Michael Ketterer, a pediatric nurse and father of five, won the hearts of America during his America’s Got Talent audition in August when he sang an emotional rendition of James Bay’s “Us.” The performance moved the audience and the judges, even bringing Simon Cowell to tears and earning him a coveted Golden Buzzer.
In a rare show of unbridled emotion, Cowell fought tears as AGT host Tyra Banks asked him for feedback on Ketterer’s performance.
“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,” a visibly emotional Cowell said. “There’s just something about you.”
Leading up to Wednesday night’s AGT finals (September 19), Ketterer was a crowd favorite, due in part to his status as a humble, hard-working dad. He garnered even more attention when Simon Cowell challenged Garth Brooks to write a song for Ketterer. The shout-out went out to Brooks during the semi-finals and the country king didn’t hesitate to respond.
Garth got to work on a song for Ketterer to perform on finale night, and it did not disappoint. Ketterer took the stage Wednesday night and sang “The Courage to Love.” The performance wowed the judges and earned a standing ovation from the audience, but it wasn’t enough for him to win the 2018 season of America’s Got Talent.
The crowd was stunned that Ketterer placed 5th, but Simon made it clear that it was just the beginning for the talented dad.
“After the performance you did tonight with the song Garth wrote for you, hopefully and I believe it will change your life,” Simon said. “You and I are going to continue this relationship. You have been an absolute star throughout. I am so sorry you didn’t make it.”
Ketterer then revealed that he will joining Garth to perform the song at his sold-out concert at Notre Dame in November.
Watch Michael Ketterers full performance of “The Courage to Love” in the video below.