why not?" vy said, "because." and i said to her, "if you give me the chance to show you, i
promise you you won't be disappointed." >> higginsen: how do you say no to that? >> stahl: you can't say no. >> higginsen: i can't say no to that. but i did say, "okay. but have another song just in case." ( laughs ) ♪ ♪ ♪ >> stahl: theo harris wanted to sing about his time in prison and how it was music that got him through. >> harris: they had a 10:00 quiet bell, which meant all talking ceases. so one evening, i started singing. and it was real quiet. and then when i finished, i heard somebody say, "who was that singing?" and i... hesitantly, i said, "that was me." they said, "well, keep singing." >> stahl: keep singing. >> harris: keep singing. i was their radio from that point on. >> stahl: any song you felt like? >> harris: and... well, they... and took requests. >> stahl: oh, took requests? >> harris: and took requests, yes. >> stahl: harris used his prison
time to get an education-- a college degree and then a masters in playwriting. when a musical he wrote was performed at the prison, music brought him something else-- a leading lady. >> phyllis harris: of course they had to get somebody from the outside, because it's all- male prison. and so my sister doris, she volunteered me. >> stahl: phyllis and her sister do volunteer work at the prison through their church. >> harris: so when she came in we saw each other for the first time. it was just some chemistry there. >> stahl: right away? >> harris: right away. >> stahl: did you know that he had been a drug addict? >> phyllis harris: after our first meeting. >> stahl: he told you everything? >> phyllis harris: our first visit, he told me everything. >> stahl: and she played your wife? >> harris: she played my wife in the play. and seven months later, she became my wife. >> stahl: she married you while you were behind bars? >> harris: while i was in prison, yes. >> stahl: turns out, vy had cast phyllis in the show without even knowing she was theo's wife. ♪ ♪ ♪
vy felt she was hearing the stories of a generation, the generation that came of age during the era of urban decay and the struggle for civil rights, the black baby boomers. >> higginsen: that was one of the most creative musical time periods. there were sounds that were created out of the emotion. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> stahl: but not everyone in the group had such dramatic stories of struggle. renee walker, the school clerk raised her two children in a middle-class suburb. >> wydro: okay, whoa, whoa whoa. what were you feeling singing that? just now, what were you feeling? >> walker: it's hard for me, because i don't really like to talk about myself that much, not my... my innermost feelings. but ken was adamant about us getting in touch with our feelings. >> stahl: they decided renee would sing about something that was really more success story than tragedy-- watching her sons
leave home to go off to college. >> wydro: and what did you feel when you had to say goodbye? >> walker: sad. >> wydro: sad. >> stahl: you want to sing on the stage, it has to come out. >> walker: it has to come out. >> stahl: and there was one last story, from a man named matthew burke. he and theo harris had sung together in prison. he sold drugs, and committed violent armed robbery, but what he wanted to talk about in the show was what he had recently discovered in a case file about the first weeks of his life. it says that you were abandoned at two-and-a-half weeks in a hallway. >> burke: yes. >> stahl: mother unknown. father unknown. the first thing most of us get from our parents is a name. he was simply "abandoned 2-3-6- 0." you are a number. >> burke: and you want to know something? i became 81a3684.
i became 00a6432. that's been my life, a number. >> stahl: you're smiling. but you don't mean it. >> burke: right. and that's the defense mechanism. >> stahl: because it's horrible. ♪ ♪ ♪ he was named matthew burke by a priest in the first of many foster homes. when he sings the song "georgia," he told us he's trying to give a name to what he lost. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> burke: if i had to give my mother a name, and i could give her a name. i can. it would be georgia. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> stahl: i know a psychiatrist who says the most important question she asks somebody is,
"when you were growing up, who loved you?" do you have an answer? >> burke: that's very difficult to answer-- who loved me-- because there's different types of love. >> stahl: unconditional. i mean... >> burke: yeah, unconditional... >> stahl: that's what i mean. >> burke: i've never... i've never experienced that. >> stahl: so you... you have no answer for that question. >> burke: i have no answer. to this day, i have no answer to that. >> stahl: it was daring, bringing real people, none of them trained actors, to tell their own stories on the stage. what happened when the show opened when we come back. >> and now a cbs sports update brought to you by prevnar. at the john deere classic, u.s. open champion jordan spieth defeated tom gillis to head to next week's open championship off a victory. wimbledon men's championship novak djokovic beads roger federer for the second straight
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>> stahl: we first met vy higginsen a few years back, when she launched gospel for teens, a program to teach the hip-hop generation the art of singing gospel. the teens are still coming, more and more of them each year. it's all part of her drive to keep this music alive, and what better way to do that than to bring the young and the old together? ♪ ♪ ♪ we were there when vy invited her over-55 crew to a gospel for teens class, for what she called an "intergenerational exchange." ♪ ♪ ♪
>> higginsen: come on, matthew. ( applause ) >> brown: ♪ that old man river, he don't say nothing... ♪ >> stahl: vy wanted to know what the kids heard in matthew brown's voice. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> i hear the journey that he lived, coming from segregation coming from racism. i feel all the pain that our people had to endure, just by listening to his voice. and i thank him so much for sharing that with us. >> higginsen: wow! ( applause ) >> stahl: she wanted the kids to try to copy the sounds they'd heard. >> roberta ross: ♪ soon i will be done. ♪ >> sateena turner: ♪ soon i will
be done. ♪ ( laughter ) >> ross: take your time. >> higginsen: the older people are passing it on to the younger generation, so the younger generation can pass it on to the next generation. >> stahl: and this is your mission. >> higginsen: i don't want this music to die. ♪ ♪ ♪ ( applause ) >> ross: ♪ i'm goin' home ♪ >> turner: ♪ i'm goin' home ♪ >> both: ♪ to live with god. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> stahl: there sure didn't seem to be any risk of any music dying here, as vy's group took the stage to perform "alive: 55+ and kickin'" before a packed house in harlem. >> walker: vy has a saying: the first 50 years are for learning, and the second 50 years are for living. life just begins when you're in your 50s. ♪ ♪ ♪
>> brown: ♪ amazing grace shall always be my song of praise... >> stahl: it's a message that feels a lot like redemption. and that's what comes through in the music, and the real life stories, as when matthew brown the 75-year-old janitor, tells the audience about his battle with illiteracy. >> brown: i couldn't read or write. and when i turned 16, i started to drink. and then i was 50. ( laughter ) but i had no give-up in me! i went back to school to learn to read and write. ( applause ) >> stahl: he started writing poems, and even entered a poetry contest. >> brown: i took third place. ( applause ) >> stahl: then, two years later, an essay contest. >> brown: i took first place! ( applause )
>> harris: no matter what life has thrown at you, no matter what you have done throughout your life, there's always a chance to get it right. >> stahl: always. >> harris: and this play-- it's not even a play. this is real people telling real stories who have been through real struggles. and it's been a healing process for me. ♪ oh, my love, my darling... ♪ ( cheers and applause ) >> stahl: when the man who spent more than half his life in prison sings about hoping his wife will wait for him, it feels as though the song is his story. >> harris: ♪ are you still mine? i need your love... ♪ >> stahl: but as in so many stories, this one had another twist. seven years after theo got out of prison, he started using drugs again.
he robbed a hotel clerk and ended up in jail. >> harris: i've never contemplated suicide in my life until that night. i didn't want any human contact, and i certainly didn't want to call my wife. >> phyllis harris: very early sunday morning, the phone ring. >> harris: and i said, "i'm in jail." and i'm saying to myself, "she's going to hang up. she's going to leave me." >> phyllis harris: he got silent. and i said, "do you love me?" >> harris: and i started crying. i said, "yes, phyllis, i love you." she said, "well, i'll be there for you." she said, "we'll get through this together." ♪ you know i need your love... ♪ >> phyllis harris: then when i said it, i'm like, "what?" i'm saying to myself, "what did i say?" >> stahl: you don't know why you said it? >> phyllis harris: i don't know. no. ( laughs ) >> stahl: but you said it? >> phyllis harris: but i said it. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> stahl: she waited eight-and- a-half more years. ( applause )
>> walker: ♪ if i could, i'd protect you ♪ from the sadness in your eyes. ♪ >> stahl: then, a surprise. the woman with the least dramatic story singing about sending her children off to college gets the most emotional response. >> walker: ♪ and if i could, in a time and place ♪ where you don't want to be... ♪ the song is a parent to a child, wanting the best of everything for that child. i could have written it myself, it's that real for me. ♪ my yesterday won't have to be your way. ♪ if i knew... ♪ >> burke: i love all the songs. but that song for me, i sta...
she used to rehearse it here. and all the men were crying. all the men. and they used to tease us and say, "okay, renee's going to rehearse the song. bring the klee... kleenex to the boys." ♪ ♪ ♪ >> stahl: when we looked backstage during her song, there they were. >> burke: and i'm imagining in my mind that it's my mother saying that to me. >> stahl: and when it's his turn... >> burke: ♪ maybe you were just too young. ♪ >> stahl: ...matthew burke speaks to his mother, trying to understand why she abandoned him. >> burke: maybe you were sick. maybe you thought that what you did was best for both you, and for me. >> stahl: then he sings to her the mother he had had to name himself. >> burke: ♪ georgia whoa georgia
♪ the whole day through. ♪ >> stahl: so have you forgiven your mother? >> burke: i'd like to believe that i've forgiven her fully. >> stahl: but you're not sure? >> burke: there's a lot of things that could have happened. and the only one thing that i hope was not the case is that she said, "i don't want this child." >> stahl: this child? >> burke: me. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> bingham: ♪ but i know... ♪ >> stahl: after a son mourning the absence of his mother, a mother mourns the loss of her son with the song vy hadn't been sure about. >> bingham: ♪ and i will always love you... ♪ >> walker: you know, i've heard it said that if you lose your spouse, you're a widow or a widower. if you lose your parents, you're an orphan. but they said, "what do you call someone that has to bury their child?" what do you call them? we don't have a name for it. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> bingham: there was a time
when i couldn't tell the story to anybody without just bursting into tears. >> stahl: singing about it, she says, helps. >> bingham: ♪ and i wish you joy and happiness... ♪ but above all of this, i wish you love... ♪ ( cheers and applause ) >> stahl: there's a pause before the song kicks up into a higher key... >> higginsen: they're cheering for her... >> stahl: ...if she makes it. >> higginsen: is she going to get it? >> bingham: ♪ and i... will always love you. ♪ >> higginsen: she nailed it! ♪ ♪ ♪ >> stahl: having sung their songs and told their stories this cast of characters in their "second half of life" comes together for a grand finale. ♪ ♪ ♪
and it's hard to avoid the sense that vy's drive to keep the music alive has achieved something more. >> bingham: the overall point of the show is this-- it's never too late for anything. i'm not that sad little lady that i was before and things are going to be okay. >> stahl: second chances. is that the way you see this? >> harris: how about seven chances? ( laughs ) >> stahl: i'm told that you tell people you're looking at a miracle. >> harris: if you're not looking at a miracle, i don't know what a miracle looks like. >> brown: this is what i've always wanted to do. >> stahl: you told us that you feel like you're floating. >> brown: ever since when i auditioned last year. i've been floating ever since then. >> stahl: you're still up floating. >> brown: oh, i haven't been down since then. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> higginsen: yes! ( applause )
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>> announcer: previously on "big brother" ... the flirt mance of shelli and clay was ruling the house. >> being hoh has its perks. >> despite everyone wanting audrey out the couple decided to target a personal threat instead. >> da' hasn't given me any reason to trust her in this game and she's the one i want to see go home this week. >> shelli wanted to make liz a pawn against mama da'. >> i'm thinking about putting yes, i do up in place of john. >> but austin and vanessa didn't didn't want their ally in harm's way trust is hard to find. >> announcer: so they worked to