The drama, the anticipation, the emotion… Last night America’s Got Talent finally crowned Kodi Lee its deserving winner, and honestly we’re still dabbing our eyes. After an emotional performance, Lee, a 22-year-old blind and autistic pianist and vocalist—and easy fan favourite throughout the season—was visibly moved alongside mother Tina, as host Terry Crews announced the result. Cue the confetti and the waterworks!
Before that life-changing moment, Kodi teamed up with Leona Lewis for a duet of “You Are the Reason” and there’s no doubt that clinched it for the pianist. Decked out in black, playing a classic Steinway, with Leona looking every inch the musical icon she is in a sparkling gown, they were an absolute picture. And clearly judge Simon Cowell was in agreement, as he was spotted nodding emphatically along to their moving performance. If you know anything about Simon Cowell, you know that’s a rare, rare feat.
Another emotional judge was Gabrielle Union who’s believed in Kodi from the start. So much so that she advanced him past Judges Cuts and straight to the live shows after his first audition with a hit on that Golden Buzzer. Kodi certainly didn’t disappoint when he got his live moment either, leaving Union at a “loss for words” when he belted out a resonant and poetic rendition of “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Clearly Gabrielle was right on the money.
And for Lee, that’ll be literally, as he’ll now scoop up the hefty $1.3 million CAD ($1 million USD) cash prize, along with a live Las Vegas show in the fall. After his win, Kodi’s judge mentor showered her star with praise both in person and online (as did much of the AGT viewership).
You did it @Kodileerocks!!!!!!! From the first note you sang, I knew you were something special and that you were here to change the world. I am SO proud of you my #goldenbuzzer. This is just the beginning. #agt pic.twitter.com/rLpq62HOcv
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) September 19, 2019
Kodi was truly the star of the show Wednesday and that’s an incredible testament to his talent considering the other bold names on display. Not only did judge Julianne Hough premiere her new single, there were performances from the biggest names in the biz including Billy Ray Cyrus, Kygo and Macklemore AND CHER. That’s right people—CHER performed “Waterloo” on America’s Got Talent and we were STILL blown away by Kodi. Come on!
Of course, with such an incredible group of contestants on display, it’s always disappointing to see someone lose, with the oh-so-talented Detroit Youth Choir coming second, and the astoundingly gifted acrobatic dance crew V.Unbeatable finishing fourth. One thing’s for sure though, America had a tough choice and made the right call.