Blind, autistic contestant Kodi Lee brings judges and fans to tears in 'America's Got Talent' season 14 premiere

Through the premiere episode, we witnessed impeccable talent by contestants who impressed the judges. But among everyone, one contestant stood out.


                            Blind, autistic contestant Kodi Lee brings judges and fans to tears in 'America's Got Talent' season 14 premiere

On Tuesday night when 'America's Got Talent' season 14 premiered on NBC, there was one contestant that brought not just the judges and audience to tears but the viewers back home as well. Hosted by Terry Crews, joining the judges' panel this season were Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Julianne Hough, and Gabrielle Union.

Throughout the premiere episode, we witnessed impeccable talent by contestants who impressed the judges. But among everyone, one contestant stood out. Kodi Lee, a 22-year-old blind and autistic pianist and singer drew everyone to tears with his performance of Leon Russell’s “A Song for You”.  Lee was also the first contestant to receive a golden buzzer this season. 

 

Lee received a standing ovation after his performance from the judges and audience. His performance brought Hough to tears and it also led Union to hit her golden buzzer. Lee now advances straight to the live shows in Hollywood. “Everybody needs a voice and an expression, and I really feel your heart, your passion. Your voice blew all of us away,” Hough said. “What just happened there was extraordinary — I mean really extraordinary,” Cowell said. “Thank you so much for trusting us on this show. I’m going to remember this moment for the rest of my life.”

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- "Auditions 1" Episode 1401 -- Pictured: (center, l-r) Kodi Lee, Gabrielle Union, Terry Crews -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

“Not only do we feel the authenticity, but you’re a great inspiration,” added Mandel. “You just want to give your kids the moon, the stars and rainbows. And tonight, I’m going to give you something special,” Union said as she hit her golden buzzer. Lee's audition performance touched fans leaving them emotional. "I've never cried this hard for a golden buzzer. Thank you for sharing #KodiLee. Thank you so much. #AGTPremiere," wrote a fan on Twitter. 

While another added saying, "The greatest form of human expression is not in our physical superiority, intellectual agility or our assembly of material possessions. It is from the heart. Never knew I had such tears in me. Thank you Kodi, life is beautiful #AGTPremiere #Kodilee."

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- "Auditions 1" Episode 1401 -- Pictured: Kodi Lee -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

"I am unashamedly bawling after watching this. THIS is what Twitter is for. Not arguing and shaming people. I NEEDED this and you might too. Dream big, dream small. Just make sure to dream. #KodiLee," saidanother. Apart from fans, Lee was also praised by Oprah Winfrey. "Loved this moment so much! Stood up and cheered in my living room. #KodiLee #AmericasGotTalent," Winfrey wrote on Twitter. 

With the first episode of AGT done and dusted, we can't wait to see what other contestants bring to the stage in the forthcoming episodes. 'America's Got Talent' season 14 airs every Tuesday night on NBC. Check your local listings for more information. 

If you have an entertainment scoop or a story for us, please reach out to us on (323) 421-7515.