(WCMH) – Singer and pianist Kodi Lee returned to the America’s Got Talent stage Tuesday, belting out a crowd-pleasing rendition of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”
Lee, 22, from Lake Elsinore, Calif. is a blind and autistic musical prodigious savant, according to his website.
Lee was the first recipient of one of this year’s Golden Buzzers from the judges, when his first performance on the show, Donny Hathaway’s “A Song For You,” earned judge Gabrielle Union’s pass to the live shows. That performance also earned him a standing ovation from the crowd and judges.
It was the same reaction with Tuesday’s performance. According to judge Simon Cowell, Paul Simon gave permission for Lee to use the song after Simon heard Lee’s first audition.
“You continually amaze me,” Cowell said. “Watching that clip back, it made me realize we are nothing without people like you.”
“Born with optic nerve hypoplasia, surviving a life-saving surgery at 5 days old, and being diagnosed with autism at an early age has never stopped Kodi from reaching for his dreams,” his website says. He has an audio photographic memory, allowing him to recall music he hears after a single listen.
He is one of a handful of people in the world with his abilities.
Lee said his dream is to be a rock star performing for thousands of fans.
“If the world is in troubled waters, you, Kodi, are our bridge,” judge Howie Mandel said after Lee’s performance.
It is now up to America to vote for who they want to see move on in the competition. Seven of the 12 acts who performed Tuesday will be revealed during the results show Wednesday. Those seven will move on to the semi-final round.
Viewers can vote up to 10 times. Voting is available via the America’s Got Talent app, the AGT website, or via the remote for Xfinity X1 customers. The window for submitting votes for Tuesday’s performances ends at 7 a.m. EST Wednesday.
The results show will air Wednesday at 8 p.m. on NBC.