“America’s Got Talent” kicked off the show’s live finals on Tuesday night and typically reserved judge Simon Cowell had nothing but praise for the performers.
Vying for the the grand prize of $1 million and a show on the Las Vegas strip are singer Kodi Lee, violinist Tyler Butler-Figueroa, acrobatic dance group V. Unbeatable, opera singer Emanne Beasha, Detroit Youth Choir, black light dance group Light Balance Kids, Ndlovu Youth Choir, singer Benicio Bryant, Voices of Service quartet and comedian Ryan Niemiller.
Golden Buzzer winner Kodi Lee said he was nervous but excited to perform.
“I’m happy-nervous,” Lee said. “But my family is always there for me. My mom is always there for me. Thank you, mom, for all the help. My dreams are coming true!”
For the finals, Lee sang Freya Ridings’ “Lost Without You” and received a standing ovation from the audience. Cowell praised the rendition, saying it stood out from every performance he’s ever seen.
“One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever, ever heard,” Cowell said, adding, “That was as good as I’ve ever heard.”
Another standout was the Detroit Youth Choir which sang “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for the second time.
“Detroit Youth Choir has taught us strength, love, confidence, friendship,” the choir members said. “We embody the spirit of Detroit. People from Detroit know how to fight back despite the obstacles in their way. … We fight for what we believe and we’re going to fight to win ‘America’s Got Talent.’”
Cowell called the show the “best final we’ve ever had,” and said the winner could be any one of the finalists.
“Every one of them, literally, tonight has the ability to win this show and it’s all going to come down to the next two hours live,” Cowell said at the start of the finale.
The live, two-hour results show airs Wednesday on NBC.