After nine weeks of auditions, 55 contestants are ready to compete for a spot in the finale. Eleven contestants will perform each of five Qualifier rounds, with two leaving the competition by the end of Wednesday’s results show.
VOTING: To vote for your favorite act, download the official America’s Got Talent phone app at the Apple store and Google Play, and/or vote at nbc.com/activate. All voting methods CLOSE Wednesday 7 am ET.
Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara sit on the panel, while Terry Crews hosts.
Bayley Graham – Tap Dancer
Bayley’s accent is so thick, he could use some closed captions. He shouts excitedly while he dances to Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You.” He’s good. In this new routine, he works some steps before getting the audience to clap along with his taps. He’s doing a triple screened thing. This act is staged well, it’s easy to imagine him on a Broadway or Las Vegas stage. More Broadway, though.
Heidi thinks he has charisma and showmanship. Howie agrees. “This stage is lucky to have you. Vote America!” Sofia thought it was cool that he danced to Ed Sheeran. Simon, however, calls it “underwhelming. Hm. He was looking for a big finish. And a bigger staircase. Ok, then.
Acapop! – Kid acapella group
These kids were discovered by Pentatonix member Scott Hoying. One again, they will sing an original song. Like XOMG Pop!, they are a group of young kids. But they don’t make my teeth hurt. For a group of young people, they’re vocal stylings are mature. This new song is called “Glow,” maybe. Uh. Howie buzzed them? Why? He’s going to have to explain himself. They should NEVER buzz kids. And at the live stage, NOBODY should be buzzed.
Howie felt like he was at a school assembly. Geez. Heidi disagrees and is full of compliments for the message and solo performances particularly. Sofia liked their audition more, but she realizes that acapella singing is challenging. Simon thought they got better after the buzz. He didn’t like their styling or song choice. But he believes they have a lot of raw talent.
Jannick Holste – Magic and Dance
Last time, Jannick danced to Heidi’s single while making his dancers appear and disappear. He’s promising an even bigger dance party this time. He dreams of writing a song with Heidi. Hm. He descends to the stage in a ball of glitter. The act is pretty much what he did before, but with bigger production values. I guess dance combined with magic is an unusual thing? The magic itself isn’t all that impressive.
The judges are standing? Heidi calls him “everything…this is the best magic act…the best dance act…you’re so funny.” Simon compares him to a cream cake. “Way too much cream in the cake. The cake is the magic, the dancing is the cream. ‘The dancing was horrible.” Howie calls it cheesy and corny, but thinks Simon needs to lean into it. Sofia says, “You are great.”
Lee Collinson – Singer
Lee came all the way from England to sing in America. His mother is his biggest supporter–the panel called her after his audition last time. He’s singing “Flowers” by Lauren Spencer-Smith. His rendition of this song is very raw, almost conversational. His voice falters at times, but it works in this emotional setting. I might like this version better than Lauren’s, because it’s less dramatic and more heartfelt. Lauren tends to chew the scenery.
Simon really likes him, but he didn’t like this. “It sounded like you were reading a letter.” Yes, his conversational singing made the performance more poignant. Howie calls the song choice boring. Heidi liked it. “It was different.” Sofia calls him adorable. But the song was disappointing. I disagree with everyone. His performance was moving.
Jack Williams – Ventriloquist
He struggled as a performer until he hit social media. But Ventriloquists are meant to perform live, he says. He’s got a new puppet this week, named Dale. He’s like a hillbilly…or something. Oh, wait a minute. His puppet from last time is in a corner stirring up trouble. “Terry Fator is crying right now.” He does a trick where he and the puppet are seemingly talking at the same time. Here’s the thing, Technically, Jack is a good ventriloquist. But he needs a partner to help him write his bits. He’s confusing and weird.
Howie thinks he lacks originality. “I wasn’t blown away, but you’re really good.” Heidi thought the voices mostly sounded similar. Sofia loved it. Simon thought he stepped it up this time. “It was really clever…funny…this has been the best act by a mile tonight.” If Jack advances and the vastly more original Celia Munoz doesn’t, I’m gonna cut a b.
Metaphysic – Deepfake technology
The act is a company that develops “deepfake” technology. Last time, they brought Daniel Emmet out to sing into a funny camera, which projected a “deepfake” of Simon on a video screen. This week, Simon, Terry, Howie, sing Nessun Dorma. It’s so CREEPY LOOKING. It’s triple the uncanny valley this time. Because, it looks ALMOST real. But somehow alien. Daniel came back, but I’m not sure who the other two singers are. Terry’s guy is Black, too.
Simon is almost speechless. “This is not the best act of the night…it’s the best act of the series!” Howie says “It’s like Il Divo, but Il stupido. He jokes that they used his real voice.” Heidi call it an “epic moment.” Sofia calls it “scary” and “fascinating.” They promise to bring the greatest rock act ever next time, and maybe Heidi and Sofia will sing. Viewers may vote them through just to see what happens next.
The Lazy Generation – Comic pranks
The group is the UK version of Jack***, if you’re into that sort of thing…and Simon is. They start off in tutus dancing to the Nutcracker, and then rip them off as if to say, “None of that gay s*** here.” The rest of the routine is a bunch of random pranks that look painful. Their big finale is a game of tug-of-war over a cactus garden, which brings Simon to his feet. This is terrible.
“I thought that was beautiful,” says Simon. He calls it a step up, and not to everyone’s liking. Sofia buzzed them. “It’s unnecessary pain.” Howie calls it “nuts.” Heidi calls it a hot mess, but admits that she couldn’t look away.
Merissa Beddows – Opera, singing impressions
Merissa has been doing characters since she was little, but as she got older she sang opera. Oh. She’s telling her mother’s story. She’s very sick. Merissa started a GoFundMe for her.
She’s performing her impressions, but without the gimmicky cube and judges participation, which Simon didn’t like. The gimmick added humor to her act. Now it’s just a series of impressions. Which are very good! But this isn’t going to propel her into the finale. She needs comedy.
Sofia wished she had created a “little story” like in her audition. She’s correct. Simon didn’t like her video package. “We don’t know you properly.” Merissa insists that AGT means the “entire world to me. I haven’t had a better experience than this one.” Regardless, Simon thinks it’s better than her audition. Howie said without the gimmick, he didn’t recognize some of the impressions. I recognized all of them, but Howie has a point.
Harper – Kid heavy metal singer
Her metal AGT audition got over 20 million views. She admits that she hated metal music until she started singing it. This time she’s covering Ed Sheeran’s “Bad Habits” metal style. This is actually kind of funny. The kid is having a blast up there. It’s not great, but she puts everything into it.
Howie thinks there is an audience for what she does. Heidi doesn’t love death metal, but Harper is fascinating to watch. Simon enthused, “I loved that performance.” He loved her personality and song choice. It’s something people will talk about, and he likes that. “You’re gutsy.”
Mike E Winfield – Comedian
In his audition, Mike joked about being married to an older woman with a son who is close to his age. He shares that his mother passed away two years ago to cancer. No comedians have advanced to the finale yet. He comes on wearing comically large sunglasses. More “step-man” jokes. These jokes are only mildly amusing, but he’s selling them. He’s in “the zone.”
Heidi thinks he may be the comedian to advance to the finale. Sofia hopes people vote for him. “Your jokes are so relatable.” Simon calls the evening “strange” and believes Mike finally brought “star quality.” He adds, “i think America will put you through to the finale.” Howie says if he doesn’t make it to the finale, he’s invited to open for him on a date. The judges are pushing Mike hard.
Lily Meola – Singer-songwriter – Heidi Klum Buzzer
Lily had a major label record deal, then her mother got sick and she dropped everything to take care of her. Things fell apart after that. When her mother died, a butterfly landed on her face. She even has a video of it. She wrote tonight’s song “Butterfly” just a few weeks ago. Lily isn’t the best singer in the competition, but she’s a solid songwriter. But I’m not sure she did enough to advance.
Heidi hopes to see her at the finale. Simon calls singing originals a risk. “100 percent the right decision.” He thinks this song is better than her audition. Sofia calls her “always emotional.” Howie doesn’t think the song blew the roof off the place. And he believes that’s what she needed to do.