Fans of “America’s Got Talent” just got the shock of their lives when Meghan Markle made a surprise appearance for a contestant on the finale of the show.
Fox News reported that contestant Archie Williams’ story of a wrongful conviction and subsequent 36-year incarceration has touched the hearts of millions of fans, including Meghan and her husband Prince Harry.
“Just wanted to let you know that we’ve been so moved by your story and we’ve been cheering you on every week and it’s not just because we’re partial to the name,” Meghan said with a laugh, referring to her and Harry’s 1 year-old son Archie.
“So, a very special message to you that I’ll probably be saying all of my life, but on this night it’s specifically for you: Archie, we are proud of you and are rooting for you, we can’t wait to see what you do,” she added. “We’re in your corner, have a good night.”
Williams, 59, revealed during his audition for the talent competition that when he was 22, he was arrested for aggravated rape and attempted murder, neither of which he committed. After twelve years in prison, Williams contacted the Innocence Project for help, but it wasn’t until he had been behind bars for 36 years that his conviction was finally overturned due to fingerprints that were eventually connected to the scene of the crime.
“I knew I was innocent, I didn’t commit a crime. But being a poor Black kid, I didn’t have the economic ability to fight the state of Louisiana,” Williams said during his audition. “Days turned into weeks, into months, into years and into decades. It’s like a nightmare.”
When host Terry Crews asked how he managed to get through prison, Williams replied, “Freedom is of the mind. I went to prison, but I never let my mind go to prison. When you’re faced with dark times, what I would do was pray and sing. This is how I got peace.”
Williams brought the judges to tears with his rendition of Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” for his audition. He made it all the way to the finale, where he sang The Beatles’ “Blackbird.”
Unfortunately, Williams did not make the top five, and the show was won by spoken word performer Brandon Leake.
This piece originally appeared in UpliftingToday.com and is used by permission.
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