Americas Got Talent: Blind singer Kodi Lee proves hes more than an inspiring story
Kodi Lee, a blind singer with autism, moved the judges to tears again on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”
Several acts on “America’s Got Talent” have captivated the world with inspirational stories, including an 11-year old violinist who beat cancer and a blind singer with autism.
But Tyler Butler-Figueroa and Kodi Lee are more what they overcame, judge Simon Cowell said. The two golden buzzer winners backed up their stories with undeniable talent during the first round of semifinals Tuesday, proving they are top-notch.
Butler-Figueroa, who was diagnosed with leukemia at age 4, opened his high-energy performance of Ariana Grande’s “Break Free” alongside fellow cancer survivors. He received a standing ovation and Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre chanted “Tyler!”
“Your story is unbelievable and we’ve talked about it a lot. But now I want to talk about your musicianship, because tonight you showed just what a brilliant musician you are,” Cowell said to his golden buzzer recipient.
Julianne Hough added, “Tonight your performance went above and beyond what we’ve seen. … Your greatest trial has become your greatest triumph.”
The same could be said about Lee, who once again brought some of the judges to tears with a breathtaking cover of Calum Scott’s “You Are the Reason.” The audience went wild with applause and cheers, prompting Lee to jump along with joy.
“Like I said earlier on to Tyler, your story is unbelievable. But now let’s take it back to your talent,” Cowell said to Lee. “Every time you come on, particularly tonight, you put your twist on a song that makes you, in my opinion, one of the most special, talented contestants.”
An emotional Gabrielle Union told her golden buzzer winner, “You just keep changing the world every time you step on this stage. … We are so grateful to be in your orbit.”
The judges believe Butler-Figueroa and Lee deserve a spot in the finals, but the fate of the contestants is up to the viewers. Only five of the 11 acts will advance.
Tuesday’s field also included impressionist Greg Morton; singer Robert Finley; Ndlovu Youth Choir; singer Ansley Burns; dance group Light Balance Kids; acrobatic trio Messoudi Brothers; magician Eric Chien; singer Benicio Bryant; and comedian Jackie Fabulous.
Fans can vote up to 10 times for each act on NBC.com/AGTvote or through the “America’s Got Talent” app. The acts advancing to the finals will be revealed during Wednesday’s results show (NBC, 8 EDT/PDT).
The (shirtless) acrobatic trio was dubbed the “Magic Messoundi Brothers” by Union following their “Magic Mike”-inspired act that received a standing ovation.
The brothers invited Hough to take part in a stunt onstage to the tune of Ginuwine’s “Pony” for a few laughs. But, things soon turned serious when they performed a daring stunt that one member broke his foot attempting in rehearsals.
“Thank you for bringing me up with you! That was fantastic! I literally felt like I was in ‘Magic Mike.’ It was the best thing of my life,” Hough said. “You guys upped the ante. That was so dangerous.”
Cowell quipped, “This is going to be uncomfortable watching it back home with your husband tonight.” Hough quickly responded, “Actually he’s in the audience. … So he’s fine.”