Kodi Lee, 22, after a mesmerizing performance at the finale of America’s Got Talent Season 14, was crowned as the winner with standing ovation.
Lee’s journey from the audition to the finale of Season 14 has been quite eventful. During the finale, Lee outdid finalist opera singer Emanne Beasha, violinist Tyler Butler-Figueroa, dance troupe Light Balance Kids, singer Benicio Bryant and Ndlovu Youth Choir.
At the finals, Lee performed “You Are the Reason” along with “I See You” British singer Leona Lewis. Besides Lee, the Detroit Youth Choir was the runners up, comedian Ryan Niemiller was second runner-up. On the other hand, acrobatic dance group V. Unbeatable and the Voices of Service quartet achieved fourth and fifth position respectively in the completion.
Southern California singer Kodi Lee, who is blind and suffers from autism, has been fan favorite since his audition which went viral. During his audition, Lee provided a captivating performance by singing Donny Hathaway’s “A Song for You”. The performance left judge Gabrielle Union compelled to provide him a golden buzzer, sending him straight to quarter-finals.
In the Quarter-finals, Lee enacted Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, whose music rights were approved by Paul Simon, following his audition. Later in the semi-finals, he gave an overwhelming performance when he sang Calum Scott’s “You Are the Reason” in his own rendition.
Along with his delightful voice and piano skills, the life journey of Kodi Lee as a blind and autistic boy also helped him to become fan favorite and source of motivation for many. He was born with optic nerve hypoplasia and was later diagnosed with autism at the tender age of four. Such a journey from being a blind autistic boy to winner of season 14 is certainly a feat to be marveled at.
The two-hour finale featured varied performance ranging from dozen mash-ups to duets of the top 10 contestants. The finale also comprised of star-studded musical guests and past “AGT” competitors, giving the feel of a concert.
As a reward for winning the talent show, Kodi Lee received a reward of one million dollar. Furthermore, he will also be performing as a star performer at Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas from Nov. 7-10.
Post the finale, judge Gabrielle Union posted a heartfelt message for Kodi Lee on Instagram saying, “You did it @Kodileerocks!!!!!!! From the first note you sang, I knew you were something special and that you were here to change the world. I am SO proud of you my #goldenbuzzer. This is just the beginning. #agt”
Prior to winning the tournament, Lee expressed his wish to buy grand pianos and a house from the prize money.