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'AGT' fans praise 'Grammy-worthy' duet by H.E.R. and champ Kodi Lee: 'Best I've ever seen!'

·Editor in Chief, Yahoo Music
·3 min read
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This week’s America’s Got Talent live quarterfinals results show offered no shockers, with — as widely predicted — the Northwell Health Nurse Choir, opera prodigy Victory Brinker, teen aerialist Aidan Bryant, mentalist Peter Antoniou, comedian Josh Blue, pop diva Tory Vagasy, and vocal group Korean Soul advancing to the Season 16 semifinals. Meanwhile, Simon Cowell’s least favorite act, disco novelty act Johnny Showcase, unsurprisingly went home, along with Broadway trio T.3 and underwhelming dance troupes Positive Impact, Dokteuk Crew, and Shuffolution.

But there was one very pleasant surprise during Wednesday’s hour-long episode, when Season 14 America’s Got Talent champion Kodi Lee teamed with R&B superstar H.E.R. for what delighted fans on Twitter declared a “Grammy-worthy” duet and even one of the best performances in AGT history.

Kodi, a 25-year-old blind and autistic singer and pianist, won AGT in 2019, instantly becoming one of the most beloved contestants to ever compete on the show. (His Golden Buzzer audition has racked up almost 31 million views on YouTube alone.) Kodi has since returned to AGT to perform Harry Styles’s “Sign of the Times” on the AGT: The Champions finale and Finneas’s “Break My Heart Again” on a Season 15 results show, but his gorgeous performance this week with H.E.R. — of her song “Hold On,” off her recently released debut album Back of My Mind — was truly magical. And Kodi was absolutely at the level of his Grammy- and Oscar-winning duet partner, note for note.

Twitter lit up with praise for Kodi’s performance, but no one was more effusive than H.E.R. herself. “He's amazing, but I'm so moved, you know? I think he's the epitome of what music is,” she told host Terry Crews. “It brings people together, it inspires, it heals — and he is all of that. So, I'm blessed to be performing with him.”

Kodi will be part of the America’s Got Talent live Las Vegas residency that kicks off Nov. 4 at the Luxor Hotel and Casino, sharing a bill with Season 15 winner Brandon Leake, knife-throwing duo Deadly Games, daredevils Duo Transcend, mentalists the Clairvoyants, shadow artists the Silhouettes, LED dance group Light Balance, and of course, the to-be-determined champ of this AGT season. Of the contestants who advanced this week, I think Victory Brinker has the best shot of filling that final Vegas slot, but there’s still one more batch of 12 quarterfinalists who’ll compete next week, so it’s too soon to call. See you then.

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