The Brothers Gage auditioned in March before the judges of “America̵

7;s Got Talent”, but not of a cheering audience, as the show adapts to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Spoiler warning! This story contains details of the June 30 episode of “America’s Got Talent”.

“America’s Got Talent” made his way to uncharted territory on Tuesday.

The sixth day of auditions, which was recorded in March, marked the first episode of Season 15 affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, before the blockade across the country orders entertainment production set aside.

“I had a nightmare that I would have been 90 doing this show and nobody would have watched it,” said judge Simon Cowell looking back at the empty Civic Auditorium in Pasadena. “And here we are.”

Aside from the crew members and host Terry Crews, this meant that there were only four people in the audience on Tuesday: Cowell, Sofía Vergara, Howie Mandel and guest judge Eric Stonestreet, who compiled for a sick Heidi Klum .

“This is how an audition actually is,” Cowell said. “This will be much more difficult for them.”

Although the audience was missing, the talent was not.

Exclusive: How ‘AGT’ is reshaping the season during COVID-19, from the public to the outdoor Judge Cuts

Brandon Leake is the first word interpreter to appear in “America’s Got Talent”. (Photo: NBC, Trae Patton / NBC)

Brandon Leake, a 27-year-old university consultant from Stockton, California, shocked the judges with a display of emotionally poetic spoken words, a first on stage “AGT”.

“Tonight’s poetry is actually an ode to my sister … She’s here with me now,” Leake said, leading Mandel to ask if she was backstage. “A little,” said Leake.

Leake proceeded to vocalize the painful mourning process and accepting the death of her younger sister, Danielle Marie Gibson, who died in 1997, the same year that Vergara lost her brother. Gibson was only 8 months old.

“My brother passed away the same year your sister passed away,” said an exciting Vergara. “I can feel your pain. I know what it’s about. I know what it means that someone is taken away from you without you knowing it, but it was very nice for me.”

Mandel applauded Leake’s creativity and vulnerability.

“It’s surprising to me that in season 15 it’s the first time we’ve heard … a spoken word,” said the comedian. “There was something more, so raw. It’s like singing and talking and being just a human a cappella. No music, nothing at all. Just a raw heart that beats before us. We feel your pain. We feel yours love and you move me to do this. “

Mandel hit the Golden Buzzer while only five pairs of hands clapped, sending Leake directly to the final live shows. All judges and crews have now used their Golden Buzzers.

Cowell called his act an “incredible tribute”. He continued: “There is something very, very special about you. This is a very difficult thing for me to judge, I shouldn’t judge it. I just want to congratulate you on what you just did, because it was extraordinary.”

“America’s Got Talent” returns to NBC on July 14 for the final audition of the season.

Last week on “AGT”:Sofia Vergara falls in a hurry to escape from the shocking amazing rapper

Automatic playback

Show thumbnails

Show captions

Last slide Next slide

Read or share this story: