Warning! The following contains spoilers for the America's Got Talent Season 15 quarterfinals on Tuesday, September 1. Read at your own risk!
America's Got Talent Season 15 has been different in a lot of ways. Something brand new to this season is that the talent competition welcomed its first-ever spoken word performer, Brandon Leake, to the show. Leake got a golden buzzer from Howie Mandel right on to the live rounds, and I think his recent powerful performance might have won him the season.
Brandon Leake performed yet another poem live in front of judges Howie Mandel, Sofia Vergara, and Heidi Klum (with Simon Cowell still absent from the show) and told another emotional tale based on his life experience. This time he moved away from the touching tale about his little sister and turned to a poem that was a conversation with his mother and how an embarrassing nickname and her worrying bled into current issues in social justice.
The performance made a powerful impact on the judges, and Howie Mandel even remarked that he believed Brandon Leake "won the night." That's high praise from Mandel, especially given Leake was the final act of the evening and followed some highly impressive acts that are more or less staples on America's Got Talent. Leake's act isn't nearly as death-defying, visually spectacular, or choreographed as some others, which is why it feels like a true accomplishment that he seemingly outdid all that with his spoken word.
I said this back when I heard his first performance, and I'll say it again: America's Got Talent may have its first spoken word winner in Season 15. I'm not sure if it's that Brandon Leake is something entirely new to the franchise, or if it's just that the powerful subject matter he creatively tackles makes everything feel less relevant in comparison. I also wonder if the fact that audiences aren't in the building plays to his advantage and gives more of a coffee shop feel, where acts like this would be more commonplace. Whatever it is, it's working out for him, and I do believe America will give him a shot to win this thing.
The only question after that is, what exactly would a spoken word performer do with a Las Vegas residency? Brandon Leake's poetry is impactful, spiritual, and it can move me to my core, but is that what I'm trying to have happen to me while on vacation in Las Vegas? It's something that would need to be workshopped by creative minds, though I feel like it's not out of the question that he could construct some type of powerful one-man show with his poems.
I don't think America will have a problem giving him the win regardless. I guess we should just wait, and see if this magical spoken word performer pulls it off first!
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