America’s Got Talent 2020 Best Auditions
Welp, we’ve certainly had an interesting 2020 so far, haven’t we? As the 7 episodes of AGT so far have aired, we’ve seen the progression of COVID-19 flash before our eyes. The first few episodes had full audiences. Then Heidi Klum dropped off the panel. Then the audiences went away. And by the end, auditions were filmed from home. The good(?) news is that unlike American Idol, which had an amazing cast this year that was screwed over by the virus, this year’s crop of acts on AGT leaves much to be desired, and so I feel less bad about a messed up season.
I’ll be honest – if I wasn’t podcasting/writing about AGT, I’d have probably given up on this season a few episodes back. The auditions seem to be getting worse every year, with more and more focus on backstories and inspiration p**n and less and less focus on actual talent.
Hell, Howie Mandel’s golden buzzer, Brandon Leake’s entire act was pretty much standing on stage and reciting a sad story. But even a lackluster season has to have a few standouts, right? Right? Yep. Right. And I’m going to go into my top 10 favorite auditions of the season below. I’m ranking them based on who I liked the best, not who I think is going to win (gun to my head, I think Cristina Rae is the favorite at this point).
Here we go!
America’s Got Talent Season 15 Top 10 Auditions
10) Malik DOPE Drummer – Drummer – This drummer from Washington DC probably has no chance of winning but was, for me, the standout of episode 1. His act was drumming and dancing combined and was super high energy. Assuming the live shows are in a studio and have the usual level of production, Malik could make it to the final.
9) Sheldon Riley – Singer – Sheldon has a special place in my heart, given that he was part of the last season of X Factor Australia that featured Adam Lambert as a judge. Then he went on to do The Voice AU twice. Is he the best singer? No, he’s not. Will he win? No way in hell. But I can’t help but root for him anyway because he’s unique and was on other shows I like better than this one.
8) Archie Williams – Singer – Archie was locked up for decades for a crime he didn’t commit. He’s got a pretty strong voice, but my favorite part of the audition was exposure for The Innocence Project, a nonprofit that does amazing work exonerating people like Archie. Archie is probably a lock for the finale, but I’d be surprised if he won.
7) Kelvin Dukes – Kid Singer – On my podcast, Adam said that Kelvin reminded him of Quintavious Johnson from AGT Season 10. And honestly, that’s a good comparison. Quintavious made it to fifth place. I expect Kelvin won’t make it quite as far, but I definitely enjoyed him. Plus, another DC local!
6) Noah Epps – Dancer – He’s a possessed version of Merrick Hanna from a few years back. The makeup was really cool and the routine was super creative, albeit quite unsettling. I have to say, I liked it better than any other dance act this year.
5) Winston – Magician – My favorite magic act this year is Winston. His trick with cards appearing out of nowhere was cool, but what set it apart was that he made an abstract story out of it, like the cards were taking over his body. I loved this.
4) Alex Hooper – Comedian – The only comedian that got me to laugh out loud this year was returning roast comic Alex Hooper. I loved his audition two years ago, and I loved his audition this year as well. I don’t think he’ll make the final, but I’d love to be wrong.
3) Roberta Battaglia – Kid Singer – This kid’s got pipes, experience, and a golden buzzer from Sophia Vergara. I hated that they pretended she hasn’t gone viral before, and that she was nervous. But if I ignore the (fake) story and focus on the talent, Roberta is unquestionably one of the top 3 acts this season.
2) Cristina Rae – Singer – Cristina got Heidi’s golden buzzer, and I think she’s a frontrunner to win. She has an amazing voice, a good story, and Simon Cowell walked up and told her she’s one of the best singers ever on the show. Do I agree? That doesn’t matter. AGT is pushing her for a reason.
1) Nolan Neal – Singer-songwriter – My favorite audition of the season came from Nolan Neal. Apparently he had a story, but I didn’t watch it at all. I just listened to his original song. And he’s got an amazing voice. The song is good too – I’ve had it on repeat for the past few weeks. Can he win? No. I doubt he’ll even make top 10. Singers like Nolan are usually bussed in round two of live shows, and AGT is a show of patterns, for better or worse.
Tonight’s America’s Got Talent (July 21) features the best of the auditions. Watch to find out how our list matches up with the producer’s picks. Next week (July 28) are the one week only Judge Cuts. America’s Got Talent airs on NBC on Tuesday’s at 8 pm ET/PT.