America’s Got Talent Judge Cuts finish tonight. The contestants that judges Howie Mandel, Mel B., Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell choose during this round will join the Golden Buzzer acts in the LIVE shows, which begin next week. Tyra Banks hosts. Join us as we live blog all the performances.
and douchebag Chris Hardwick is tonight’s guest judge. He was a judge last year too–he Golden Buzzered young singer Angela Hale. Which act will be his golden buzzer? Eighteen acts perform, but only SEVEN advance to the live shows.
Brian King Joseph – Violinist – He got a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music. He was living his dream, but then was hit with a terrible diagnosis. A nerve disease makes his hands numb. He can still play, but he doesn’t know for how long. His girlfriend has been incredibly supportive. He’s an extremely skilled player, but how exciting is this really? I’m kinda bored, to be honest. If he does advance, it’s the backstory that will propel him. Mel says she “loves a fighter.” Chris admires that he doesn’t allow his pain to define him. Heidi finds his playing “fresh.” Simon says he has “unbelievable personality.” Howie thinks he stepped it up, but reminds him that only 7 acts are advancing.
Yumbo Dump – Comic Duo – Geez. Two Asian dudes who make sounds with their great big bellies. It’s incredibly stupid. Also, the two don’t mind playing walking talking stereotypes for the white people. Most likely it’s the white bros who get off on this. It’s an act tailor made for the frat crowd. Chris Hardwick speaks to them in Japanese. Their big catch phrase is “Feel so good” said in ridiculous Japanese accents. Asians across America have to be cringing right now. Mel buzzes them right before Chris heads on stage to assist. Chris says he would tour with them any time. Of course he would. Heidi, inexplicably finds them funny. “I love these guys!” says Simon. Howie vows to fight for them.
Academy of Villains – Dance Troupe – Have I seen this group on SYTYCD? I think I have. The group is popular, but Simon isn’t impressed. He buzzes them. Mel loves it. Simon calls the audition forgettable. Da Republik are totally in awe over sharing the same stage. The narrative here is: Simon loves the underdogs.
Da Republik – Dance Troupe – This group, from the Dominican Republic is less well known than the Academy of Villains. But when it comes to AGT, they have something more important than talent or fame–a big time sob story. A member of their group died from a disease that would have been manageable in a first world country. “That was absolutely incredible,” says Chris. Howie calls them the “real deal.” Simon says compared to the first act, they have personality. “This show needs acts like you.”
Berlin – Kid Singer – Thirteen year old singer songwriter who performs, sitting at the piano receives compliments from the judges. But being montaged in both the audition and judge cut rounds means ONLY ONE THING. Bye gurl. We hardly knew ye.
Sasha & Sergey Korolev – Father/Daughter Acrobats – Simon insists that he did not say he wanted the act to become more dangerous. BUT TAPE NEVER LIES. If a little kid dies, we know who to blame. She’s only 15. She’s also super bendy. First they do some hand to hand tricks. Then the ladders come into play. Yes, this is more impressive than the duo’s first outing. Dad climbs while daughter balances on his head and twirls hoops on her arms. All the while he’s walking across a ladder thingy. Chris calls it “impressive.” Mel compliments their strength and connection to each other. But calls it “too amazing.” Simon loves the dad/daughter dynamic. “This could be very exciting.”
Flau’jae – Teen Rapper – She’s 14 and from Savannah. She performed a rap about gun violence in her audition. Her dad, an up and coming rapper, was shot and killed while mom was pregnant. “My goal is to continue my father’s legacy,” she says before performing another original, “I Can’t Lose.” This young lady is not only talented, but very poised. If AGT doesn’t work out, she should head to The Four next. She seems a little nervous this time. I liked her first song better? But still impressive. Mel calls her “brilliant.” Howie calls her a star. Simon thinks “everything feels real.” Chris calls her “authentic.” AND WAIT FOR IT WAIT FOR IT. Chris hits his Golden Buzzer. Most unsurprising Golden Buzzer ever.
Elijah Holt – Trampoline Artist – He performs with a blow up Zebra. OK then. Unfortunately, right before his audition, Tyler the Zebra popped. SADS. He uses the zebra as a prop. He’s pretty good as far as trampolining goes. The Zebra adds…something. Heidi thought it improved. Well duh. The blow-up Zebra stayed intact. Simon pronounces Zebra WRONG. Also: DRINK every time Simon uses the word “personality” as a compliment.
Sixto & Lucia – Quick Change Artists – They used to be a couple! Sixto didn’t take the break up very well. But they still work together. I DO NOT GET the quick change thing. Sorry. Having said that, the act is as creative as it can be. I like that he gets in on the act and that they use glitter and steam to spice it up. Chris calls it “amazing.” Mel was “wowed” by the number of outfits. Simon thought it was a little corny at times, but a big improvement.
Brody Ray – Singer Songwriter – Brody’s backstory–he’s transgender. In his audition, Brody got a standing ovation after performing Jordan Smith’s “Stand in the Light.” Simon suggested he sing an original song next time. He does–and it falls totally flat. Simon is unimpressed, Heidi says he chose the “wrong song.” Only Howie is still willing to fight for him.
Ronnie Lamarque – Singer – Older gentleman performs “If I Can Dream.” The rest of the panel was impressed, but Simon calls it “karaoke.” From what little we get here–his style seems interesting.
Glennis Grace – Singer – Glennis was pursuing her dream in her early 20s, but when her son came along, she gave it all up to be a mom. ETA: Well, not exactly. She has had some measure of success overseas. In 2005, she represented The Netherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest. In her audition she sang a Whitney Houston song…just like Whitney. Big strong voice, but no originality. She almost didn’t come back, but her son convinced her to return. She sings “Nothing Compares to U” by Prince. Starting off a cappella, this is better than her first outing. She manages to put her own stamp on it, which was a thing that needed to happen. Chris says she honored the song, but made it her own. Mel says, “You gave us your everything, your all.” Simon says, “You had a glow about you.” He thinks the record business is shifting to breaking older artists? What?
Diabolowalker, a quartet of acrobats who use yo yo like string implements, Simon thought “parts of it were boring.” The rest of the panel were impressed.
Troy James – Contortionist – He’s an office worker with a very “special” talent–he can twist his body into pretzel-like shapes. He was born premature, and thinks maybe that contributed to his weird ability to contort. He’s like a scary arachnid. I can barely watch. He crawls right up into the judges faces, then leads Chris on stage, lays him out on a chaise and…Uhm. What was that? Simon loves watching the audience reaction.
Street Drum Corps – Drummers – They add fire to their act, hoping to impress Simon. He was not impressed.
Nunnabove – Musical Band – Simon called them a “wedding band” last time. This time, he thought they improved, but needed to “lighten up.” Montaged forever, they’re obviously out.
Lord Nil – Escape Artist – We previewed this act HERE. The last performance from this Italian escape artist involved scorpions. Simon requested alligators, and Nil obliged. This time, he is suspended upside down over a tank of ‘gators. If he can’t wiggle out of the straight jacket by the time the straps burn through, he’ll drop right into the tank. Interestingly, just today I saw a video featuring a teen who interned at an animal rescue, and there she was palling around with a crocodile. I bet the show rented animals that are used to being around people and probably would not try to eat him. Having said that, Simon and the panel do a good job looking appropriately shocked and frightened. He escapes just as the straps give way…oh and here’s a commercial break. Anybody who watched the preview knows how this ends. Simon calls it a “big step up.” Heidi was on the edge of her seat. “Only a minor amount of pants pooping,” says Chris. Mel thinks the act is too risky. That’s why she buzzed them.
Samuel J. Comroe – Comedian – He has Tourette’s Syndrome. He met his wife in high school and has been on the road for 10 years trying to support his family. This time he does wife jokes. Not as funny as last time, where he incorporated his physical quirks in a creative way. These are just lame bits. Chris is impressed that he owns his disability. Heidi compliments his delivery. Simon thinks he’s likable and edgy. Howie calls him a great symbol of somebody who can overcome adversity.
Flau’jae – Chris Hardwick’s Golden Buzzer
Brian King Joseph
Samuel J. Comroe
Yumbo Dump? SERIOUSLY? What a joke. And I would not have advanced Da Republik. Maybe I watch too many dance competitions, but they were just average. I would have put through the Father/Daughter acrobats Sasha & Sergey Korolev. If only to avoid watching the young Sasha break down into sobs after her elimination. That was heartbreaking. Eh. I know this show is designed to be fun for the whole family, but I wish Simon wasn’t so bullish on advancing sobby sob stories over actual talent.