Season 13 of NBC’s hit competition series America’s Got Talent comes to an end this week, with its two-part finale airing Tuesday and Wednesday nights, September 18 and 19. One contestant who could surely win it all this year is Michael Ketterer.
Judge Simon Cowell’s Golden Buzzer pick is a 40-year-old singer from Anaheim, California. He not only won over the AGT judges and fans of the show with his beautiful voice, but also with his heartwarming backstory. The married father of six has one biological daughter and five boys that he adopted out of foster care, including one child suffering from cerebral palsy.
“When you’re surviving, you can’t dream,” Ketterer said during his audition, which can be viewed on the NBC website. He then explained that he was giving America’s Got Talent a shot to show his kids that if he “can live out his dreams, then nothing is impossible for them.”
He then belted out a very soulful version of “To Love Somebody,” which the Bee Gees wrote and Michael Bolton popularized. The vocalist received a standing ovation from all four of the judges — Cowell, Mel B, Heidi Klum, and Howie Mandel — before he even finished singing the song. Cowell called him “real,” and said his performance was quite the “surprise,” and that “actions speak louder than words” before smacking the Golden Buzzer.
In the quarter finals, the pediatric mental health nurse sang a moving version of the James Bay song “Us,” and for the semifinals, he delivered a powerful rendition of Miley Cyrus’ “When I Look at You.”
After his last performance, on September 4, Cowell challenged legendary country artist Garth Brooks to write a song for Ketterer to perform during the AGT finale.
“I want to see you in the final with a killer song to make your dreams come true. I really want that to happen,” said the man who also created and executive produces the competition series.
According to Fox News, Brooks finally addressed Cowell’s comment in a Facebook video that he filmed on Thursday, September 13.
The country superstar revealed that he did speak to Ketterer on the phone and they discussed possible song ideas.
“He’s a good dude… you can tell this kid was raised right,” said Brooks.
Although nothing was set in stone at that time, he did sound like he was interested in working with the up-and-coming singer.
“These things, you can’t make them happen, you have to chase the music,” Brooks said. “If it happens, I hope it’s something he likes, [and] I hope it’s something [the fans] like.”
Good Housekeeping talked to Ketterer, who also wasn’t certain if he would be able to team up with Brooks, one of his “all-time heroes when it comes to music,” for his upcoming performance, which is going to be his last chance to wow America in order to get them to vote him the winner of this season of America’s Got Talent.
He stated that behind-the-scenes at AGT can be “a wild ride” and “you don’t know what’s going to happen.”
“There have been times where I go to dress rehearsals with one song, and right before they go, ‘We’re going to do the other song,'” he explained.
Watch Ketterer and the nine other finalists try to become the new champion of America’s Got Talent on NBC. On Tuesday, September 18, each contestant will do one final performance, and on Wednesday, September 19, a new AGT winner will be crowned.