Just by being on “America’s Got Talent,” Brandon Leake has already made history as the reality TV show’s first-ever spoken word artist. But now the modern poet is a front-runner to win the entire show. For Brandon’s last performance during Tuesday’s Finals, he recited a gut-wrenching poem about his daughter (his “boo-boo”) and how she changed his life. The judges — including his Golden Buzzer mentor Howie Mandel — were all on their feet after Brandon’s act, but was America equally moved? Watch the “AGT” performance video above and read the judges’ comments below.
Howie Mandel: “Again, you leave me speechless, you really do. I’ve never experienced anything like this in my life, especially on this show. I’ve never really experienced poetry. You move people, you move the world, you move us more than anybody does. We get to know you like nobody else. When I think of what you’ve done, you took us on a journey. We met you and we found out you had a terrible loss at the beginning of your life and how you dealt with that. We found out what it was like to be a Black man today through the eyes of your mother. And then we found out now what it’s like to be a father … or how to deal with a single parent. You’re amazing. I know in 2017 you tried out for the show and we said no. I’m glad we said no because now more than ever you are more important and better than you will ever be. I love you, buddy.”
Sofia Vergara: “Like Howie said, this is a new experience for me and I have loved it. I have been from the beginning to the end enjoying every time that you are here on this stage. It’s so meaningful. I think this was one of my favorite performances that you have done because it was very hopeful, it was to your baby. And I liked also that you for the first time were outside of the stage, that you were in that feeling of the streets.”
Heidi Klum: “What a beautiful gift to your daughter and what a beautiful gift to all of us you are. I truly believe that you deserve a show in Las Vegas and we as people, we deserve more artists like you — artists that speak the truth, artists that are humble because that really hits home and that is power. I want to thank you for being here.”
In his “AGT” live blog, our recapper John Benutty had this to say about the performance: “Last week Brandon Leake promised that he would present his best poem for the finale. Surely he lived up to that with the most heartfelt one of the season, covering the subject of fatherhood and what it means to raise his daughter with love and selflessness.”
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