America’s Got Talent judge Simon Cowell was brought to tears by a powerful performance from a father of six during the show’s August 28 episode, who sang to secure a spot in the finale of the season’s competition.
Cowell was clearly emotional during a performance by singer Michael Ketterer, who earned Cowell’s Golden Buzzer during the audition rounds earlier this season.
Entertainment Tonight reported that Ketterer is a pediatric nurse living with his wife and six kids in Orange County, California.
The couple is parents to their own biological daughter Sophie and five sons that the pair adopted from foster care and took into their home to give them a stable and secure family life.
During the quarterfinals on Tuesday, Ketterer, the last act of the night, sang a powerful version of James Bay’s “Us” that secured a standing ovation from the audience when he hit the tunes final notes.
Cowell seemed to find kinship with Ketterer on a fatherly level. The judge is a father to 4-year-old son Eric.
Cowell was brought to tears by the end of the tune and had a difficult time describing his feelings for Ketterer’s performance upon his conclusion.
Show host Tyra Banks asked Cowell why he was feeling so emotional and kept at him until he would give some feedback on the singer’s performance.
Cowell stated of Ketterer, “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. There’s just something about you.”
Banks then told the audiences both in attendance and at home, “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.”
“You’re just an incredible person and an incredible human being,” concurred Cowell’s fellow judge Mel B, also a parent to Angel Iris Murphy Brown, Madison Brown Belafonte, and Phoenix Chi Gulzar.
“To do what you’ve done, adopting all these kids and giving them a life, and then your voice sings such truth and honestly.”
Despite Cowell’s reputation for being hard-hearted, one he earned during his years as a judge on both American Idol and The X-Factor, fellow judge Howie Mandel revealed that personally, he is unlike his television persona.
“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.
America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays on NBC.