Everyone who appears on the reality competition series, America’s Got Talent, wishes to have the golden buzzer pressed following their performance.
That dream came true for Brandon Leake, the show’s first-ever spoken word act to grace the show, when Howie Mandel, so moved by Brandon’s performance, hit the golden buzzer, allowing Brandon to go straight to the live finals.
Brandon, who runs poetry workshop’s for youths, stood in front of judges Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara and Howie Mandel (no audience due to Covid) to introduce himself and explain that he would be reading the poetry he wrote. Before beginning, he shared that the poem was an ode to his sister.
[RELATED: ‘America’s Got Talent’ Gives First Golden Buzzer in Premiere Episode to Voices of Our City Choir (WATCH)]
“Are you close to your sister,” Howie asked.
“Very much. She’s here with me now,” he responded.
“Oh, she’s backstage?” asked Howie.
“Kind of,” Leake responded before breaking into his profound poetry.
Following Brandon’s powerful performance, the judges were clearly moved, bringing Howie and Simon to their feet. It was then that Howie noticed Sofia was tearing up.
“My brother passed away the same your that your sister passed away,” Sofia revealed. “I can feel your pain, I know what this is. I know what’s it like to have someone taken from you without you knowing. It was very beautiful for me.”
“What an amazing tribute,” added Simon. “There is something very very special about you. This is a very difficult thing for me to judge. I shouldn’t be judging it. I just want to compliment you on what you just did because it was extraordinary.”
Then it was Howie’s turn to give his thoughts on the performance. “It’s amazing to me that on season 15 it’s the first time that we’re hearing somebody of spoken word,” Howie added. “There was something more raw in the way-—it’s like singing and talking and just being a human a capella. No music, No nothing, just a raw heart beating in front of us. We feel your pain, we feel your love and you moved me to do this.”
That’s when Howie hit the golden buzzer and Brandon Leake was headed straight to the live shows of America’s Got Talent.