This was another week of Preliminary auditions in front of the judges, and I believe it was the last one of the season. All four judges have now used their Golden Buzzer privileges, which means four acts have already taken spots for the live shows! Let’s take a look at this week’s performances, including Simon’s Golden Buzzer choice!
Alfredo and Anna Silva: We started the night off with a married couple who performed a knife-throwing act consisting of Alfredo throwing knives at a board while Anna posed in front of it in various ways, with him twirling her around before each transition. Anna’s poses soon turned to leaps from side to side as Alfredo threw the knives, and they finished with fire lit knives being thrown! The audience was in simultaneous fear and awe (Mel spent the performances peeking through her fingers) which made sense since before the performance Alfredo revealed he’d accidentally hit Anna with a knife while performing twice in the past. Thankfully that didn’t happen here! Howie said the danger in this act was a level above over other knife-throwing acts. Heidi loved it and Simon found it refreshing and interesting that in this act, the person in front of the target was the main focus, rather than the person throwing the knives.
The Verdict: Alfredo and Anna promised the act would be even more dangerous if they were to make it through, and they did with 4 yes’s!
Elias and Zion: 9-year-old twins who played a piano duet. Audience members and judges alike seemed to find them quite endearing, but probably moreso because of their stage presence than the act itself (they were very talkative). Regardless, their act was well-performed and entertaining.
The Verdict: 4 yes’s from the judges.
Next up was a montage of various kid acts, fittingly set to One Direction’s “Live While We’re Young”. First we saw a dance group get through, followed by another dancer who got a no from Simon to everyone’s shock…but it turned out to be fake and he advanced. Finally we saw a kid do a dangerous balancing act. “Where can you take this act?” asked Simon after the performance, to which the kid replied, “You’re just gonna have to pass me to find out.” And I guess we will, because he was sent through!
Jayna Brown: A 14-year-old who sang “Summertime”. Her voice is clearly still developing but the level of maturity she exudes onstage is well beyond her years. She seems to have that “star quality” and lots of stage presence. During this performance I noticed lots of smiles from pretty much everyone, and at the end she got a standing ovation! And for the second week in a row we got a “I didn’t like it…I loved it!” from Simon.
The Verdict: 4 yes’s!
Sos and Victoria Petrosyan: Another married couple! This act was a runway-style costume quick-change performance, with all costumes designed by the Petrosyans themselves! Sos had Victoria step into various contraptions and she’d come out with a completely different-looking outfit on in a matter of seconds! I have no idea what I’d compare this act to, as it’s certainly something I can’t recall seeing anything similar to on AGT in the past. The closest thing I can think of was a video of a Katy Perry performance I saw a few years ago. Anyway, someone in the audience yelled “Now THAT’S talent” at the end, and I think that pretty much said it all.
The Verdict: 4 yes’s from the judges!
This was followed by a montage of buzzed and rejected acts including a group of people moving pianos around the stage, a duo of dancers, and a dance troupe who Simon claimed was uncomfortable because the performers were smiling too much. Oh yeah, that was the “theme” of this montage; there were various clips featuring discussion of smiles in some way interspersed between the performance bits, which served as a segue to…
Robert “The Compliment Man” Drlicka: Before this guy stepped out onstage he announced hismain goal was to make the judges and audience members smile. His act? Complimenting everyone, or as Robert described it, “trading stress for smiles created by compliments”. This didn’t exactly sound like a winning act but it at least seemed like it was going to be cute. Instead, it was extremely awkward. He started off by complimenting the audience for parking their cars correctly, and then proceeded to compliment each of the judges individually on various things. Robert didn’t seem to make very many people smile like he’d hoped to; most of them just seemed uncomfortable.
The Verdict: All the judges buzzed him (Mel B held out for a bit, claiming afterwards that she was waiting for Robert to give her more compliments) which meant he was automatically rejected. After he left the stage, Heidi said that she “[she could not] believe someone waited in line all day! ALL DAY to do THAT!”
John Dorenbos: This contestant was already famous even before his audition! John is a Philadelphia Eagles player who did a magic act. His trick consisted of pulling out a set of cards in order by doing seemingly random things and then the whole suits together in order. He was very charismatic and entertaining (even if I didn’t fully unerstand what he was doing). Heidi was impressed, Simon was speechless, and Mel B just couldn’t get over it. Howie said John had a gift and that it was an “amazing moment”.
The Verdict: 4 yes’s!
Vello Vaher: 52-year-old Contortionist from Estonia who balanced on brick while knocking them off a table, walked and jumped on his hands, and climbed a rope in an unusual fashion. The act finished with Vello hanging from the rope by only his mouth, and the judges were absolutely amazed.
The Verdict: Vello received an unsurprising 4 yes’s.
This was followed by a montage of youth singing acts, including a trio of young girls, a young guy with a piano, and a guitar-playing girl. They were all rejected but not completely raked over the coals, with the judges giving them constructive advice and encouragement to improve in the future.
Ronee Martin: In contrast to the montage of youth we’d just seen, the next performer was a 62-year-old singing law firm assistant. She started singing one song then Simon told her to choose a different one and try again. Ronee chose “Natural Woman” and did much better.
The Verdict: The judges looked so amazed that I was expecting her to be Simon’s Golden Buzzer. But 4 yes’s and a lot of praise wasn’t bad either!
Next was yet another montage of various odd acts which all got rejected, but none of them compared to…
The Baron of the Universe: I didn’t catch what his real name was, but his act consisted of hooking chains to his nose, eyes, and nipples and then swinging them around. Many people had to look away during the one (including myself) since it looked so painful. ___ didn’t seem to be bothered at all though!
The Verdict: ¾ judges were grossed out but said yes. (Heidi buzzed and gave a no.)
Side Note: This guy holds the Guinness World Record for “Heaviest Weight Lifted with Nipples” (72 pounds!)
Julia Scotti: Julia announced herself as a stand-up comic from New Jersey who wanted to show everyone “age is just a number” (which seemed to be a theme this week). Her set was mainly about her age and what it’s like for her to be an older person in today’s society. The audience seemed to enjoy it well enough but then she threw a curse word in their and they went absolutely wild with laughter (which I’ve personally never understood). After her set, Julia revealed she used to do stand-up when she was younger but job issues and a sex change caused her to take a long hiatus from performing.
The Verdict: The judges loved it and gave her 4 yes’s!
Calysta Bevier: The final act of the night was a 16-year-old cancer survivor who sang “Fight Song”. I actually liked her version more than the original, since I felt it had more power and soul behind it. Calysta impressed the audience, and even got a standing ovation in the middle of the number! Mel complimented her musical technicality, and the other judges loved it as well.
The Verdict: Simon gave her his GOLDEN BUZZER so Calysta will definitely be in the live show round!
So, there you have it. We’re now four weeks into the season and all four of the judges’ Golden Buzzers have been used on singers, which I’m a little disappointed by, but I’ve also noticed they’re all pretty young (the oldest is Sal Valentinetti, who is 20) which is kind of cool. There are still lots of spots in the live shows remaining for all kinds of acts to claim, plus Nick still has a chance to use the coveted GB so my fingers are crossed he’ll use it on a non-singing act.
What did you think of this week’s episode, and who do you think will survive the next round? Be sure to comment below and hopefully we can have a nice discussion as we await next week’s episode. (And remember: the show will start one hour later next week than it has so far this season, so make sure to check your listings so you don’t miss it!)