America's Got Talent's New Fan Favorite Finds Freedom On Stage After Decades Behind Bars

Archie Williams America's Got Talent NBC

Warning! The following contains spoilers for the premiere of America's Got Talent Season 15. Read at your own risk!

America's Got Talent has showcased people from all walks of life, but few if any contestants have had the experience of Season 15's Archie Williams. In a preview released ahead of the Season 15 premiere that has already accumulated views from more than 2 million people online, Williams took the stage to make a dream come true after being released from prison after decades of wrongful incarceration.

He ended up spending over three decades in prison, but Archie Williams stayed positive and continued to dream. He shared his story:

I watched America’s Got Talent in prison. I would visualize myself being there. I always desired to be on a stage like this, and now I’m here. Thank God. I know it’s my chance of a lifetime.

Archie Williams got to make that dream a reality in the Season 15 premiere, and told his story in front of a stunned audience. Given all he's gone through, it was nothing short of incredible he made it to the stage to tell his story period.

In 1982 a woman was stabbed and raped in Louisiana. Archie Williams was arrested for the crime, and though he had three witnesses vouch for his alibi, was found guilty and given life without the possibility of parole. He served 37 years before The Innocence Project took on his case, and got Archie Williams back in a courtroom for another trial. Fingerprint testing linked the crime to a serial rapist, and Williams was exonerated and released in March 2019 a free man.

Archie Williams didn't appear just to tell his story, of course, but also showcase his talent. In his decades in prison Williams found peace in singing, and so proceeded to blow the judges and audience away with a tearful rendition of Elton John's "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me."

Williams absolutely crushed it, and I'd wager, will be the fan favorite of America's Got Talent Season 15. As Simon Cowell noted in the video, there wasn't a person in the audience who didn't want to see him advance from that audition, and not just because of his harrowing story. Archie Williams is a legitimately talented singer, and while it may be too soon to tell, looks like he has what it takes to forge ahead and find himself still in the competition in the late stages of the season.

America's Got Talent Season 15 airs on NBC Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for all the latest happening with the competition, and for the latest news happening in the world of television and movies.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.