'AGT' Competitor Kodi Lee, Who Is Blind and Has Autism, 'Will Change the World' With His Performance in Finale

Kodi Lee took the world by storm after his audition on America's Got Talent when he blew the judges away with an outstanding, and unexpected, performance.

"I think he's been holding this in to give it all to the world," Lee's mother Tina told PEOPLE.

Lee was born with optic nerve hypoplasia and was diagnosed with autism when he was 4 years old, however, he isn't letting that stop him from being the best he knows how to be and leaving it all on the stage as he heads to the finals.

"He's always had this boost of energy," Tina told the outlet. "I think he's been holding this in to give it all to the world."

"I think what he's receiving in return is what he's been looking for," she continued. "He's always had this talent, this raw, pure talent, that he's been wanting to show the world."

During the 22-year-old's audition, Gabrielle Union — who this is her first time as a judge of the popular show — gave out the Golden Buzzer for him making it not only her first time, but the first of the season.

"I'm a new judge this season and I'm also a new mom this year," the actress told both Lee and Tina following his breathtaking performance. "It's the toughest job I've ever had and the most rewarding job I've ever had," referring to her daughter Kaavia, who was born via surrogate in November 2018 and who she shares with husband Dwayne Wade.

"You just want to give your kids the moon, the stars and the rainbows," she continued. "Tonight, I'm going to give you something special," before pressing the Golden Buzzer.

"I realized he's an entertainer," Tina explained to the judges before Lee lead a tearful performance when he sang Donny Hathaway's "A Song For You." "Through music and performing, he was able to withstand living in this world because when you're autistic, it's really hard to do what everybody else does. It actually has saved his life playing music."

Simon Cowell — who has a reputation for being more than tough with contestants, which started during his American Idol days — relayed his state of shock to Lee when it was his turn to provide feedback and thoughts.


"What just happened there was extraordinary, I mean really extraordinary. I don't know what it's like to live in Kodi's world. All I can tell is you obviously have an amazing relationship the two of you and your voice is absolutely fantastic," he explained. "You have a really beautiful tone. Thank you so much for trusting us on this show. I'm going to remember this moment for the rest of my life."

Lee is now prepping for the finals and is looking to blow the audience way once again.