WATCH First Poet To Ever Perform On ‘America’s Got Talent’ Leaves Sofia Vergara On The Verge Of Tears

America's Got Talent Sofia Vergara Brandon LeakeSamantha Agate | Talent Recap

Poet Brandon Leake received the final Golden Buzzer of the auditions round on season 15 of America’s Got Talent. His emotional spoken-word piece really resonated with Sofia Vergara in particular who was moved to tears. Take a look at this groundbreaking performance that will inspire others at home to share their unique talents with America’s Got Talent.

Brandon Leake Brought Something New To ‘America’s Got Talent’

Brandon is a former high school English teacher that is now a counselor at a community college in California. “I did grow up in a neighborhood where drugs and gang violence were rampant,” he said. His mom always worked a bunch of jobs to make sure he was provided for. When he was a teenager, he had a lot of angst and anger that he let out through creativity. “Writing most certainly was an escape for me,” Brandon said of his love for poetry. This 27-year-old has a two-week-old daughter back at home and wants to be the best father around for her. “I’m actually the first spoken word artist that you guys are going to have hit the stage so I’m super excited to bring poetry to y’all,” he said as he walked onto the stage.


Simon Cowell had a few questions for Brandon because poetry isn’t necessarily his forte. “I don’t really understand poetry, I’m going to be honest with you,” Simon said. Brandon said that he brings more relatable life experiences into his poetry so that he can connect with people through the similar things they are going through. His dream is to be able to put on a huge one-man show. Brandon only performs poems that he wrote and this one, in particular, was about his sister. Howie asked if she was there supporting him and Brandon said “kind of” which had Simon very confused.

Brandon’s Poem Made Sofia Emotional

“Love is the most vulnerable thing we will ever have,” Brandon says at the beginning of his poem. He went on to describe the day his sister was born and how she was his “world.” He revealed that on March 23, 1997, she passed away and his world was shattered. Through the power of his words, Brandon told the story about how he has to come to terms with the fact that his sister isn’t coming back. Brandon got emotional towards the end of his performance and began to cry. “Wow,” said Simon to which Howie replied, “It is a wow.” The pair gave Brandon a standing ovation. There was no audience for this episode of the America’s Got Talent auditions due to the coronavirus pandemic but if there was one they would surely be up on their feet.


Sofia who was moved by the whole performance related to it on a deep level because her brother passed away that same year, 1997. She knows exactly what the feeling of losing a sibling is like. “It was very beautiful for me,” she said. And as for Simon, it now looks like he is a fan of spoken word. “What an amazing tribute. There’s something very special about you” he said. He went on to call it “extraordinary.”

Howie Gave Brandon The Golden Buzzer

For Howie, this was truly a groundbreaking performance. “It’s amazing to me that on season 15 it’s the first time we’re hearing somebody of spoken word,” he said. “It’s like singing and talking and just being a human, acapella.” Howie was speaking from the heart and what happened next was truly shocking. “No music, no nothing just a raw heart beating in front of us. We feel your pain, we feel your love and you moved me to do this” he said before he hit his Golden Buzzer.

The judges gave Brandon elbow bumps instead of their usual hugs and even though there was no audience, it was still a magical moment for Brandon who will be going straight through to the live shows.


It was very refreshing to see poetry performed on the show and Brandon’s delivery was raw and emotional. It really sets him apart from some of the other acts and we can’t wait to see what he performs in the live shows. Were you shocked that Brandon received Howie’s Golden Buzzer? And do you think he can actually win America’s Got Talent with spoken word?


Samantha Agate
Samantha Agate

Samantha Agate is a contributor and host for Talent Recap on YouTube with a previous byline at The Blast. She graduated from Hunter College in 2019 with a degree in Media Studies and a Concentration in Journalism. When she isn't binge-watching reality television shows or binge-eating fried food, she loves hanging out with her friends and family and petting puppies.

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