Arts & Entertainment

Review: America’s Got Talent Season Finale

By Ryan Murphy
Contributing Writer

On Sept. 23, Terry Crews hosted the season 15 finale of “America’s Got Talent.” Usher opened with a performance prior to the main event, which featured singers, musicians, dancers and even a poet, ten jaw-dropping performances that wowed the judges and the audience. Only one of them was able to win the prize of $1 million. 

This season has been wildly different than any other. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the live audience was not present. Instead, people could sign up to be part of the virtual audience, supporting the performers from their homes. The virtual audience was displayed as a backdrop behind the judges, so the performers could still see everyone cheering them on.

On top of these changes, the famous, or perhaps infamous because of his reputation for being harsh, judge Simon Cowell sustained a back injury in August after falling off his electric bike. After his accident, Cowell was unable to return to “America’s Got Talent” as a judge and was not present for the season finale.

After competing against each other all season, the contestants were asked to come together to pay tribute to Bill Withers, beloved singer, songwriter and musician. Withers suffered heart complications in March, and he passed away shortly after. “America’s Got Talent” collaborated with the final contestants to produce a video performance of Withers’ well-known song, “Lean on Me.” Watching the contestants bring their talents together was incredible, a much-needed pillar of light in these difficult times.

While this season may have differed from past seasons, the competition remained the same: ten unbelievable performances and only one winner, voted for by the audience. In my humble opinion, the winner of this season certainly deserved it. From spicy salsa dancers, German gymnasts, and a plethora of talented singers and musicians, the competition was fierce. Even so, the first poet ever on the show, Brandon Leake, took home the prize.

Leake rocked the final stage with a spoken-word poem to his baby daughter. The poem is titled “Prayer,” and he begins with a rendition of “Jesus Loves Me,” which his wife sings to their daughter every night. He prayed for strength to be a good parent. He described holding her in his arms, time standing still and how his life was changed. Leake related this to events in his own childhood, when he prayed that he could change the world. Now, his daughter is his world, and thus, his prayer was answered. 

This poem followed Leake’s delivery of a poem two weeks prior in which he described how his father was absent from his life. In these connected performances, he sent the message to his daughter that he intends to be the father that he never had. He prayed that his “inadequacies don’t become a family legacy.” The poem is filled with indescribable beauty, and Leake is surely deserving of the prize. 

On Sept. 23, Terry Crews hosted the season 15 finale of “America’s Got Talent.” Usher opened with a performance prior to the main event, which featured singers, musicians, dancers and even a poet, ten jaw-dropping performances that wowed the judges and the audience. Only one of them was able to win the prize of $1 million. 

This season has been wildly different than any other. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the live audience was not present. Instead, people could sign up to be part of the virtual audience, supporting the performers from their homes. The virtual audience was displayed as a backdrop behind the judges, so the performers could still see everyone cheering them on.

On top of these changes, the famous, or perhaps infamous because of his reputation for being harsh, judge Simon Cowell sustained a back injury in August after falling off his electric bike. After his accident, Cowell was unable to return to “America’s Got Talent” as a judge and was not present for the season finale.

After competing against each other all season, the contestants were asked to come together to pay tribute to Bill Withers, beloved singer, songwriter and musician. Withers suffered heart complications in March, and he passed away shortly after. “America’s Got Talent” collaborated with the final contestants to produce a video performance of Withers’ well-known song, “Lean on Me.” Watching the contestants bring their talents together was incredible, a much-needed pillar of light in these difficult times.

While this season may have differed from past seasons, the competition remained the same: ten unbelievable performances and only one winner, voted for by the audience. In my humble opinion, the winner of this season certainly deserved it. From spicy salsa dancers, German gymnasts, and a plethora of talented singers and musicians, the competition was fierce. Even so, the first poet ever on the show, Brandon Leake, took home the prize.

Leake rocked the final stage with a spoken-word poem to his baby daughter. The poem is titled “Prayer,” and he begins with a rendition of “Jesus Loves Me,” which his wife sings to their daughter every night. He prayed for strength to be a good parent. He described holding her in his arms, time standing still and how his life was changed. Leake related this to events in his own childhood, when he prayed that he could change the world. Now, his daughter is his world, and thus, his prayer was answered. 

This poem followed Leake’s delivery of a poem two weeks prior in which he described how his father was absent from his life. In these connected performances, he sent the message to his daughter that he intends to be the father that he never had. He prayed that his “inadequacies don’t become a family legacy.” The poem is filled with indescribable beauty, and Leake is surely deserving of the prize. 

“America’s Got Talent,” including all of season 15, can be streamed on NBC – Feel free to be a judge and definitely bring some tissues.