A Golden Buzzer on America’s Got Talent is always a risk—will someone better come along? Can this performer sustain that kind of quality?—but Gabrielle Union proved that she’s already the master of that fancy button when her choice for her first-ever Golden Buzzer, Kodi Lee, totally killed it at his first live show.
The 22-year-old, who is blind and autistic, performed the Simon & Garfunkel classic, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” to a nearly silent auditorium while his mom, Tina Lee, and a lime-green-clad Terry Crews watched on from the wings. He got a standing ovation from the judges and a “KODI” chant from the crowd. Gabrielle Union summed it up best: “I’m at a loss for words.” Check.
Kodi first wowed the judges during the first week of auditions, which aired in May. The singer and pianist was accompanied by his mom who supports her son endlessly. She explained before he even sat down at the piano that music and performance are the way Kodi copes with “living in his world.”
The mother-son connection hit Gabrielle hard since, as she explained to Tina, she’s a new mom this year. She and her husband NBA star Dwyane Wade welcomed daughter Kaavia James via surrogate last November and Gabrielle explained it’s the “toughest and most rewarding job” she’s ever had. Cue the golden confetti.
Tina later told Good Housekeeping that the audition was the best she’s ever heard him perform. We wonder if that’s changed after tonight.
“Kodi has been preparing for this day all his life. He works so hard every day on getting better and constantly improving,” she said. “What really blew me away was his performance was literally the best I have ever heard him sing. He took it to a totally different level that shocked my entire family. I honestly could not stop crying happy tears.”
Us too, Tina, us too.