Tonight, was the first of five America’s Got Talent season 17 Qualifier rounds (also known as Semifinals). Eleven of the Top 55 acts competed this week (Read our Recap). On Wednesday, two acts will advance to the September 13 final performance round. One of the acts with a very good shot to advance is AGT host Terry Crews’ Golden Buzzer, saxophonist Avery Dixon.
In his audition, Avery wowed with “Try A Little Tenderness” when he told his story of being born prematurely and being bullied by others at school which led to him not thinking he was good enough. This moved the judge’s panel and especially Terry, who gave him the season’s first golden buzzer.
Avery took on a classic this week with his take on Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground.” It was a bit typical to start out with, but as it went on, he seemed to bring his own spin to the song, really bringing the energy this week. It was as good if not a little better than his initial audition.
Simon Cowell compared Avery to Carrie Underwood, predicting superstardom
The judging panel and crowd were on their feet as the performance ended. Simon Cowell said that “something has changed” since they met, and he went on to say, “I said this about Carrie Underwood, years, and years, and years ago on another show, which is you’re going to be a superstar.” The judges threw many compliments around this week, but this is about the biggest compliment anyone could receive especially coming from Simon.
Sofia Vergara uttered her trademark word, “spectacular” when describing Avery. Heidi Klum declared “America, let’s bring this type of music back.” Howie Mandel believes that Avery has “grown by leaps and bounds” since the first time we saw him.
Some people may find Avery’s act kind of boring, but with his musical talent, he can create a career out of his AGT experience. Simon’s Carrie Underwood comparison is a bit overblown. Nevertheless, Avery is a skilled musician. With the resurgence of 80s vibes via current singers like The Weeknd and Dua Lipa, a similar artist could feature Avery on a track. AGT should give him a national platform and recognition. Avery should pick from current music for the finale. The songs he has taken on have been a bit by the numbers so far.
Avery has a good shot at making the Finale.
Overall, the night tended to be a bit slow and dragged towards the middle. My standouts of the night along with Avery were PowerPoint/engineer comedian Don McMillan and the Colombian dancing duo Stefanny and Yeeremy. Honorable mentions go to young dog trainer Amazing Veranica and country singer Drake Milligan, both pros at their type of acts.
Predicted to move on: Avery will advance in first place, with Drake Milligan having the 2nd best odds to advance. The Players Choir, Ava Swiss or Don McMillan are underdogs to advance, as their performances all got great responses, and the first two the judges seemed to truly love.