'America's Got Talent' crowns Kodi Lee Season 14 winner over Detroit Youth Choir
By Steven Rogers, 09/19/2019
America's Got Talent crowned Kodi Lee its Season 14 champion during Wednesday night's live finale broadcast on NBC.
The 23-year-old pianist and singer was named America's Got Talent's fourteenth-season winner based on home viewer votes cast following Tuesday night's live performance episode which featured performances from the competition's Top 10 remaining acts.
A youth choir from Detroit, MI, the group had received Terry's Golden Buzzer during Season 14's initial auditions, allowing them to automatically advance to the season's live shows.
As America's Got Talent's Season 14 winner, Kodi won a grand prize of $1 million as well as the chance to headline the "America's Got Talent Live" stage show that will perform November 7 through 10 at the Paris Las Vegas resort in Las Vegas.
The audition clip is the show's most viewed video clip of the season and has recorded over 439 million combined total views across Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, according to NBC.
Kodi was born with optic nerve hypoplasia that rendered him legally blind at an early age. He is also autistic and suffers from Addison's Disease, a life-threatening disorder that can be fatal if not monitored.
He taught himself to play the piano, and has made it his goal to share his music with the world and make people happy.
Ryan Niemiller, a comedian from Indiana who was born with a congenital birth defect in both his arms, finished the competition in third place.
"This has been everything. I never thought -- five years ago, someone that looks like me would have never even been allowed to be on television like this," Ryan said afterwards. "So to be able to get this far, third place ain't bad! I will definitely take that! Thank you all so, so much."
Fourth place went to V. Unbeatable, a dance crew from India that had received the Golden Buzzer of guest judge Dwyane Wade.
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Voices of Service, a singing group comprised of military veterans, finished in fifth place.
"We want to thank everybody for supporting us, and continuing to support this great country. And we want to thank you for the opportunity, we're very grateful," the group said afterwards.
Earlier in the America's Got Talent finale broadcast, Terry had revealed that the five other Top 10 acts -- Benicio Bryant, Emanne Beasha, Light Balance Kids, Ndlovu Youth Choir, and Tyler Butler-Figueroa -- had not finished among the Top 5 vote-getters.
"Kodi has changed the world, he changes every room he enters," Gabrielle gushed after Kodi's performance on Tuesday night's final performance show.
"Two words come to mind: Heck yeah! I think Season 14 of the season of Kodi Lee," Howie said. "And if I had to predict, you're worth much more than a million, but I think you're gonna walk out of here with the million."
"Kodi Lee, when you get on that stage and you opened your mouth, and you sing, time stops," Julianne added. "You impact us in a way that we get to share this moment, collectively together forever... thank you."
"[That was] one of the most beautiful things I've ever, ever heard -- I'm going to be completely honest with you" Simon said. "It's so easy to assume it's a shoo-in, everybody needs to vote."