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Brothers Gage auditioned in March for the judges of America̵

7;s Got Talent, but not a welcoming audience as the show adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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America’s Got Talent champion Brandon Lake did not turn to the NBC talent contest focused on winning, but he had a plan developed over years of participating in poetic helmets.

“You just have to put your verses strategically. That way you get to the end of the show and you have a chance to win with your best poem,” the first poet in the United States said today, just after the winner of the season finale was announced. Wednesday 15.

“So, the (first) time I felt like I had an honest shot at victory was when I saw the judges stand up and give me applause after my last song about my daughter. At the same time, I said to myself, ‘ Even if you don’t (win), of course you did. “

Voters said: AGT: Poet Brandon Lake wins star-studded final with Duchess Megan, Blake Shelton

The 27-year-old from Stockton, California paused, apparently still absorbing reality an hour after the coronation: “A young kid from Southside Stockton, a poet, came and won. America has talent.” Wonderful! “

Judge Howie Mandel says he had no expectation that Lake would win when he pushed him from the audition round to the live broadcasts with his Golden Buzzer, but that he couldn’t be happier. The poet’s voice is needed during these unpleasant, painful times, he says.

“Brandon took us on a journey of humanity. And that’s what’s missing right now: understanding, humanity and justice,” Mandel said. “It was a difficult time for all of us, but I thought winning and voting for it gave me and the world hope. I am so excited that America made this vote and listened to their hearts and minds, especially on a day like this. what’s happening around the world. I hope he’s the light. “

Leake, who triumphed over the second place of the musical duo Broken Roots, is “one of those great surprises” that can happen in “AGT”, says judge Heidi Klum. A poet with the spoken word “is something you wouldn’t think of. (Then) someone like him just walks in and pulls the carpet out from under your feet.”

Her husband, Tokio Hotel guitarist Tom Kaulitz, is also a big fan. “He’s my husband’s favorite. When I get home, we usually watch the show together in bed and my husband was like, ‘It’s almost like the music the way he says it, the way he admires certain words and how speak in that rhythm. ‘”

In addition to Leake’s poem about his six-month-old daughter, which he saw for the first time in a month on Tuesday because of the show’s pandemic demands, he also performed poems about his sister’s loss, his alienation from his father and the Black Lives Matter tells of the mother’s fear of losing her son and mentions George Floyd and Breona Taylor, who both died this year from the police.

“My people hurt. I think the idea of ​​Black Lives Matter being a political statement is an intriguing word because we’ve never tried to stand up for the idea that we’re more important than any other race. Everything we try to stand for “The historical fact is that in this country there has been a disenfranchisement of the right of African Americans since its inception and this continues and is part of the legacy and we want to help rewrite it,” he said.

This criticism is based on “true love, because you try to correct only the things and people you love. If you are apathetic to it, leave it alone and let it be terrible,” he says. “When I made this poem, it was for a while like this, knowing that the world needed that kind of encouragement. He needed that time not to use something political, but to use something empathetic.”

Leake’s victory limited the year to AGT trains, with Klum absent for part of the audition; cessation of pandemic-related production; resumption with COVID-19 protocols, but without applause from the audience; and the loss of Judge Simon Cowell for live broadcasts while recovering from a broken back.

“We went through so much, but we really went on with the war. When you watch the show, it was patched, repaired, healed. But it was better. It was bigger. See this end” outdoors with fireworks at Universal Studios Hollywood, says the host Terry Crews. “We can’t do that at Dolby (theater). It was a quality from the fourth of July.”

Leake, who hopes to go on a world poetry tour when his health allows it and is interested in writing, directing and acting in television and film, was not stunned by the pandemic that forced him to participate without a supportive studio audience.

“He just brought me back to the beginning of my journey with a spoken word. The spoken word never gets the highest fee. It was always Tuesday, Thursday, because music and comedy come on Fridays and Saturdays. The beginning of my poetic journey began with me performing in front of four or five people and trying to capture their time, “he recalls. The lack of an AGT audience was like stepping back in time to say,” Brandon, do you remember that feeling trying to make three people to pay attention to you? You’re back.”

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