Simon Cowell is like the Gordon Ramsay of talent shows. He may be hard to please and blunt in dealing out critique, but he’s also quick to praise true talent when he encounters it.
A great example of this is the British talent judge’s recent pressing of the ‘Golden Buzzer ‘button during the latest season of ‘America’s Got Talent‘. The lucky receiver of Cowell’s coveted golden approval is one Tyler Butler-Figueroa from North Carolina.
Tyler’s Touching Story
The 11-year-old violin player not only impressed the panel of judges with his musical skills but also with his tear-jerking story.
You see, Butler-Figueroa had to go through a lot more than the average person to get to where he is right now as the boy had to battle leukemia at a very young age.
And, although overcoming the disease was a challenge, he also faced the added burden of being bullied in school because of his health issues.
According to Butler-Figueroa, kids at his school spread rumors about his cancer saying that it was contagious even when it’s not. He told the panel that all the kids wanted to stay away from him because of it.
Not wanting to be forever known as ‘the kid with cancer’, the determined boy decided to learn how to play the violin instead. And it looks like he made the right choice.
A Message to the Bullies
Aside from getting a standing ovation from both the panel and the audience, the talented boy also received Cowell’s ‘Golden Buzzer’ in probably the most awesome way possible.
The 59-year-old judge began by telling Butler-Figueroa that he would like to say something to his bullies. Cowell then proceeded to stand up from his seat and to press the ‘Golden Buzzer’.
What more, the usually stern judge assured the violinist that he is an ‘extraordinary young man’ with an amazing talent and personality to boot.
Meanwhile, the other judges were also impressed by Butler-Figueroa with Julianne Hough commending the boy for turning his most difficult experience into something that brought him so much joy.
Butler-Figueroa, who has been in remission for almost four years now, is bound to go straight to the competition’s semi-final round to be held in Hollywood later on this year.
The Golden Buzzer
The concept of the ‘Golden Buzzer’ was first incorporated during the ninth season of America’s Got Talent in 2014.
All judges are given just one chance of using the button each season. Initially, pressing the ‘Golden Buzzer’ on a contestant meant that they qualified for the next round regardless of the other judge’s votes. It was first intended to be a tie-breaker.
However, its purpose changed in the following seasons with the buzzer now enabling a contestant to go straight to the live shows when pressed by a judge. Cowell last hit the buzzer for Season 13’s Michael Ketterer, who finished the contest placing fifth.