KODI Lee emerged as a clear fan favourite as the season 14 live final of America’s Got Talent got underway on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old singer – who is blind and has autism – put on a sensational performance playing a grand piano at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California to a standing ovation.
“One of the most beautiful things I have ever heard,” remarked judge Simon Cowell of Kodi’s spine tingling cover of Freda Riding’s Lost Without You.
“I think the whole world would be lost if we hadn’t found Kodi Lee,” enthused Gabrielle Union.
Fans online were quick to agree, writing, “There’s no way Kodi Lee loses,’ on Twitter, and another writing, “get this kid on Broadway NOW!”
Fellow golden-buzzer winner, child violinist Tyler Butler Figueroa performed Destiny’s Child’s Survivor, which Simon Cowell revealed had been personally cleared for him to play by Beyonce herself.
The 11-year-old from North Carolina is a cancer survivor. He was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when he was four-and-a-half-years-old.
Other hopefuls for the $1 million prize as the 16 week competition reaches its climax are acrobatic dance group V. Unbeatable who opened the sensational live show on NBC.
“You are a game-changer,” Simon told the troupe.
Howie Mandel described the group as the “most exciting, most dangerous performance in AGT history.”
Two choirs – the Detroit Youth Choir and Ndlovu Youth Choir – won praise from the judges.
“There really is no ceiling for you,” Julianne Hough told the Detroit Youth Choir.
Opera singer Emanne Beasha, light-up dance group Light Balance Kids, singer Benicio Bryant, Voices od Service quartet and comedian Ryan Niemiller were all highly praised by the judging panel.
The results are revealed in the second part of the final, on Wednesday.