You ol’ softy, Simon.
It takes a lot to move Cowell ― and Ketterer had the chops and the emotion to do it in singing James Bay’s “Us” in the last act of the night.
Ketterer also has a moving personal story. The pediatric nurse and his wife adopted five boys from foster care to complete their family with their biological daughter.
Having previously earned a golden buzzer from Cowell to leapfrog into the live rounds, Ketterer was able to trigger Cowell’s waterworks and admiration.
“As I dad, I can’t imagine what you’ve done, and the fact that you’re on this show and you really need this. You’re a really, really special guy,” a teary Cowell said after the song.
Ketterer was asked how he could move the often-tough panelist to such a state. “I think he gets it,” the contestant said, according to “Entertainment Tonight.”
“I was trying to hold it together,” Cowell added in a post-show interview with ET.
Check out Cowell’s reaction above and Ketterer’s full performance below.