“America’s Got Talent” viewers got a rare glimpse of a particularly emotional Simon Cowell after a performance by singer Michael Ketterer, who received Cowell’s Golden Buzzer previously this season during the audition rounds.
Ketterer is a pediatric nurse residing with his spouse and six children in Orange County, California, and his incredible voice and emotional backstory wowed the judges in the contest.
Ketterer and his wife are the parents of six children, including their biological daughter, Sophie, and five sons that the couple adopted from foster care to give them a home and a family life they would not have had until they lived with the Ketterers.
During the second week of the’ AGT’ quarterfinals on Tuesday, Ketterer was the last act of the night and belted out an emotional rendition of James Bay’s’ Us’ that captivated the audience and earned a standing ovation when he sang the final notes.
The strong performance seemed to resonate with Cowell— a 4-year-old son’s proud dad, Eric— and brought him to tears before host Tyra Banks even had an opportunity to ask for feedback from the judges.
The host continued so that Cowell would share his true, unbridled emotions about Ketterer and his performance, even though he attempted to get Banks to go to someone else first.
“As I dad, I can’t imagine[ doing] what you’ve done, and the fact that you’re on this show and you really need this. You’re a really, really special guy,” said Cowell, as his voice cracked with emotion and his eyes waved with tears. “There’s just something about you.” Banks said. “That was one of the most beautiful moments I’ve ever seen from you, that vulnerability and that beauty,” “That’s what a lot of people don’t know about Mr. Cowell, is that he is a big soft papa.” Simon Cowell Supported by Kelly Clarkson and the Judges of’ America’s Got Talent’ at the Walk of Fame Ceremony, Mel B got a bit shocked and had to take a second to compose before sharing her mind.
“You’re just an incredible person and an incredible human being,” said the former star of Spice Girls as she attempted to hold back tears. “To do what you’ve done, adopting all these kids and giving them a life, and then your voice sings such truth and honesty.” Fellow judges Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel were blown away by the inspiring deeds of Ketterer and celebrated the contestant for the message he sends to others watching the show.
“When you sing, you sing with so much heart,” Klum said. “And on a side note, we just need more men like you.” Mandel added. “This is not a sob story, this is a happy story,” “People should be led and inspired by who you are and how you are.” Banks then questioned the singer how he felt about putting Cowell to tears, and Ketterer said, “I think he gets it.”
“These are my babies, and I have given my entire life to this,” Ketterer said, fighting back tears himself, before shouting out his lady’s love to the crowd. “I couldn’t have done it without my wife, she’s one of my greatest supports.” After the show, ET’s Denny Directo caught up with Cowell, who said he was “trying to keep it together” while providing feedback.
“That normally doesn’t happen to me, but there’s something about Michael,” shared Cowell. Especially] now that I’ve gotten to know him and what it means to him.” “It’s his sincerity, his kindness and what he’s done to change those kids ‘ lives, and then he puts it all out on the line tonight and I really felt for him, he’s a really special person,” Cowell added.
ET also spoke to Mandel, who disclosed that he was not at all surprised by Cowell’s emotional reaction, and suggested that the reputation of the British TV personality for an acerbic personality might be unfounded.
“I’ve gotten to know Simon personally over the last couple of years and I don’t think people know what kind of a human being and what kind of a father he is and what kind of a friend he is,” Mandel shared. “So many times when he’s just doing his work and he feels that perhaps somebody’s been harmed by something he’s said, we’re going to go shopping and he’s going to jump on the stage and give them a hug and make sure they’re feeling good and[ give them some] encouragement. He’s the first up there.” “He’s the greatest softie, so when you see someone who’s that aspiring, inspiring in what they’re doing…