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Why Heidi Klum Called Archie Williams' AGT Return 'Honest' and 'Raw'
The Baton Rouge native touched us all with his story of wrongful incarceration during Season 15.
The 61-year-old first won over our hearts when he advanced to the Top 10 during AGT Season 15. At the time of his Audition, he had recently been released from prison after being incarcerated for 36 years. Through DNA evidence, it was discovered that Williams had been wrongfully convicted for a rape and stabbing he did not commit. With his name newly cleared, Williams revealed that he watched AGT during his years behind bars, and it was his dream to perform on the show. His Audition went on to bring Simon Cowell to tears.
Despite being "satisfied" with how his journey on the show ended the first time around, the Baton Rouge, Louisiana native returned to the stage for a second chance at a win.
"I'll never forget this whole experience," he said. "Since then I've been doing a lot of positive things. Traveling around the world with the Innocence Project to help innocent guys with cases like mine. But I always wondered what it would feel like to win. This is a second chance, I'm grateful for it."
This time around, Williams' soulful performance of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" moved the crowd and Judges once again.
"You are probably one of the most deserving human beings I know because of the predicament that you were in," Howie Mandel said. "Because it can't be separated from anything you do. And as I hear your voice, I hear your life. You have everything it takes to make it all the way on this stage."
Heidi Klum added, "You always have a special part of my heart. And you touch my heart every time when you are on that stage. That voice just can't hide anymore because it's you, it's honest, it's raw. It's Archie, and I'm so happy you're on that stage today. You're a true All-Star."
Lastly, Cowell had his say: "I remember this first Audition like it was yesterday. You've come back better, in my opinion. I think that was such an incredibly strong, creative performance, and I'm looking around. You could hear a pin drop. I think, for me, this was the best vocal performance you've done ever since you've been on our show."
Ultimately, Williams did not earn a Golden Buzzer or the Superfan vote, meaning his time on AGT: All-Stars was cut short. But something tells us he'll continue to inspire and touch many more people with his voice.