NBC’s America’s Got Talent continued tonight, June 30, 2020, even though they weren’t able to have an audience due to COVID-19 social distancing regulations. Brandon Leake earned the Golden Buzzer from the pickiest judge, Howie Mandel.
Brandon Leake is from the south side of Stockton, California. He started his career as a spoken word poet after high school, and he began to travel the country with his act since then.
Leake has authored a book titled B-Sides: Life’s Scrapes Can Still Be Beautiful, according to The Cinemaholic. Leake also leads workshops for children and is going to teach a masterclass for The Poet Life. Leake has released two albums, In My Thoughts and Deficiencies: a Tale From My Dark Side.
Watch Brandon Leake’s Golden Buzzer ‘AGT’ Performance
Leake was the first spoken word artist ever on AGT. Simon said he doesn’t really understand poetry, but Leake said he brings more about life experience that everybody goes through in life.
He performed a poem that was written as an ode to his sister who died when she was still a child. The performance was understandably emotional.
All of the judges praised the performance, and judge Howie Mandel, in particular, loved it. Howie stood and clapped as Sofia cried, saying that her brother passed away too, so she really identified with the performance.
Simon called the performance “extraordinary,” and Howie said that it was “raw” and it was like “just being a human, a capella… just a raw heart, beating in front of us,” before he hit the Golden Buzzer.
Leake, who is 27 years old, has overcome hardships to get to where he is today, and that was something that really resonated with the judges. He taught high school English for years before becoming a counselor at a community college.
He said that when he was a teenager, he let out much of his anger through creativity and writing. Leake said he has one daughter and he wants to be able to do what he loves and create his own schedule, which led him to AGT.
Leake previously shared poetry on Instagram, and he’s likely to continue to do so as the season progresses and we learn how far he gets in the show.
Leake Is The Fifth Act to Get a Golden Buzzer this Season
Brandon Leake is the fifth act to earn a Golden Buzzer this season on the show, beating out many other acts from this round of auditions. He is the first-ever spoken word artist to get the honor.
On past weeks of audition episodes, 4 other acts received the coveted golden buzzer. During the season 15 premiere of America’s Got Talent, Voices of Our City choir got the first golden buzzer of the season. During episode 2, 10-year-old singer Roberta Battaglia stunned with a cover of “Shallow” by Lady Gaga earning a golden buzzer press from new judge Sofia Vergara; at the end of episode 3, Heidi Klum made singer and single mom Cristina Rae her golden buzzer selection; WAFFLE Crew was the first dance group to get a Golden Buzzer this season after Simon Cowell was impressed with their performance.
Live shows will air in August, though it isn’t clear how they will be filmed. There have been indications that they may film with no audience present, or they may go for some type of virtual audience if they’re not able to have a live audience at the show.
New episodes of America’s Got Talent air on Tuesday nights at 8/7c on NBC.