In a new interview, “America’s Got Talent” judge Howie Mandel opens up about his Golden Buzzer act, the show’s first-ever spoken word artist. “I can’t tell you how excited I am! I hit my Golden Buzzer for Brandon Leake,” Howie reveals to NBC (watch above). “His authenticity, his passion, his originality is what made me just press that button. I have never felt that somebody was so deserving of a Golden Buzzer.”
Howie continues on, “And now he has to take that ride to the live shows,” which NBC is hoping will begin on August 11. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, “AGT’s” Season 15 schedule has been thrown out of whack, with a rerun airing July 7 instead of a new episode. Upcoming episodes include the final auditions (July 14), a best-of auditions special (July 21), the Judge Cuts (July 28) and a 15th anniversary retrospective (August 5).
“I have no advice, absolutely no advice” to give to Brandon, the Canadian judge adds, “except don’t listen to any advice.” Howie concludes, “You do you. And inspire.”
Well, “inspire” is exactly what Brandon did when he appeared on the June 30 episode of “America’s Got Talent.” Brandon spoke a heart-wrenching poem about his sister who passed away when they were kids, but whose presence still resonates in his life. As the only spoken word artist to grace the “AGT” stage, the judges — Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara and Howie — truly didn’t know what they were about to experience.
“It’s amazing to me that on Season 15 it’s the first time we’re hearing somebody from spoken word,” Howie told Brandon before slamming his down on his Golden Buzzer. He was understandably moved by the young artist’s “raw heart” and likened him to “human a capella.”
Can Brandon go all the way and win the 2020 season of “America’s Got Talent”? It wouldn’t be the first time one of Howie’s Golden Buzzers has been the ultimate champion, as singer-ukuleleist Grace VanderWaal did just that in Season 11. Give us your comments down below.