America’s Got Talent auditions continue on 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.
Emerald Gordon Wulf – Contortionist – Thirteen year old contortionist has appeared on Toddlers & Tiaras and Little Big Shots. She cleverly makes her entrance crawling out of a vanity drawer. Yes, she’s THAT bendy. She ends her act operating a blowdart to pop a balloon. AGT introduced her to contortionism. And while she isn’t as skilled as some previous performers, she’s creatively bendy and very entertaining. – 4 yeses
Bank of Harmony – Barbershop quartet won CW’s Christmas Carol Challenge. They appeared on Spike TV’s Caraoke Showdown (produced by Howie Mandel). I love vocal groups. But barbershop quartets, not so much. This group attempts to update their sound, performing pop songs with jazz chord progressions. Unfortunately, the singing was flat and the presentation corny. were flat. Ouch. They get buzzed. Simon calls them dated. They actually WON a CW talent show, which is hard to believe. I wonder if producers forced them to sing that dud song. 4 NOS
Resound – Gospel trio – Jessica Fox, Joseph Clarke, Mariah Hargrove are all worship leaders from Richmond, Virginia who come together to sing gospel songs. They have a fairly decent online following. The trio performs “What the World Needs Now.” Simon and Howie gush over the harmonies. The barbershop guys served only as a contrast to this group, who sing in beautiful perfect harmony. They soar on the chorus. Simon is on his feet, “I love your voices so much.” He calls their joy infectious. Heidi calls them flawless. Howie calls them a well tuned machine. Sofia jokes that she wants to get married again so they can walk her down the aisle. Simon wants them to come out next time with something that raises the roof. Notable: They do their own arrangements. – 4 yeses
Amanda LaCount – Dancer – She’s a professional dancer with a body positive message. Her mom gave up “everything” so she could move to Los Angeles. Amanda loves dance, but as a big girl, she’s encountered so much resistance. But she stuck with it and now inspires other grils to follow their dance dreams. Simon scoffs at people who criticized Amanda’s weight. (Meanwhile, on American Idol, Simon told female singers they needed to lose weight on the reg.) Amanda is comfortable in her own body which is a good thing! Heidi buzzes her though. Oops. The crowd, however, is on her side. Howie and Heidi are skeptical. Simon says “I’m going to be honest with you…” And since it’s NOT 15 years ago, he gushes over Amanda, rather than advising her to find another profession. Sofia gives her a yes. Howie is convinced by the crowd, and also says yes. – Heidi says no, the rest say yes.
A few quick clips: Barbara Argyrou, a teen pop singer and NewLaw, a singing group of three Canadian brothers, get 4 nos. In both cases, the judges say nerves tanked their performances.
Daneliya Tuleshova – Singer – Thirteen year old singer from Kazakhstan won the 4th season of The Voice Kids Ukraine. She also competed on the short lived CBS talent show, World’s Best in 2019. She really wants to be an American pop star! But she is very very scared of Simon Cowell. Performing Faouzia’s “Tears of Gold,” she’s a tiny girl with a mature sounding voice. And like most young singers, her style is very imitative. But the big voiced kiddos are ALWAYS crowd pleasers. Heidi compliments her “swag.” Howie compares her to a caterpillar that changes into a butterfly, while Sofia calls her “possessed.” Simon notes the youngsters are “in” these days. He calls her performance “incredible.” – 4 yeses
Marty Ross – Comedian – He goes by the moniker “The Wrinkled Rebel.” He was in the clothing industry for 50 years. Now at the golden age at 80, he’s turned to comedy. Oh noes. He tells a bunch of old age jokes. The audience is pretty quiet at first. But he warms them up and eventually wins them over. Once the Covid is over, he should work the nursing home circuit. He gets a little naughty at the end, which the judges love. Howie thinks there’s a place for him in comedy. Heidi has been nice to the comics this season. In the past, she hated them. – 4 yeses
Celina – Singer – Daughter of a musician, Celina loves her dad because he accepts her just as she is, in all her boyish ways. She’s very afraid of being judged. But she’s going to put herself out there anyway. Her day job is working security for a casino. Unsurprisingly, she’s a good singer, belting out Shawn Mendes’ “Mercy” with a throaty alto. The crowd is on her side. She reminds me of Queen Latifah, but without the Queen’s confidence. Celina ends the song on her knees, crying. Heidi thinks she could go far in the competition. Howie assures the singer that she looks cool. Simon thinks she’s got a “glow” about her. He warns her to stay away from stylists. – 4 yeses
The Demented Brothers – Magic Act – The pair competed on France’s Got Talent. The schtick: They don’t talk. A taped robotic voice chats with the judges. They’re funny too! The tricks are old fashioned, but presented very cleverly. Simon is totally confused. The audience boos. Heidi calls it the best magic she’s ever seen. Sofia agrees, but hesitates for some reason. The crowd chants for her to say yes – Simon says no, the rest say yes
Shakir and Rehan Khan – Hip hop duo from India are cousins and hail from a small town. The act competed on the Indian competition, Stage Vibe. They enter the stage with an interpreter who explains that it’s the duo’s first time in America. The act is mostly the older cousin swinging the younger dancer around like a rag doll. But gracefully! That little one is fearless. Heidi name checks Champions winner, V. Unbeatable, who also tossed around their little ones. Simon calls them likeable, he loves their chemistry – 4 yeses
David Rush – Juggler – MIT trained electrical engineer has busted a slew of Guiness Book of World Records. He’s broken over 125 records. Terry challenged David to a t shirt ripping contest. Hm. Those shirts have to be pre-slit? And in the end, Terry’s muscles didn’t help him. David won the contest. Howie doesn’t think it’s a talent. Simon wants to know what he’ll do next. Of course he wants something dangerous. David promises a lawnmower bit or slicing kiwis with a samurai sword. Unimpressed, Howie and Sofia say no
Cristina Rae – Singer – Nashville native is classically trained. She auditioned for AGT to change her and her 3 year old son’s life. Cristina lived in her car while she was pregnant. She works in a body salon “I melt people’s fat,” she explains. Simon perks up! She divas up Phil Collins “In the Air.” Her high notes are kind of screechy. The audience is going wild, but I’m not as impressed. Simon wants to hear another song…and we go to commercial. After the break, Simon instructs Cristina to deliver an encore moment. She sings “Give Me Shelter.” Hm. She can hit high notes, but she lacks control. THERE WERE SO MANY HIGH NOTES. The room is on their feet. Heidi and Sofia get goosebumps. “You blew the roof off,” says Howie. Simon calls her “insanely good.” And Heidi hits her Golden Buzzer. Good thing she got to do that before she got sick! The confetti falls as Jennifer Hudson sings “I’ll Fight.”