Sofia Vergara Recalls Brother’s Death During Powerful AGT Audition: ‘I Can Feel Your Pain’
A recent audition on “America’s Got Talent” made judge Sofia Vergara so emotional that it inspired her to open up about a tragedy very personal to her.
On Tuesday’s episode of the competition series, Vergara watched 27-year-old Brandon Leake take the stage to deliver a spoken-word performance that resonated with Vergara.
Leake, a former high school English teacher introduced his piece by dedicating it to his sister.
“Love is the most vulnerable thing one will ever have,” Leake explained during his performance “And you must learn to hold onto it loosely so when it leaves it won’t exit so painfully.” During the performance, Leake recalled losing his sister in the late ‘90s saying “I’m still haunted by these nightmares ’cause I have a really creative mind, and sometimes it designs these alternate realities where she is still here.”
Continuing Leake said “Still alive, and all the things I wish we could have done are played again and again and again. I’m tired of playing God ’cause I gotta come to terms with the fact that my sister ain’t never comin’ back.”
The “Modern Family” actress became visibly emotional during the performance and teared up.
Judges Howie Mandel and Simon Cowell were quick to give Leakes a standing ovation.
“What an amazing tribute,” Cowell said. “There’s something very, very special about you. This is a very difficult thing for me to judge. I shouldn’t be judging it, I just want to compliment you on what you just did because it was extraordinary.”
Mandel commended Leake’s performance saying “we feel your pain, we feel your love, and you moved me to do this” before hitting the Golden Buzzer which means he is being sent straight to the AGT live shows.
Vergara shared with Leake that his poem reminded her of the loss and grief she experienced after losing her own brother.”My brother passed away the same year that your sister passed away. I can feel your pain; I know what this is. I know what it is to have somebody taken from you without you knowing,” Vergara said before going on to say that the poem was “very beautiful for me.”
On Tuesday evening, Vergara tweeted that Leake’s performance was “a great way to end the night!!!”
In 1998, Vergara’s older brother Rafael was murdered while men attempted to kidnap him.
Vergara opened up about the death in 2011 for a Parade cover story, telling the magazine “My older brother, Rafael, was killed in Colombia… “Mother was like a zombie… I wanted to be with them. So I got a big house and we all lived together. I am so grateful to be in this country.”