Brandon Leake (age 27) of Stockton, California, makes history by being the first spoken word artist to audition on America’s Got Talent. Howie Mandel was so moved by Brandon’s performance that he pressed his Golden Buzzer for him.
At the opening chat, Brandon said he works at a local college and also run poetry workshops for the youth in his city. When Simon Cowell said he really does not understand poetry, Brandon said he’s a great intro for Simon. He also said that he wants to have his own large production one-man show.
Brandon said he only performs stuff that he writes and nothing else. For his audition, he performed an ode to his sister, who was revealed in the poem as having died at 8 months old.
His emotional performance earned a standing ovation from Howie Mandel and Simon Cowell. Sofia Vergara remained seated but was tearing up after Brandon’s performance, saying her brother passed away the same year that Brandon’s sister passed away. Sofia described Brandon’s performance as beautiful, Simon said it was extraordinary, Howie commented it’s “a human a cappella”. Howie then pressed the Golden Buzzer for Brandon, automatically sending him to the live shows.
Season: AGT 2020 (Season 15)
Contestant: Brandon Leake
Act: Spoken Word Poet
Audition Result: Howie Mandel’s Golden Buzzer, advanced to Live Shows
Golden Buzzer: Brandon Leake Makes AGT History With Powerful Poetry – America’s Got Talent 2020
Brandon Leake audition AGT
In the interview prior to his performance, Brandon Leake said he just left teaching High School English and that he is now a counselor at Delta, a local community college. He grew up in a neighborhood where drugs and gang violence were rampant. His mother worked 15 different jobs to support his needs.
Brandon had a very loving household but when he became a teenager, he became angry and frustrated. He let out all that negativity by being creative, and writing became an escape for him. Brandon also revealed to Terry Crews that he has a 14-day-old daughter, and he aspires to be do what he loves and create his own schedule so he can give quality time to his daughter.
America’s Got Talent (AGT) Season 15 premiered in the United States on May 26, 2020, on NBC. For this season, AGT judges are Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, returning Heidi Klum, and newcomer Sofia Vergara.
This season is most notable for its production being affected by the COVID-19 or coronavirus pandemic in 2020, which impacted audition sessions. The program initially moved to filming without an audience present at auditions, before ultimately suspending production. Auditions were later allowed to continue, but via online applications from those quarantined in their homes.
The production staff decided to push through with the broadcast as planned and premiere on May 26.
Production resumed the week of June 22, 2020, filming on a film backlot in Simi Valley, decorated to look like a drive-in movie theater. Everyone, including the judges and Crews, wore masks when not on camera. The Judge Cuts round was reduced from four episodes to one, and the acts were reduced from 72 to 60. The number of live shows is expected to feature 44 acts over four weeks, compared to 36 acts appearing over three weeks last season. Producers are still deciding where the live shows will be shot and if audience members will be present.
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