Simon Cowell loved Michael Ketterer from the moment he watched him perform during the America’s Got Talent auditions — so much so, that he even gave the singer his Golden Buzzer on the show. Michael went on to be a fan favorite week after week, all the way until the finals. Unfortunately, his finale performance just wasn’t enough to declare him the winner, though, and the crowd was shocked when Tyra Banks announced his fifth place finish during the Sept. 19 finale. However, Simon confirmed to HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY after the show that he’s going to “work with” Michael now that the competition is over.
Plus, Michael already has a big gig coming up: Garth Brooks invited him to perform at his concert at the University of Notre Dame on Oct. 20! The guys have a special connection, as Simon begged Garth to write a song just for Michael..and the country singer obliged. Michael sang the song on the Sept. 19 episode of AGT, but it was too late, as the votes were already in. “This time, maybe the same thing happened with Jennifer Hudson [on American Idol],” Simon explained to us EXCLUSIVELY. “It was like…WHAT!? And I think when it’s Michael who sang the Garth Brooks song tonight…it was one of those magical moments where the song connected. He connected and his vocals were better. You could feel it in the crowd. I was like…wow, if you did that last night, this could have been a whole different story.”
Shin Lim went on to win the competition, and although Simon told HollywoodLife and other media outlets that he “really liked” the magician, he also admitted that he was definitely betting on Michael to win. “I made no bones about that!” he laughed.
However, he also praised Shin for his incredible finale performance. “You have to respect that this is a competition,” Simon said. “Whoever wins got the most votes and Shin..he did his best performance [Monday] night. It was way better than anything else that we had seen. We saw his personality. To beat that lot is a big deal.”