Simon Cowell shared an emotional episode of America’s Got Talent’s new series where a man falsely imprisoned gave one of the most inspiring auditions ever.
Cowell tweeted a clip of singer Archie Williams, wrongly incarcerated for a crime he did not commit and imprisoned for 37 years after a woman was stabbed and raped in her home in 1982.
For the audition Archie belted out the George Michael and Elton John hit Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me, moving the judges and audience to tears.
Archie sang the song in front of judges Simon, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Sofía Vergara.
He told host Terry Crews, that he was incarcerated for more than three decades for something he did not do. He said: ‘I knew I was innocent, I didn’t commit a crime but being a poor black kid, I didn’t have the ability to fight the state of Louisiana.’
Archie said that there were no fingerprints of his at the crime scene, and three different people testified that he was home at the time of the murder, but still he was sentenced to life without the option of parole.
When Terry asked him how he remained sane during this ordeal, he told Terry: ‘Freedom is of the mind, I went to prison but I never let my mind go to prison.’
Archie said he would sing and pray to keep his spirits up behind bars at the Angola State Penitentiary, and always dreamed of auditioning for the show.
But thanks to DNA evidence and The Innocence project, Archie was finally released in March 2019, and after a few months he was able to audition for the show.
The judges voted a ‘yes’ to send Archie through to the next round, earning a delighted reaction from his loved ones.
Simon praised Archie and told him that he had a ‘really good voice.’
‘I will never ever listen to the song in the same way after you. It took on a whole different meaning for me… this is an audition I would never forget for the rest of my life,’ he added.
Simon posted the preview captioning it: ‘This is Archie Williams. I will never forget this audition for the rest of my life. And I’ll never listen to this song in the same way ever again.’