If like Simon Cowell you’re unfamiliar with spoken word poetry then it’s about time you got into it! On Tuesday night, “America’s Got Talent” showcased its first ever act of the art form and Howie Mandel was so moved by it that he awarded its artist, Brandon Leake, with his Golden Buzzer. Watch the powerful audition above.
Like with singing, spoken word is an artist’s medium of expressing some of life’s most powerful emotions. The poems in spoken word are meant to be performative, allowing the intensity of love, pain and anger that are often its subject to come across passionately through both physical and vocal expression. Brandon’s poem from Tuesday night is an ode to his sister who passed away, but whose presence still resonates in his life and he exuded that passion with ferocious power.
When Brandon finished his audition, the already empty auditorium (thanks, pandemic!) was quiet, but Howie was the first to stand and clap, uttering a “wow.” Simon stood as well, and though Sofia Vergara remained seated it was because she was also very moved. She told Brandon that coincidentally her brother passed away the same year as his sister and that she knows his pain so his performance was “very beautiful” for her.
In his response to Brandon’s performance, Howie said “it’s amazing to me that on season 15 it’s the first time we’re hearing somebody from spoken word.” He was moved by what he referred to as “just the raw heart beating in front of us.” And then Howie hit the Golden Buzzer and the judges swarmed the stage to bump elbows with their newest favorite act.
By way of “AGT,” Brandon dreams of turning his art into a full time career by creating a one man show featuring his all-original poetry. He says that he only ever performs stuff he writes himself and would never perform anything else. With Howie’s Golden Buzzer under his belt, Brandon will next perform in the live shows, skipping the next round of judges’ cuts. I’d say he’s well on his way to realizing his dream, wouldn’t you?