Brandon Leake made America's Got Talent history back in 2020 as the very first spoken word poet to take the top prize after earning an early golden buzzer, winning in a season filled with uncertainties, production changes, and even judge Simon Cowell having to pull out from the end of the season due to injury. Now, Leake is on the verge of making his return to AGT to perform once again, and he opened up to CinemaBlend about a possible return for a season of America's Got Talent: The Champions.
America's Got Talent has released two Champions seasons so far to bring the best of the best from all over the world back to the AGT stage. Although a third season hasn't been announced just yet, AGT is enough of a hit that more Champions seems likely. When I recently spoke with Brandon Leake ahead of his AGT return performance on August 11, he shared his thoughts on possibly competing in a Champions season and what he would do differently:
Oh, I'm there. I'm there. Without question. I got a lot of work that I wanted to do on America's Got Talent in terms of like the theatrics of it, and being able to bring a higher level of production quality and some different ideas behind spoken word that I never brought, because I wanted to make sure spoken word's introduction was an authentic representation of what it is at its core. But oh yeah, I got tons of ideas that I've never shared, that I've never done, that a Champions stage would be ideal for. And so, yeah, AGT: Champions, come back! And let's see if I can double up.
While Brandon Leake managed to blow viewers away with relatively minimalist performances when it comes to staging in America's Got Talent Season 15, the production limitations of the season produced under pandemic precautions meant that all the acts couldn't go as big and theatrical as they would have been able to in a regular season. Plus, Leake was revolutionizing AGT by bringing spoken word poetry to the forefront and proving that somebody doesn't have to have a familiar talent to win the votes of viewers. But in a Champions season, Leake could do things differently and try some elements that weren't possible the first time around!
Of course, the competition is even stiffer on America's Got Talent: The Champions than normal seasons of AGT, since there aren't performers like good old Sethward and clothes-cutter Melodie Blaize who are definitely entertaining but pretty clearly unlikely to come out on top. Then there are performers like magician Shin Lim, who went directly from winning AGT Season 13 to winning the first season of AGT: The Champions. Brandon Leake went on to name some standout AGT acts that he'd like to go up against in a Champions season:
Oh, man, they didn't win, but they're like my favorite AGT act of all time. The Ndlovu Youth Choir from South Africa. Like, if I could do a collab with them on AGT: Champions at any point, I am in there like swimwear, to be honest with you. That's a life goal. And then in terms of champions, my man Preacher Lawson. He already competed on the Champions season. I would love to be able to stand, I'd love to be able to go compete up against him, because spoken word and comedy have so much in common. And, yeah, so those would be two.
The Ndlovu Youth Choir was a musical act that made it all the way to the Top 10 of Season 14, although as Brandon Leake noted, they didn't actually win. The choir ultimately ended their AGT run in the bottom five, but getting that far was a big deal for a choir when AGT winners are often solo acts, very small groups, and/or partnered with puppets rather than people.
Comedian Preacher Lawson hit the AGT stage for the first time a couple of years earlier, in Season 12, and he too finished in the bottom five of the Top 10. That said, he did return for the first season of AGT: The Champions, where he ultimately came in fifth while Shin Lim doubled up.
Whether or not another season of America's Got Talent: The Champions comes along to give Brandon Leake his own shot at doubling up remains to be seen, but AGT fans can find him back in primetime sooner rather than later. The spoken word poet will perform on Wednesday, August 11 in the quarterfinals results episode on NBC at 8 p.m. ET. For a reminder of just what he brings to AGT, check out a memorable performance from Season 15!