Tonight more acts perform for America’s Got Talent 2019 Season 14 Auditions 2 episode on NBC. New judges Julianne Hough and Gabrielle Union join veterans Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel on the panel. Terry Crews from the Champion’s edition is the new host. We’re live blogging all the performances with video here.
Jonathan Burns – Comic contortionist – The show kicks off with Terry wheeling a suitcase out center stage. Jonathan is inside of it, folded up like a lawn chair! “Are you considered carry on?” quips Howie. He does a bit with 80s music and a toilet seat. Contortionists freak me out, to be honest. Next he pushes himself through a tennis racquet. The crowd goes wild, but it’s really kind of lame? He strips off clothing between each bit, tossing his 80s style headbands out to the judges. It ends with him stripping off his underwear out from his gym shorts. Not impressed. “We all want to see more!” says Gabrielle. “That was like Napoleon Dynamite,” but bendy, says Julianne. Howie calls him memorable. “Talent is about people having a great time,” says Simon. Jonathan has competed on the France Got Talent franchise – 4 yeses.
Benicio Bryant – Singer – Benicio says nobody in his family has any musical talent. He gets nervous watching Simon reject a young girl singing “Country Roads.” He claims to perform only at local coffee shops, like he’s never been on TV before. Benicio was the runner-up on The Voice Kids Germany in 2018. He also performed “The Joke” with Brandi Carlile on Late Night with Seth Meyers in 2018. He’s only 14, I won’t dunk on him for that. He reprises “The Joke,” for the AGT audience. He’s got great tone and range, and sings with surprising urgency for a tween. Julianne calls him the “entire package.” Gabrielle calls him “incredibly talented.” Howie calls him “amazing.” Simon saw how scared he was, “but you put it together.” Simon compares him to Harry Styles, “You’re a real find.” Yeah. Simon thought so much of Harry back when he auditioned for X Factor UK years ago, that he tossed him into a manufactured boyband. – 4 yeses
Sidenote: Julianne’s “smokey eyes” are a little scary.
Emerald Belles – High kick drill team – From Texas, the team members are high school students ages 14-18. The girls are VERY CHIRPY!!! And there are like…hundreds of them crawling out of the woodwork. It’s the attack of the high steppers. Major props on the music choice–Blue Monday by New Order–awesome 80s new wave. Their precision is spot on. So many of them moving like one. Some of the formations they make are downright creepy-crawly. The choreography is creative. Gabrielle says “You brought it.” (she starred in Bring it On a cheerleading movie). Julianne compliments their cohesiveness. Howie compares them unfavorably to the Rockettes. Hm. Other than the high kicks, this group is nothing like the Rockettes. Howie says no. The crowd boos. But the rest say yes. Finally, there is some dissension on this panel. – 1 no 3 yeses
Messoudi Brothers – Hand acrobatics – The trio’s parents formed a handstand act in Australia. The boys are following in their footsteps. The father used to be part of their act, before he retired a few months ago. The boys strip off their shirts before performing the harder bits. Nobody seems to mind. They pile on top of each other like a man-tower. These dudes are strong. At one point, they perform a configuration that seems impossible to hold! How do they keep their balance? “You delivered the WOW,” says Gabrielle. “You tick every single box,” says Simon. Julianne notes how special it is to work with a sibling (Derek!) Howie says, “You did an amazing job.” After receiving their yeses, they incorporate Terry into one last act! He’s really strong too. Check out the pec action. The trio competed on Arabs Got Talent earlier this year. – 4 yeses
Karamjit & Krawijit Singh – Danger act from India – One guy is HUGE. He’s got a size 20 foot and i 7′ 6″ tall. Apparently, he’s the tallest policeman in the world…or something. We previewed this act a few days ago (see the link above). What makes the act dangerous is that coconuts and melons are placed strategically around the body of the super tall man, while another smashes the fruit with a sledgehammer. The melon smasher has salt poured on his eyes before his partner places a blindfold and bag over his head. As the blindfolded man goes on a rampage with the sledge hammer, the tall guy smiles placidly throughout, until the hammer is close to his head, at which point he seems a tad nervous. The sledgehammer doesn’t always crack a melon when it comes down, but it also barely comes close to hurting the potential victim. Eep. Howie calls it crazy and dangerous. “I thought there was going to be death,” says Gabrielle. Julianne says, “It was delicious looking!” Simon calls it unbelievable. – 4 yeses
GFORCE – Tween girl group – These kiddos between the ages of 10-12 are from Canada and are SUPER BEST FRIENDS!!! They all have Spice Girls-like nicknames. They sing an original song about “going to the top together and never letting each other down.” It’s all very Kidz Bop with dance moves and rapping. Julianne loves their female empowerment. Gabrielle calls them “rock stars.” Hoo boy. Get a bunch of tween girls in a highly excitable and high stakes situation, and the tears will eventually come. And boy, do they. “You made me feel like a little girl again,” says Howie. – 4 yeses.
Adaline Bates – Singer – She’s 63 years old and has a 4 octave range. She joined a group at 17, but they broke up. After, she quit show business to raise children. Surprise! Y’all thought you were getting a straight musical act. After she introduces herself, Adaline mysteriously leaves the stage to “get ready.” When she FINALLY comes back, she’s dressed in a “Victor/Victoria” getup and then proceeds to put that 4 octave range to work. She performs both parts of the “Unforgettable” duet. This sort of thing in nothing new. Even on AGT, I’m pretty sure it’s been done before. “I love being surprised” Simon says after giving her a standing ovation. “You’re rad,” says Julianne. “I love it,” says Gabrielle. Howie compliments her range. “I want to say to both of you, it’s a yes,” says Simon – 4 yeses.
Ryan Niemiller – Comedian with a unique disability – This Indianapolis native was born with a “birth defect in my arms” as he describes it. He learned as a young person, if he made the jokes first, others couldn’t, or wouldn’t. “I used to juggle chainsaws,” he jokes. He wanted to be a wrestler and was going to call himself the “cripple threat.” Also: “My mom is Irish, and my dad was a lobster.” He’s a natural on stage. After he gets a standing ovation. Simon wonders why he hasn’t gotten a break. Ryan says he freaks out bookers. Simon tsks, “They have the disability, not you.” Howie calls him “brilliant, funny, a star…I believe you should be in the finals.” Gabrielle wants to know his tour dates. Julianne calls him the real deal. 4 yeses.
Light Balance Kids – LED Dancers – Former Britain’s Got Talent and America’s Got Talent contestants Light Balance from Ukraine has an offshoot made up of kids. The Light Balance director wants to give the children of Ukraine hope. Life there is still very hard, he says. It’s a cute act, with dancing to “Another One Bites the Dust.” There is also flying. It’s the usual awe-inspiring creativity we’ve come to expect from Light Balance. Gabrielle calls them “perfect.” Julianne is impressed with their “technicality.” Simon can’t believe the entire troupe is children. 4 yeses
Nicholas Wallace – Magician – Tonight, he will attempt to contact the OTHER SIDE. Mwahahaha. The act involves a creepy doll. Oh noes, He uncovers a rocking chair. It’s haunted! He tells the chair’s story this is obviously totally made up. He convinces Gabrielle to sit in the chair. As he blindfolds her, he instructs her to raise her limb when she feels a touch. When he touches the dolls arm, Gabrielle raises her arm. Is Gabrielle actually feeling a sensation that’s transmitted to the chair, via some sort of electronic device on the doll? Possibly. Julianne has no idea how that happened. Simon calls him “creepy” and “weird” as a compliment. Gabrielle explains her part of the act, “I got touched a bunch.” 3 yeses probably 4? Gabrielle never explicitly says.
Joseph Allen – Singer/Songwriter – 21 year old from Texas is a singer/songwriter. The youngest of 12 in a blended family, he believes he can do anything he sets his mind to. He has won motocross races. He taught himself how to produce music. He makes a deal with Terry. If he gets the Golden Buzzer, the host will come out on stage and hug him. Well, obviously that’s going to happen, because we’re at the end of the show. Duh. He performs an original song about how the world will know his name. It sounds a tad narcissistic, He Simon’s name into the rap. I’m trying to figure out why this bit is golden buzzer worthy. He wrote a clever, uplifting song with a ton of references to the show. At the end, he hits the floor, while bursting into tears. It’s all so very dramatic. Julianne is crying. She believes there is a generation of Millenials putting good out into the world. Simon calls Joseph’s energy “amazing.” Howie calls his smile “electric.” He says, “Life is a series of moments…blah blah blah.” OK it’s Howie in the hot seat tonight. Howie hits his golden buzzer for Joseph. Terry comes out to give him that hug.