America’s Got Talent returns to NBC tonight with Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and new judge, Sofia Vergara. Heidi returns to summer AGT after a season off the panel. Terry Crews hosts. See the new acts vying for the 1 million dollar prize.
UPDATE: Due to coverage of a huge protest rally in Boston, our AGT blog will be delayed.
On Tuesday, many entertainment sites went dark or only posted resources connected to #BlackLivesMatter. For instance, the NBC Youtube pages didn’t update until early this morning. My local NBC affiliate in Boston covered a huge protest rally all during primetime. They cut to World of Dance for a bit, but didn’t stay there long before breaking in to cover a speech from the mayor of Brockton.
The episode begins with a black card that reads “Courage: the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, without fear: persevere.” Perhaps a nod to recent events. In any case, Gabrielle Union is somewhere, giving off a big ole side eye.
Divas and Drummers of Compton – Dancers and a drum line – The group started as an after school program. The groups give kids a chance to explore their creativity. After college, the director came back to her hometown to work with kids. Her goal is to help them obtain college scholarships. The group consists of an energetic drum line accompanied by very fierce dancers. The little kids are super cute! Simon loved “every single part of that audition. It was fantastic.” Sofia says “Even the little one is so good.” It’s exactly what Heidi wants to see on AGT. Howie calls the group inspiring. “You epitomize what the show is about.” 4 yeses.
Thomas Day – Singer – He’s a singer with over 400K followers on TikTok. Nashville native, he’s a junior in high school, and currently plays three sports. The NFL is recruiting him? Wouldn’t that be colleges out scouting at the high school level? But music helps him connect to his emotional side. He actually prefers music over sports. He sings “Breaking my Heart” by Finneas with an odd tone and pronounced waver. He’s not a great singer. But he does infuse the performance with enough teen-aged angst to get the young girls swooning. Simon is on his feet giving a big thumbs up. He wants another Harry Styles, probably. Sofia calls him handsome, “I loved it.” She’s impressed that a sports guy would like music. Howie thought it looked nervous and stiff. Don’t boo him! He’s CORRECT. Simon notes the room’s enthusiasm. But then
pretends to waffle. He finally says yes. Howie says no. Sofia, Heidi and Simon say Yes.
Sofia says, as a new judge, that she can’t wait to hit her “buzzers.” So here we go!
Jordan Perez – Comic singer – He jumps off a drum kit before landing in front of his piano to play and sing. He’s so off key! He gets buzzed when he jumps up to dance.
Chad Damiani – Comedian – Clown, improv artist and writer performs and teaches in Los Angeles. I have no idea what’s going on here. He’s buzzed while he reads his bio out of a book he’s holding. BUZZ
Matt Harbert – Comedian – Actor and comedian performs improv and sketch comedy in Los Angeles. He’s playing some weird instrument? Sofia wonders if it’s a toilet plunger. More buzzes.
Erin Byrne – Comic singer – She studies economics and art in college. She’s only performed in front of friends and family. She’s very very serious, until she starts singing Total Eclipse of the Heart…with her mouth closed. The buzzing is swift and furious. Simon says, “I would stick with the economics.” I suspect a sorority dare brought Erin to AGT.
Frenchie Babyy – Hip Hop dancer – He’s from San Francisco. He also goes by Kidd Strobe. He started dancing after watching a dance battle on his street. His super strict parents don’t approve of his dancing. Consequently, he doesn’t talk to them any more. He dreams of his parents in the audience watching him dance in the finale. He’s a hip hop pop and locker with an EXTREME ability to contort his limbs. It’s icky to look at–for me, anyway. Sofia is kinda freaked out. Simon is grinning from ear to ear. He calls him “really creative.” Howie thinks he took it to another level. Simon suggests that they call his parents. RIGHT NOW. The phone rings and rings. Commercial break! Will mom pick up? This has to be a set up. When she finally picks up, and Simon is on the other end, she doesn’t seem at all surprised. Simon shares that Frenchie got 4 yeses, and she freaks out. Mom finally approves with a fifth yes. – 4 yeses.
Usama Siddiquee – Comedian – He’s a Bengali American stand-up comedian based in New York. He was on his way to med school, when he decided to do comedy instead. His immigrant parents were not happy, to say the least. So far, he’s lived hand to mouth. He hopes AGT can help his career. He does the typical “Osama” jokes. He’s mildly amusing. He tells a joke about an open relationship he had. Which is odd. The judges are on their feet. Sofia calls it “very funny…you did a great job.” Howie calls him likeable. He appreciates his confidence. Heidi wanted more. Simon calls his timing “perfect.” 4 yeses
Kelvin Dukes – Singer – Young singer from Washington DC. The 14 year old describes himself as talkative and energetic. He sings ALL THE TIME! Dad becomes a little teary describing how proud he is. He wants to sing! But he’d also like to become a dentist. OK then. He performs a confident rendition of Aretha Franklin’s “Ain’t No Way.” I don’t think his voice has changed yet. He sings with an easy, clear tone and the confidence of a kid who loves performing. He’s still a little pageant-y at this point, though. Heidi calls him “awesome..” She says, “You did it justice.” Howie burps. OOPS. He calls Kevin “amazing.” Sofia calls it “perfection.” Simon says “You really have got a special talent.” Howie says it’s a no…to dentistry. 4 yeses
Bello Sisters – Hand Balancers – Loren, Celine and Joline Bello are acrobats from Italy. They are very close, but very different, the girls say. They range in ages 13-22. Their mom was the first acrobat to cross the high wire on stilts. It was their dad’s dream to perform in Vegas. The act is hand balancing. But with three people, they build impressive configurations with their bodies. The show of strength and balance is impressive. Woah. at one point, the girls are twisted up like a pretzel. It looks like a leg is gonna break. Wow. So dangerous–which is a thing Simon loves. Sofia calls it breathtaking and surprising. Howie didn’t think it looked humanly possible. Girl power! says Heidi. She notes their grace and elegance. Simon brings dad on stage. “You may be one step closer to Vegas,” Simon says. 4 yeses
Roberta Battaglia – Singer – Ten year old Canadian singer is from a musical family. Her dad is an engineer at a radio station. But he also sings. She’s wanted to be on AGT since she was very little. On stage, she immediately begins fangirling over Sofia. If she wins a million dollars she wants to give her dog Happy “a little girlfriend.” She’s so nervous, she begins crying. She has to compose herself with water. She settles down once she begins to sing Lady Gaga’s “Shallow.” Her Youtube version of the song has already amassed 2 million views. Her vocal is very mature for a 10 year old. VERY mature. At this point, she’s imitating Gaga. But she’s only 10. She’s got a ton of potential. She breaks down and cries afterward. Howie calls her “unbelievable.” Simon teases, “That wasn’t you singing…” He calls her likeable and humble. She admits that she gets bullied at school sometimes. Sofia calls it amazing and breathtaking. “Let’s see who is going to bully you after this….” OH SOFIA HITS HER GOLDEN BUZZER. Roberta goes straight to the live shows in Hollywood.
Florian Sainvet – Magician – French magician came in 3rd on France Got Talent. He performs a lightning quick sleight of hand with CDs. They appear, disappear and then break apart. It’s fun to watch. Dude has skillz! The crowd eats it up. Heidi calls it original. Simon compliments his stage presence – Simon says he has 3 yeses. So Howie said no?
Jennifer and Daiquiri – Dog act – Jennifer runs Paradise Kennels, a luxury dog kennel in Calgary Canada. Her doggo is adorable. The two do a wizard themed routine with hoops and a little bit of magic. A curtain rises and drops, and suddenly a different pupper appears! He jumps through a teeny tiny hoop. The curtain goes back up, and Daiquiri reappears. This is a very clever dog act. Simon is the first on his feet. Sofia wonders if the dog is a robot. Aw. The little dog is cute too. Howie calls it “David Pupperfield.” Hardee har har! – 4 yeses.
Simon and Maria – Kid ballroom dancers – They are best friends! But not a couple. Twelve and 10 years old, they were both born in Colombia. Sofia, also from Colombia, is very excited. The two dance a Latin style salsa. I’ve seen better coordination and precision, even from kid dancers. Simon is not very light on his feet. But he’s hammy, and the crowd loves it. Sofia loved their energy. Simon appreciates their chemistry. “I think our audience will fall in love with you.” Heidi calls them “super entertaining.” Howie calls them a “ray of sunshine.” After, Sofia conducts a dance lesson for Howie and Heidi. 4 yeses
Bonavega – Glam rocker – Originally from Toledo, he currently lives in Los Angeles. His parents were so strict growing up, he had to get out of Ohio. He performs an original song which he describes as “the story of my life.” He throws off a bathrobe to reveal a sparkly showgirl outfit. His act is dated. But he’s very uninhibited on stage. He makes his way to the judges table to throw his crotch in their faces. This verges on a joke act. But his guitar and vocal skills are on point. He’s got musical talent. Simon looks dumbfounded. Howie calls him the surprise of the season. Heidi loves everything about him. Sofia likes his muscles. Bonevega loves providing an escape for the audience. “This was fun, I’m going to remember you,” Simon says. 4 yeses