Mind-blowing performance wins $1m

 

HIS first performance back in May left the judges and the audience fighting back tears.

And this week, Kodi Lee shed tears of his own after being crowned this year's winner of America's Got Talent.

The 22-year-old singer and pianist - who is blind and autistic - was joined by his proud mother Tina on stage.

"Through music and performing he was able to withstand living in this world because when you're autistic it's really hard to do what everybody else does," she told the crowd.

"It actually has saved his life, playing music."

 

Kodi with proud mum Tina. Picture: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.
Kodi with proud mum Tina. Picture: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

 

Kodi won the series on Wednesday night over the Detroit Youth Choir, securing the title after a long road that began with a golden buzzer victory for the Utah native.

He was awarded $1 million in prize money and will headline the America's Got Talent Live show at the Paris Theatre at Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino in November.

Kodi's faith in his own abilities never wavered. Asked whether he thought he would win, Kodi had no doubt. "Heck, yeah!" he said, offering his signature exclamation. "I'm a winner."

 

 

He dedicated his finale song - Lost Without You by Freya Ridlings - to his mother.

"It's amazing. It's opening doors for other families and to know that we made a difference is huge. I knew (Kodi) was here for a reason, and now this proves it," Tina told USA Today.

"Winning the show is shocking but he did more than the show. He changed the world. He's going to make it easier for families. He's going to inspire families. He's going to give strength to parents."

Kodi also sang and played the piano seamlessly with X Factor winner and three-time Grammy nominee Leona Lewis, singing Calum Scott's You Are the Reason.

 

After an amazing performance, Kodi posed with Leona Lewis on the America's Got Talent red carpet. Picture: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.
After an amazing performance, Kodi posed with Leona Lewis on the America's Got Talent red carpet. Picture: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

 

By the end of Kodi’s first performance, judge Simon Cowell was already a fan. ‘Your voice is absolutely fantastic. You have a really beautiful tone, and thank you so much for trusting us on this show,’ he told the young star. Picture: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.
By the end of Kodi’s first performance, judge Simon Cowell was already a fan. ‘Your voice is absolutely fantastic. You have a really beautiful tone, and thank you so much for trusting us on this show,’ he told the young star. Picture: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

Even notoriously hard-to-please judge Simon Cowell was impressed.

"Everybody rooted for him, and he's probably one of the most popular winners we've had on one of these shows," said Cowell. "He's got an amazing talent. … The guy's just an absolute star. He's one of those contestants you're going to remember. You'll always remember that first audition."


Strong fields and big crowds for tomorrow

Strong fields and big crowds for tomorrow

It is anticipated more than 3500 punters will rattle through the turnstiles and...

Firies work on containing grass fire near Emerald

Firies work on containing grass fire near Emerald

A grass fire is burning near Emerald.

Blackwater State manual arts makeover

Blackwater State manual arts makeover

Government funding will help build a new manual arts building for Blackwater State...