America’s Got Talent 2022 Recap: Qualifiers Begin! (Live Blog)

America's Got Talent
Pictured: Amazing Veranica & Her Incredible Friends (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

After nine weeks of auditions, 54ish contestants are ready to compete for a spot in the finale. Eleven contestants will perform over five weeks, with two leaving the competition by the end of Wednesday’s results show.

VOTING begins this week. 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 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. 

America’s Got Talent 2022 Qualifiers 1: Find Out Who is Performing
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Amoukanama – Acrobatics

These acrobats traveled all the way from West Guinea Africa to compete on AGT. They hope to make a better life for their families. Group members enter the stage from all over the auditorium. One member performs a flip over the judges table. It’s high energy from the start, but loses a little steam as the routine proceeds.

Howie is seeing them for the first time, as he missed several days of filming due to COVID. “You guys are sick!” he says. Heidi is impressed that they don’t have a choreographer. Sofia says, “This was another level.” Simon loved their audition and thinks they got even better.

Amazing Veranica & Her Incredible Friends – Dog Act

The trainer is only 12 years old and lives on a farm with her parents. They have over 100 animals, but her favs are the dogs. Her pups are very cute and (mostly) obedient. She also does a quick change thing with them, that’s different and dang adorable. She brings a dog up to the judges table to perform “close up” tricks. The show has had many dog acts, but this one has an extra cute factor going for it, plus a few unique twists.

Sofia admires Veranica’s control. The dogs are going crazy on stage during the critique! Simon calls the act “magic” and better than her audition. “The mistakes are adorable,” says Howie. Heidi calls it an “overload of cuteness.”

Ava Swiss – Singer

Ava’s backstory is devastating–she and her brother experienced a deadly school shooting in Oxford, Michigan. She sings “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken” by P!nk. She starts off a little rocky. The verses are a little low for her and she’s off pitch. But the chorus soars. She chose a dramatic, emotional song, but maybe it wasn’t the best choice for her. Nevertheless, the crowd is on their feet.

Heidi congratulates her for nailing the song. She mentions the wide vocal range required (Actually, she did not nail it). Sofia noted how connected she was to the performance. Simon calls her gutsy and calls the song “a statement.” Howie calls her inspiring and resilient.

Terry announces the act that one the four-way vote for the 55th qualifiers spot. And it’s comedian Jordan Conley. I was not expecting him to win. He’ll compete on week 5.

Ben Lapidus – Comic Singer

For his audition, Ben sang a very very stupid song about parmesan cheese. The judges buzzed him off, and then an obviously coached crowd chanted to save him. And here he is. This time, he begins singing a serious song. Then rips off his clothes revealing a leather boy outfit before launching into the Parmesan Cheese song again. It’s even stupider than the first time. “Guess what, big Parma. We are not going to be embarrassed anymore.” It’s like right-wing conspiracies, but for cheese lovers. He brings extra cringe, transforming from disco to heavy metal screamo during the course of the performance

Heidi is on her feet, while Howie buzzes him. The crowd chants again. “You wrote the greatest earworm of all time,” Heidi says. Sofia does not understand how he made it here. She speaks for all of us. Simon does not even bother with a critique.

Lace Larrabee – Comedian

She grew up with a young mother in a South Georgia trailer park. She used beauty pageants to start her comedy career. She introduces her husband in the audience before “talking trash” about him. Husband jokes! Hm. Her rhythm feels off, and the retrograde jokes would have killed in the 70s. Maybe. Simon buzzes her. Hoo boy. The jokes aren’t great, but gotta hand it to her for keeping her composure.

Heidi disagrees with Simon calling her a “southern belle.” Simon thought the routine was going downhill, and thought she was much funnier during her audition. Howie likes her stage presence. But the routine was maybe not relatable to everyone (men).

Drake Milligan – Singer

The show teased Drake’s performance twice before actually bringing him on stage. The country singer has a record deal. Yesterday, his label sent out a press release announcing his debut album, which will come out the day after the AGT finale. It’s not mentioned anywhere on the show, but his label is literally using the competition to promote his music.

He started off as an Elvis impersonator, auditioned for American Idol, and then quit to move to Nashville. This time he performs “Kiss Goodbye all Night” with his band. The latest song has a honkey-tonk vibe with a touch of Elvis. He’s a charismatic performer with a top notch band. Drake is as pro as they come.

Sofia calls it “perfection” and “the whole package…I think you are a star.” Howie predicts the song will be No 1 on the country chart. “You have a good chance of winning this whole thing.” Heidi says he has it factor “sprinkled all over you.” Simon is impressed that he didn’t walk after his song went to No. 1. I don’t think his label would have approved Drake ruining the carefully thought out marketing plan. Simon calls it “the best performance of the night.”

Oleksandr Yenivatov – Contortionist

Oleksandr is from Ukraine and will perform for his people tonight. That’s a lovely sentiment, but I cannot take his act which involves him bending his body in seemingly bone breaking ways. Yuck. His wife partners with him. The two add a storytelling component, which makes the act unique. I’m not sure what’s going on this week, however. The story is kind of muddled. It’s a Western thing? Only riding a spider? OK.

“It’s horrible, it’s weird, it’s disturbing and fascinating at the same time,” says Sofia. Tonight, Simon loved it. He calls them both “very nice people.” He likes that they pushed themselves. Heidi calls him “the human nutcracker.”

Players Choir – Singing group

The choir is made up of NFL players. This time, the group adds choreography to an upbeat performance of Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” They aren’t the best singers, but have upped their game from their audition.

Howie isn’t a fan of choirs, but this group is “feel good.” He mentions that they had a “trying week” but doesn’t go into detail. Heidi says “good vibes, only good vibes!” Simon felt “amazing” after that. Simon begs America to vote them through to the finale.

Stefanny and Yeeremy – Salsa dancers

The two, bathed in red light, perform a very sexy Argentine Tango, alongside shooting fire. Their audition was fast fast fast. But this time, they slow it up, and Simon doesn’t like it. He buzzes them. He’s stupid.

“I thought it was spectacular,” says Sofia. She calls Simon “Loco.” Simon was looking for a transition midway through. This is the problem for dance acts on AGT. The panel has no idea what they are looking at, Simon in particular. That routine was seriously good.

Don McMillan – Comedian

Don is a former tech engineer, and brings the geek element into his comedy. He does even more schtick about engineers, with visual aids! His act is amusing. Or maybe I have a soft spot for a fellow former tech engineer. The last joke about CAPTCHA letters. So true!

Howie calls him a “national treasure.” He begs America to vote. He finally wins Simon over. “I was wrong,” he admits. Heidi loved it. Sofia calls it “amazing.”

Avery Dixon – Saxophonist – Terry Crews Golden Buzzer

Terry chose Avery as his Golden Buzzer, after being moved by his story of being bullied in school for his look and voice. Avery was born premature, and found comfort in playing the sax. He’s a likeable kid. And although he’s got a “smooth jazz” vibe that’s kind of boring. He is talented. This time he plays the Stevie Wonder classic, “Higher Ground.”

Simon predicts he’ll be a superstar. And invokes Carrie Underwood, and how he predicted her superstardom on “another show.” Sofia says “There’s nothing better that you can do.” Heidi begs America to vote. “You have grown by leaps and bounds” says Howie.


About mj santilli 34691 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!