'America's Got Talent' Season 15 Finale: Brandon Leake makes history as first spoken-word poet to win the show

Leake, the show's first spoken-word poet, has had audiences spellbound and in tears throughout the season

                            'America's Got Talent' Season 15 Finale: Brandon Leake makes history as first spoken-word poet to win the show
Brandon Leake (NBC)

Season 15 of 'America's Got Talent' comes to a close with an epic 3-hour finale that included performances from all ten finalists featuring appearances from celebrity guests as well as past 'AGT' contestants and winners. And after a long wait, the show wound down to its final ten minutes, finally revealing that of the winner this season is spoken word poet Brandon Leake.

Bad Salsa, who delivered an electric Bollywood-themed performance alongside fellow Indian act and 'AGT' Champions V.Unbeatable, and Daneliya Tuleshova, who sang a duet with Ava Max, did not make the top five. Aerialist Alan Silva, who wowed audiences as much with his stunning performances as he did with his uplifting personality, came in fifth. He performed alongside fellow finalists, the Bello Sisters, featuring Bishop Briggs and Deadly Games. Sofia Vergara's Golden Buzzer, singer Roberta Battaglia came in fourth, following a performance alongside fellow finalist Kenadi Dodds alongside JP Saxe and Julia Michaels. Third place went to Heidi Klum's Golden Buzzer, singer Cristina Rae, who delivered several of the show's best vocal performances, including her final one alongside One Republic.

Bad Salsa and V.Unbeatable on 'America's Got Talent' Season 15 (NBC)

Howie Mandel's Golden Buzzer, Brandon Leake, who won out after being placed aside Archie Williams before the top five was announced, and Broken Roots were the last men standing. Leake, the show's first spoken-word poet, has had audiences spellbound and in tears throughout the season, while Broken Roots were initially cut from the show before being brought back to replace singer Thomas Day, who dropped out but returned as a Wild Card later on. Leake delivered a solo performance earlier in the night, while Broken Roots performed 'God's Country' alongside Blake Shelton.

Not everyone was happy with Broken Roots taking the top five spot, however, even more so because they were paired with Bad Salsa when the result was announced. One tweet read, 'Really?!!! The duet over @badsalsagroup!? You’ve to be kidding me!!!" Others were upset Broken Roots won over Cristina Rae, stating, "I am so disappointed that Christina didn’t win...I wasn’t expecting that," as well as, "@CristinaRaeSing should've WON! This result is awful."






But despite the duo battling odds and making the top two, even against some strong opposition, they lost out to Leake, who made history as the first spoken-word contestant and winner of 'America's Got Talent'. Naturally, not all viewers were happy. One tweet read, "What a fricking joke... people are going to Vegas to listen to a poet???? Not me - show was rigged- the singers were far better." Another said, "2020 just produced the worst top 2 I’ve ever seen on any talent show ever, and the winner was a guy who literally stands on stage and tells sad stories. There were a few acts I’ve enjoyed on the show over the years, but I’m never watching #AGT again."




However, for all the disappointment, there were just as many fans praising the poet and congratulating him on his win. One fan, commenting on the show having to endure a pandemic and being down on judge, stated, "There was a LOT about this year's #AGT that simply did not work. Prob should have waited till January to go live. And not having Simon around didn't help either. But in the end, the most talented act won, and that makes the season a success." Another stated, "Brandon Leake is a phenomenal performer. I would pay to see him do spoken word."




It's hard to please everyone when it comes to a vote-based show. Whether one agrees with Leake winning the million dollars and a headlining show in Las Vegas or not, it's certainly worth noting that his appearance on the show has helped put spoken-word on the map and will no doubt contribute to a revival in the art of poetry. And perhaps this win will help make poetry an act more 'worthy' of Vegas in fans' eyes. As one fan noted, "VICTORY!! WOOOOOOH FIRST SPOKEN POET ON #AGT WINS! #AmericasGotTalent #AGTFinale #AGTfinals #AGTChampions #AGTResults WELL DONE @Called_To_Move I see big things for him behind Vegas!"


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