America’s Got Talent Fantasy League Recap: Semi-Finals Week 1. TWO Golden Buzzers. Only THREE advance
America’s Got Talent: Fantasy League two-week semi-final round begins tonight. Ten acts compete for 3 spots in the finals. TWO judge each week will have the Golden Buzzer and choose two. The audience picks the third. Mel B. and Howie Mandel have tonight’s buzzers. Four previous Golden Buzzers have already earned their place in the finale.
The new format has a couple of twists. Viewers at home picked the show’s 40 acts via online vote. Additionally, the judges–Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Mel B.–each assembled a 10 person “dream team” of acts. The judges mentored their teams, hoping to bring an act to the finale and ultimately the win. The winner of AGT: Fantasy League nabs a $250K prize.
At the end of the episode host Terry Crews will reveal the one act the audience voted through to the next round.
The show opens with Matthew Barry sports dude breaking down the competition and the action so far as if it were sports ball.
Kristy Sellars – Multimedia pole dancer – Team Howie Mandel
Her new routine is inspired by her youngest son. He’s autistic and does not talk yet. He loves climbing the poles with her The Australian native tears up talking about her family.
She uses an umbrella as a prop, first to flip the background, and then to row a boat. from her perch on the pole she controls the weather. Her use of the umbrella prop is creative. In the end, she saves the world from a purple goblin.
The audience gives her a standing ovation. Heidi calls it “perfection” adding, “you are such an amazing athlete.” Mel compliments her precision and hard work, “well done.” Simon says, “every part of that was perfection.”
Loren Allred – Singer – Team Simon Cowell
NBC previewed this performance last week. Watch it HERE. Loren recorded “Never Enough” for The Greatest Showman soundtrack. But because an actress lip-synched the song in the film, nobody knows who she is. Simon chose “Over The Rainbow” for Loren, but she arranged it. Simon famously chose The Wizard of Oz song for Katharine McPhee on American Idol back in 2006. The choice propelled her to second place on season 5.
Loren delivers a Broadway-worthy version of the song, backed by an orchestra. The arrangement highlights her big range, emotional delivery, and ability to tell a dramatic story. It’s over the top, but impressive nonetheless.
Simon says, “That was what I call a masterclass. That’s how you do it.” Heidi says, “You sounded so beautiful.” Mel B says, “You have a voice to die for. You can sing anything.” She criticizes Simon’s song choice. “Like Wanna Be?” he snarks. Mel B. is wrong. Audiences go crazy for classics like “Over the Rainbow,” no matter how many times they are performed on these shows. Howie says, “I loved it, America’s going to love. it.”
Aidan Bryant – Aerialist – Team Heidi Klum – Mel B. Golden Buzzer STEAL
Aidan’s mother describes him as very self-motivated. He’s trying to add more danger to his show. His mother says he never stops striving. He criticized his Qualifiers performance, feeling he committed many mistakes, which nobody really noticed. He’s hard on himself.
Heidi worries over him like a mom. “Be careful!” she says. One wrong move, and poor Aidan could drop right on to his head. But he doesn’t. He flies around in the air while contorting his body. He spins around on his ankle like a ballerina to end the performance.
Heidi says, “You are unbelievable.” Mel B. says, “I’m speechless.” Simon calls the performance “in a league of its own. It was dangerous, it was brilliant.” AND THEN MEL HITS HER BUZZER. She needs good acts! Heidi isn’t happy. It’s Aidan’s first Golden Buzzer. “I’m so blessed!” Mel B adds, “You’re just incredible.” Heidi is happy that he’s in the finale.
Enkh-Erdman – Singer – Team Heidi Klum
He’s from Mongolia and doesn’t speak English. In the Qualifiers, the singer surprised the judges and audience with a performance of the country classic “Low Places,” singing it in a very Scotty McCreery-like deep voice.
This time he sings “You Were Always on My Mind” and is having a harder time masking his accent. He sounds like a bad Vegas lounge singer, truly. The performance verges on parody. Not the greatest song choice for him. But he’s such a gimmicky singer, he’s a hard sell. He won Mongolia’s Got Talent. So there’s that.
Heidi calls him a “class act.” She comperes him to Michael Buble. NO. Simon calls it “loungey.” And Howie agrees. “This sounds like I was on a cruise,” he says. A low-rent cruise. Mel compliments his voice. But she preferred his earlier effort.
Anna Deguzman – Magician – Team Howie Mandel
Anna mentions the mistake she made during her last performance. Her mind went blank. Nevertheless, Anna moved to the next round, much to her surprise. This time, Anna is going back to doing closeup magic. She’ll focus on cards this time.
Mel and Howie help her on stage. Anna jokes that she “borrowed” Terry’s wallet. She performs some nifty tricks which includes creating money out of nothing, changing card faces and more. Mel is not a very good assistant. “It’s OK. You’re pretty,” Anna jokes. She makes another joke about Mel’s reading ability and then says “I should have picked Heidi.” She got some boos! She finishes with a trick that matches serial numbers on the bills to the cards Howie shuffled earlier.
Heidi didn’t love it as much, especially the jokes at Mel’s expense. Simon felt the reveal wasn’t impressive. Mel says she wasn’t offended. But Anna lost the audience. After she attempted to rib Mel, they were NOT on her side. No way they vote her through. Afterward, Anna admits she was intimidated. Clearly. She needs to learn to read the room.
Vardanyan Brothers – Hand balancers – Team Mel B.
NBC previewed this audition earlier today Watch it HERE. Mel B wants to bring the act close to the judges table so they can see up close how difficult the tricks are. The tension is so high during rehearsals, the brothers end up bickering among themselves.
The two begin with balancing tricks as a platform raise them in the air. Next, they do some tricky shoulder and back balancing. After the first tricks, they bring the act close to the judges table where they attempt to balance on sword tips affixed to their mouths while one brother is blindfolded. The first time fails. But they make it work the second time. The swords appear to be magnetic. Getting the weapons to click into place failed the first time. Nevertheless, balancing on such a tiny interface is a stunning feat.
Mel B feels “physically sick” then she shouts, “But you did it!” Howie says watching them fail helped to see how difficult the trick was. Trying it twice? Probably part of the act. Simon calls them “nuts.” But “hats off” for trying again and succeeding. Mel wishes she still had a Golden Buzzer.
Ghetto Kids – Dance group – Team Mel B.
Mel wants them to “go back to their roots.” They will dance to their own original song. It’s the Ugandan group’s first time in America. Previously, they competed on the finals of Britain’s Got Talent.
The group is very young and very cute. They dance with infectious energy and humor, even if they aren’t highly skilled performers. They end by shooting a selfie at the judges table.
Heidi is impressed with their original song. Howie calls them incredibly joyful and talented. He picks out headband guy as a standout. Heidi loves them. Simon says “There was a little magic position in there. This was everything this show should be.”
Kodi Lee – Singer – Team Simon Cowell – Howie’s Golden Buzzer STEAL
The singer performed an original song last time. His mom explains how Kodi, who is blind and autistic, connects to people through his own songs. Simon calls his last performance a “turning point in his career.” Tonight, Kodi will sing an original song he wrote for his mother. ‘She always helps me chase my dreams,” he explains.
Perfore singing, Kodi calls his mom his “hero.” Mom stands offstage watching as Kodi delivers the emotional song, “Journey of You and I.” He speaks, ‘So thank you for never giving up on me…you are my everything.” Mom is super emotional off stage.
The audience chants his name. “I’m all emotional now,” says Simon. He calls mom a “little lioness.” Simon is “so proud” of Kodi. Heidi calls the song a “beautiful love letter.” Howie calls the song a gift. “You are the biggest gift I have ever experienced on my stage. UH OH UH OH WATCH OUT SIMON HERE IT COMES. Howie hits his Golden Buzzer. Simon is speechless. Tina says “We don’t want to leave Simon! We don’t want to leave Simon!” Howie says, “It doesn’t matter. It’s not up to you.” Oh man. She seems to be kidding, though. The most important thing is that Kodi has advanced to the finals.
Preacher Lawson – Comedian – Team Howie Mandel
Howie compliments Preacher’s Qualifiers set. He will talk about family in his new routine, which Howie endorses. Preacher was raised by a single mom. She talks about her sons strength and resilience. “I’m his biggest fan!”
He dances out to “We are Family.” He jokes about dating young women who don’t have big butts. Hardy-har-har. He transitions to mom jokes. He quips that his dad, who abandoned him “did not like me.” He jokes that his mom treats him like a kid, and then more jokes about his crappy dad before he ends. Wow. That seemed to be edited down.
Howie wishes he had a Golden Buzzer. “I’m just proud,” he says. His mom is in the room. “I’m proud of you,” she shouts. Heidi thinks he’s the funniest comedian the show has ever had. Mel B “adores” him. “You didn’t disappoint.” Simon says, “You are just brilliant at what you do.” He compliments Preacher on never repeating himself.
Pack Drumline – Drumline – Team Simon Cowell
The group is determined to succeed. Simon said last time they could win the show. They thrive on being underdogs. The were so poor initially, they used trash cans and buckets. Now, they will pay homage to their humble roots by going back to those makeshift instruments.
Well, except for the guy who plays a fancy drum set at center stage. He was probably a later addition. Overall the group–who combines drumming with hip hop moves–is energetic and entertaining. The remaining contestants look crestfallen.
Simon is so excited. “This group has so much talent, so much ambition.” He repeats they could win this year. Mel B thought some of the timing was off. A performer lost a stick. Still, she would have given them her Golden Buzzer. Heidi calls it their best performance yet. Howie notes that they are “in it to win it.”
The votes are IN. Terry announces the Top 3. The Vardanyan Brothers are first. Next, he announces Pack Drumline and finally, the third act is…Loren Allred. The act finishing in third place is…The Vardanyan Brothers. The act going into the finals is…Pack Drumline! That seemed obvious, considering the edits where Simon predicted they could win. Loren finished in second place.
Advancing to the Final
Aidan Bryant – Golden Buzzer – Mel B. STOLE from Heidi Klum
Kodi Lee – Golden Buzzer – Howie Mandel STOLE from Simon Cowell
Pack Drumline – Team Simon – Audience pick
The Vardanyan Brothers – Third Place
Loren Allred – Second Place