A terrible audition that leaves everyone scratching their heads in boredom and confusion goes wildly off the rails as the contestants suddenly attack each other.
After this week’s round of auditions on “America’s Got Talent,” we’re starting to wonder if it’ll be possible to save the best for last, because some of those acts were amazing!
From the incredible young singer who scored Simon Cowell’s Golden Buzzer to another young singer who left our jaws on the floor in shock and disbelief, this third round’s acts didn’t come to play.
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There was an acrobatic troupe from the Philippines who brought stunts we’ve never seen before, a ventriloquist following in the footsteps of everyone from Terry Fator to Darci Lynne – and surpassing them all in some ways with his stellar vision art.
And then there were those moving stories, like the deaf woman who learned that comedy was a language that binds us all, the Ukrainian who shared a love story like no other, and a choir of the NFL who are using their secret talent for good around the world already.
Seriously, it was an evening filled with feel-good moments and emotions and performances that we will remember for a long time. And then there was one of the most epic and incredible pranks we’ve ever seen on this show that had us raging and then screaming our approval as things went from boring and terrible to exciting and terrifying in a few seconds !
For some of tonight’s auditions Howie Mandel was sick, so if there are only three “results” that would be why. We try to be a little careful with what we do.
Fair warning, as I’m safe at home, I’ll probably be a bit harsher than my colleagues. Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara, and Simon Cowell. But maybe I’d be nicer too. Maybe.
And just for fun, I’m going to rank them from worst to first to see how my favorites do and then we can see how you did – that is, if you agree with me.
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(performing artists) Before the finale – and absolutely deserved – “X” fell, the rag dolls gave us a very dull and terrible interpretive dance performance on “Toxic” that had nothing to do with the song, had no personality and was shockingly boring considering it takes place in a pink room with two women dressed as rag dolls. It’s amazing that it’s so terrible. When he judged the commentary started, the rag dolls started falling straight onto the stage, and it certainly looked real. Suddenly it was like something straight out of WWE, finally with security handling it and one of the women attacking it. As far as fake fights go, it was much better – and it should be, because it was the Bella sisters all along. Not a bad prank, as we didn’t recognize them either until they started struggling.
[[Okay, now for the real ranked performances]]
(contortionist) A very strange and slow act, it seems quite limited as to where it can go from here. We applauded the creativity of having Oleksandr come out in a body bag and act like he was a corpse, but they could have gone a little further with this narrative. What we saw was a brief moment where his shoulders could contort, then two extended sequences where his hips flexed a legitimately incredible amount. But that’s about all. This is not a million dollar act. It’s an impressive stunt and ability, but only one. They also received a big response from the public after Oleksandr revealed he was Ukrainian.
Results: Y-Y-Y-X [rescinded, Y]
(knife throwers) Honestly, it didn’t feel as dangerous for most of it as it might have otherwise. We’ve definitely seen more accurate and deadly knives thrown at rotating platforms with someone strapped to them. They were drifting apart, and there was nothing fast about what they were doing. Even the upside-down element was largely a repeat of their opening “duel”. The slow-spinning platform just wasn’t dangerous enough, nor was the slow-spinning woman with large discs she could easily aim at. Yes, something could go wrong, but it seemed very very safe for this kind of act.
They definitely proved their confidence when they were ready to do the deed with Simon Cowell between them. This part was probably more exciting than anything they’ve done – and probably a big thrill for Simon, who loves that sort of thing.
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(choral) A choir of NFL players surprisingly formed in 2004 when Patti LaBelle took the microphone at a gospel event and discovered that there were quite a few players with hidden talent on those football teams. We loved the history of the band, who now play for charity, and we loved their harmony parts, but we weren’t so enamored with all the soloists. They were all good, but no one really had a standout moment that took our breath away — and we saw a lot of backing vocals that bring those powerful moments. As such, while it was enjoyable and we love everything they stand for, the actual performance left us a bit lacking. Their strength is definitely singing together, as proven by the fact that Simon made them sing the chorus a cappella.
(actor) Born as the only deaf person in a family who doesn’t sign, Hayden said she always struggled to communicate. She therefore found her outlet in comedy. The only criticism we would have, as its hardware was very solid, was that its delivery was a bit slower than we would have liked. Either that or the whole thing was just a little too short. We would have liked to spend a little more time understanding his universe with his unique point of view. She did a great job incorporating her deafness into the routine, making it even more special and memorable. It was a good first audition, but we think she needs to increase the number of jokes in the future.
(singer) We only had a few moments with James, and in a segment about people coming from other countries to compete (he’s from the Philippines), but what we heard was a beautifully rich and full operatic voice. He’s clearly extremely talented at what he does – and it’s impressive that such a big voice comes out of a relatively small body.
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(Dancer) A lyrical dancer, Max has a strong connection to the feeling and emotion of his music. There is a beautiful marriage between his artistry and James Arthur’s backing track which is palpable and compelling. He didn’t have such a smooth moment coming out of his front flip, but other than that, we enjoyed his transitions, lines, and how hard he hit his marks and moments. There were also some very cool visual moments that he incorporated, giving the whole thing a very fresh and youthful feel. We can see these ten years of training in this 18-year-old dancer.
(singer) Who expects screaming metal from a 10-year-old girl? Well, that’s basically what we got when she performed Spiritbox’s “Holy Roller.” This tiny little girl from across the pond actually killed this type of vocal style and looked so innocent while doing it. The visual and auditory dissonance was so wild you could see it on each of the judges’ faces. With Howie sick, Harper’s dad had to sit in Howie’s place to watch, and he was just beaming. It was definitely one of the most memorable auditions we have ever seen!
(impressionists) It would’ve been a total blast if they’d stuck with the various characters they were going to voice, but we also got impressions from the original artists for each song, including Elton John, Train, and Nickleback. And every print was perfect, from the artists themselves to more silly prints like Spongebob and Donald Duck. They even nailed Simon Cowell. All in all, it was an audition we couldn’t take our ears off, and we wouldn’t want it to go on and on. Even without the gimmicks, the musical talent is through the roof (as evidenced by Ben Platt at the end), so there are layers upon layers to what these guys bring.
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Urbancrew (Southern Flyers)
(dancers) We saw a lot of these “dance” troupes that are much more into acrobatics than dancing, but this one had stunts, tricks and jumps that we had never seen before. These boys were flying high, they were doing complex moves where one guy was flipping over another guy (or two) who was also flipping. The margin of error was so slim it was probably pretty close to zero, and they didn’t miss a mark. Like we said, we’ve seen a lot of acts like this and they’re definitely a crowd pleaser, but they can get repetitive and a bit boring for us. This one had enough fresh elements and danger, we found ourselves riveted.
(singer) The 13-year-old singer came out with grace and poise beyond her years to the point that it was shocking to find out how young she was. And then she took an extremely difficult Billie Eilish song – and just smashed it. At the same time, she did not look like an impersonator singer. She definitely brought her own artistry to a stellar vocal performance that showed plenty of power and vocal variance throughout her range. Even a simple run became something special with his mastery of his gift. At any age, this would be extremely loud hearing. But at his young age, it was better.
Results: [Simon’s Golden Buzzer]
(ventriloquist) We’re still wondering how a ventriloquist can top what’s come before, but Jack pulled off some awesome new stunts and great puppet work with his deranged bunny-looking friend Foster. From Foster doing ventriloquism, to throwing her voice at them both switching voice, Jack has definitely proven he has mastered this unique art form. “AGT” has been very friendly with ventriloquists over the years, and with the quality of his talent, the finesse of his songwriting, and how very funny he is as a performer, you could see him going very, very far.
“America’s Got Talent” continues Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.