America’s Got Talent 2021 Premiere Recap and Live Blog (Video)

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- "1601" -- Pictured: The Canine Stars -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)
Pictured: The Canine Stars — (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

America’s Got Talent returns to NBC tonight with Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara on the judges panel. Terry Crews hosts. See the new acts vying for the 1 million dollar prize.

America’s Got Talent 2021: Singing Trio 1aChord Wow the Judges (Video)
America’s Got Talent 2021: Dustin Tavella Sentimental Magic (Video)
America’s Got Talent 2021 Auditions 1 Spoilers – Meet the Acts (Photos)

Simon Cowell is back, and he’s wearing shorts. WHITE SHORTS. I think I’m scared. “The gang is back together,” says the gang. 

AGAIN. Weird shots of an “audience.” Due to COVID protocols, the audience in the Pasadena Civic Auditorium while filming auditions back in March and April was very LIMITED. But hey. Let’s pretend!

ETA: Did AGT producers consider how weird it looked to have the auditorium seemingly filled to the rafters with unmasked audience members? This, while crew members on stage wore masks, and in some cases, face shields? At one point Simon told an act that they had “4,000 yeses,” presumably referring to a phantom audience. Heidi turned around to see how the “audience” felt about an act. 

There WAS a limited number of spectators in the auditorium, but according to reports from Pasadena officials, it was limited, including mostly crew members. 

The Masked Singer had a “fake audience” as well. The producers insisted it’s what fans want–a sense of normalcy. But it’s quite startling to have members of a choir, made up of nurses, describe how they endured the worst of the pandemic, juxtaposed with an unmasked “audience” seemingly crammed into the auditorium. The absurd Masked Singer gets away with the deception. America’s Got Talent–maybe not.

The Canine Stars – Dog Act 

These doggos are part of an all-rescue group. There’s a panel set up onstage with pups imitating the four judges. The first puppy is terrible. Pup Simon buzzes him. EVERYBODY SAYS NO to the poor doggy. Next, the real show starts. DOGGO TRICKS FOR EVERYONE. The pup panel loves it. The act employed real audie of the judges tossing out their stock phrases. It’s pretty clever. HAHA PUP HEIDI pushes her golden buzzer. The trainer faints, and the doggo performs CPR. Very cute and different act. Real Simon calls it “genius.” Howie calls it the best animal act ever on the show. Way to suck up to the judges! – 4 Yeses

Peter Rosalita – Kid Singer

Ten year old singer explains that he was born in the Middle East, but is of Filipino heritage. He sings “All By Myself” by Eric Carmen, but the verse is too low for him. He belts the chorus. However, his tone is so trembly, and he has pitch problems. He nails the Star Search moment. That will probably save him. Howie calls him “cute” and “amazing” and thinks he will go far in the competition. “Mariah better watch out,” says Heidi. The audition gave Simon goosebumps. “Everyone is going to fall in love with you.” 4 yeses

That’s a no from me…

Brian Pankey – Juggler – Brian has been juggling for years, but he made mistakes. He claims on his website that he’s appeared on all the major talk shows. Humiliating that only Sofia said yes. NOPE

Elektro Botz – Hip Hop Dancers – Howie compared them to a high school show. Heidi said, “You aren’t professionals, right?” Oops they are professional dancers. Adding more insult–Simon buzzed them. 4 nos

Aiden Bryant – Aerialist

Only 16 years old, Aiden has been working with hoops and silks, inspired by P!nk. He’s from a small town, and didn’t want to hunt and fish with the other boys. After watching P!nk do ariel stuff, he hung silks in his family’s backyard tree and taught himself. His mom describes how Aiden struggled in school. She worried about his future. Today, Aiden works on a hoop. And for an amateur, he’s very good. It’s hard to believe he’s self taught. And what a backstory! Heidi calls him “incredible.” Sofia says it looks like he comes from generational talent. Howie says the message is “just go for it.” Simon calls the audition “ridiculously good.” – 4 yeses

Mr. Cherry and Chikki – Comedian

The duo hail from Japan. Mr. Cherry describes himself as “Guinness World Records Record Breaker Comedian.” He’s broken 22 records, but his parents never approved. Tonight, he will break another record–for cracking walnuts. Oh no. There aren’t enough walnuts on stage. The staff come out to add more. In the meantime, the panel are full of nut puns. Whoopie. Finally, 80 walnuts are on stage. He must crush 72 in 30 seconds. AND HE DOES IT WITH HIS BUTT. But he missed a nut! Still, he broke the record. Sofia thinks she can crack the last nut with her butt. FAILURE. “I want to see Mr. Cherry do more things with his nuts,” says Simon. Howie doesn’t get it. He says no. Sofia changed her mind. She says yes. Heidi says no. THE FAKE CROWD BOOS. 2 yeses, 2 nos.

BROOKE SIMPSON SIGHTING. The Voice finalist auditioned for AGT.

Northwell Nurse Choir – HOWIE’S GOLDEN BUZZER!

This is the act that Howie said on the Today Show would make the audience cry. The group are nurses first, singers second. The pandemic was horrific, the death and illness could be overwhelming. Hey people who think Covid is fake. Maybe listen to these nurses. They’ve been through it. It’s been a dark and trying time, one said, but music has been “a beacon of hope.” The 18 singers who make up the group sing “Lean on Me” mashed up with “Stand By Me.” There’s choreography! And the soloists are pretty good. This is purely feel good stuff. STANDING OVATION FROM THE FAKE CROWD!!! “We need you, the world needs you,” says Simon. “I’m going to remember this audition.” Sofia calls it “beautiful” and “heartfelt.” Heidi had chills.

Howie calls them heroic. AND HOWIE HITS HIS GOLDEN BUZZER. He was gushing about them SO MUCH in a recent Today show interview, that he gave his game away, pretty much. 

Keith Apicary – Comedian? Gamer?

He’s going to dance, or something. Actually, he mocks gamers on his Youtube. LOL. The staff dude is wearing a face mask and a shield. And we’re supposed to believe the audience is filled to the rafters with unmasked AGT fans. His dancing is pretty stupid. He’s got some Pee Wee Herman vibes going. He ends falling off the stage. And for some reason, Howie and Simon loved it. It’s inexplicable, but the judges love him. No doubt, he’s got nothing else after that. – 4 yeses

That’s a no from me…

Katie Kusiciel –  Comedian – It’s hard to tell what she’s doing in the production still. Oh. She’s a jello wrestler. Simon buzzes her. In real life, actually, Katie is a stand up comedian. – NOPE

Gerald Kelly & Lil Hunter Kelly – Comedians

He’s been working in the biz for 30 years, but still isn’t where he wants to be. Now that he’s a father, he’s bringing his kids into the act. Tonight’s shtick pits father against son in a comedy off. LOTS OF FAMILIAL TRASH TALKING HAPPENING. Lil Hunter is only 7. Dad goes first, going with a parent centered routine. THE FAKE CROWD LOVES IT. His timing is very professional. I’m not laughing at the jokes, though. Howie calls him really likable, but he didn’t love the material. That’s where I’m at. Heidi, on the other hand, loves the material. Simon thought it was uneven, but overall he liked it. – 4 yeses. 

Lil Hunter – Comedian son –  Next, comedian son takes the stage, and the judges pretend they have no idea what’s going on. “I’m way better than my dad.” Lil Hunter insists. COMMERCIAL BREAK FOR DRAMA. Hunter says dad needs “more personality.” He calls dad “a loser” because “I’m 7 years old and we have the same job.” Kid needs to work on his timing. At one point he just stops. Oops. Stage fright. Why put a young kid on stage like that? It’s too much pressure. Sofia calls him “adorable.” Howie points out that he went blank, but covered well. “You were a star.” Simon notes that he’s the same age as his son, Eric. Simon acknowledges the non-existent “crowd” and declares “that’s about 4,ooo yeses.”  Uhm… – 4 yeses

1achord – Singing Trio

This college trio only got together a few months ago! The three UNC college students sing a beautifully harmonious version of Coldplay’s “Fix You.” Eventually, the arrangement takes on a gospel flavor. One of the group plays piano. Talented singers, these three. Heidi calls it the beginning of an amazing journey. Howie calls them a 3 man choir. Sofia marvels at their potential. She compares them to “angels falling from the AGT Xs.” Simon calls the audition “perfect.” NBC previewed this audition a few days ago – 4 yeses.

Dustin Tavella – Magician

Virginia Beach magician performs a routine that revolves around the sentimental journey he and his wife took adopting their son. It’s the typical magic act: The judges and host pick names and words, which Dustin reveals later seemingly out of thin air. But he spins it into an emotional narrative about him and his wife finally adopting a little boy. When he was only months old, his birth mother entrusted the couple to raise him. Lot’s of tears. Simon says “Everything about this was perfection and magical.” 4 yeses

Sethward – Animal Impersonator

This will be Sethward’s fourth shot at AGT. And you know he keeps coming back because Simon loves him. His thing is doing weird stuff in weird animal costumes. Hilariously, the framing is dead serious, about poor Sethward A JOKE ACT who just keeps on keeping on. This time, he lands on stage from the ceiling, dressed as a demented peacock. It takes Simon about 10 seconds to buzz him. After his tail falls off, Heidi buzzes him. CHAOS ENSUES as he flies off a rock. Heidi calls it a hot mess. Howie loved it, he says yes. Sofia says yes. HEIDI ASKS THE FAKE AUDIENCE WHAT TO DO LOL. They fake scream. AND FINALLY SEITHWARD GETS 4 YESES


About mj santilli 34858 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!