Simon Cowell tries to hide his tears after an emotional performance of a contestant on ‘America’s Got Talent.”
“America’s Got Talent,” viewers got a rare glimpse at a very emotional Simon Cowell during Tuesday’s episode, after a performance by singer Michael Ketterer, which earned Cowell’s Golden Buzzer during the audition rounds earlier this season.
Ketterer is a pediatric nurse living with his wife and six children in Orange County, California, and he wowed the judges earlier in the competition with his beautiful voice and his emotional background.
Ketterer and his wife are the parents of six children, including their biological daughter, Sophie, and five sons, who the couple adopted from foster care and took into their home to give them the stable family life they would not have to live with the Ketterers.
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During the second week of the “AGT” quarter finals on Tuesday, Ketterer was the last act of the evening and belted out an emotional rendition of James Bay’s “Us” that captivated the audience and earned a standing ovation when he sang the last notes.
The performance really seemed to resonate with Cowell — the proud father of a 4-year-old son, Eric — and brought him to tears for the host Tyra Banks even had a chance to ask the judges for feedback.
Although he tried to get Banks to go to someone else first, the host asked that Cowell would share his true, unbridled feelings about Ketterer and his performance.
“If I were dad, I can’t imagine [doing] what you’ve done, and the fact that you are on this show and you really need this. You are a really special man,” Cowell said, as his voice cracked with emotion and his eyes filled with tears. “There’s just something about you.”
“That was one of the most beautiful moments I’ve ever seen of you, that vulnerability and beauty,” Banks said. “That is what many people do not know, Mr Cowell, is that he is a big soft dad.”
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Mel B got choked up a bit, and had a second to calm down for sharing her thoughts.
“You’re just an incredible person and an incredible man,” the former Spice Girls star said while she tried to hold back my tears. “To do what you have done, the adoption of these children and give them a life, and then your voice sings of truth and honesty.”
Fellow judges Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel were blown away by Ketterer inspiring actions and celebrated the participant for the message he sends to other people watching the show.
“When you sing, you sing with so much heart,” said Klum. “And on a side note, we just need more people like you.”
“This is not a sob story, this is a happy story,” Mandel added. “People need to be led and inspired by who you are and how you are.”
Banks then asked the singer how he felt about bringing Cowell tears, and Ketterer said: “I think he will.”
“These are my babies, and I have my whole life to this,” Ketterer said, fighting back tears himself, for giving a shout out to his wife the love in the audience. “I couldn’t have done it without my wife, she is one of my biggest supports.”
After the show, ET’s Denny Directo caught up with Cowell, who said that he was “trying to keep it together” while giving his feedback.
“That normally doesn’t happen to me, but there is something about Michael,” Cowell shared. “[Name], now that I’ve gotten to know him and what it means for him.”
“It is his sincerity, his kindness and what he has done to this kids life, and then he puts it all out on the line tonight and I really felt for him, he is a very special person,” Cowell added.
ET also spoke with Mandel, who show that Cowell emotional reaction didn’t surprise him, and hinted that the British TV personality’s reputation for having an acerbic personality may be unfounded.
“I’ve gotten to know Simon personally over the past few years and I don’t think people know what kind of a human being and what a father he is and what kind of a friend he is,” Mandel shared. “As often as he’s just been doing his job and he feels that maybe someone was hurt by something he said, we go to commercial and he jumped on the stage and give them a hug and make sure they feel good and [them some encouragement. He is the first.”
“He is the biggest softie, so if you see someone that is this ambitious, inspiring, what they do, — and [Simon] does a lot of good charitable things for children who are not spoken about — he doesn’t do it for the cameras — I thought, ‘Oh, my God, this is Simon’s lane,” This is exactly what he wants.”
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