A night of firsts gave Tuesday’s “America’s Got Talent” a memorable twist.
It marked the first episode without an audience since the coronavirus pandemic hit, and it introduced the show’s first spoken-word performer. (See the full performance below.)
Poet Brandon Leake may have thought he was in for a rough audition when judge Simon Cowell declared beforehand that he didn’t really understand poetry. But the artist’s raw ode to his late sister won over the persnickety panelist and the other judges.
“That’s the cost of love,” Leake recited. “Caring for someone so much that you can’t imagine living life without them, staring at a grave like how about I trade my six feet for yours but that’s not real.”
Judge Sofia Vergara mentioned she too lost a sibling and said Leake’s work “was very beautiful for me.”
“There’s something very, very special about you,” Cowell told Leake, a 27-year-old community college counselor from Stockton, California.
Now Leake will have a story to tell his infant daughter.