Archie Williams was sentenced to life in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. After 37 years, DNA tests set him free. And now, he’s auditioning for America’s Got Talent in front of Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara.
Archie becomes very emotional describing his unjust incarceration. He was a poor black kid and couldn’t fight the Louisiana justice system. None of the evidence matched, but the prosecutors wanted somebody to pay for the rape and murder of a white woman.
Archie explains to Terry Crews that he endured the ordeal because, while he went to prison, he not let his mind go to prison. During the dark times, he got peace by singing and praying. He watched America’s Got Talent, and visualized himself singing on it. Finally, after years behind bars, the Innocence Project took his case. New DNA technology proved he didn’t commit a crime.
After singing a very emotional rendition of Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” the judges were visibly moved. “I will never ever listen to that song in the same way ever again after you sang it,” says Simon. “It took on a whole different meaning for me.” He adds “This is an audition I will never forget for the whole of my life.”
The new season of America’s Got Talent premieres on NBC Tuesday May 26 at 8 pm ET/PT.
Watch Archie Williams’ emotional audition below.