America’s Got Talent: Brandon Leake returns with spoken-word poem

Brandon LeakeGoing into tonight’s America’s Got Talent episode, we’ll admit that much of our excitement was to see Brandon Leake back on the stage. The spoken-word poet is bringing to this show something that is new and different — it’s raw, emotional, and there’s so much meaning to every word.

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We’ll be the first to admit that we are partial to poetry — we’ve done spoken-word readings ourselves — so we were insanely curious to see what Brandon would do. What would he focus on, and would some of the content of it resonate with voters? This is one of those things that we really can’t call in advance since there is no real record of anything here. It’s not like singers, where you have a feeling already what the voters are going to do.

Brandon’s performance tonight was both broad and personal, macro and micro. He spoke of the experience of being Black in the world today and the senseless deaths that have unfolded over the past several months. Yet, he also spoke personally about fear, about understanding his mother and recognizing the pains of caring for someone who, in the blink of an eye, could be gone. The words spoke for themselves, and we hope America recognizes the talent that goes into the composition of this. It’s art, it’s performance, it’s vulnerable, and it’s risky. There are going to be people who hate it — not for the talent, but just for what he said. There is bravery, and we love and respect every single word that Brandon spoke on that stage tonight.

In our mind, he’s worthy of something more than just moving into the next round of a reality TV competition. Regardless of what happens now, his voice is heard.

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What did you think about the return of Brandon Leake on America’s Got Talent?

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