“America’s Got Talent” kicked off lucky season 13 on May 29 with a two-hour premiere. Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Mel B are all back as judges this season as is Tyra Banks as the series’ host. In the audition phase of “AGT,” need at least three of the four judges to give them a “yes” vote to advance to the next round. If two or more judges buzz the act, it is immediately eliminated. Each judge and Banks has one chance to hit the “golden buzzer” and send an act straight through to the live performances.
The format be the same this year as last, with “America’s Got Talent” airing initially just on Tuesdays with the first six weeks devoted to the auditions that took place around the country. Then there will be four weeks of Judge Cuts beginning in July, followed by the series of live performance shows and results episodes.
Below, read our “America’s Got Talent” Season 13, Episode 1 recap of the first acts in the order in which they were showcased on Tuesday’s episode:
8:02 p.m. – The first act of the season is mom and daughter pair Svetlana and Marina along with their Savitsky Cats. Smartly, the two are aware that Simon is not a cat person, but it’s their goal to change his mind.For their audition they attempt to recreate the tricks we typically see dog acts do–jumping through hoops, rolling cylinders, hopping over one another and traversing balance beams. The highlights is one cat climbing with its two front paws between two poles and another leaping from a high pole into a pillow. By the end, the judges all say “YES” to seeing them again and Simon is even on his feet!
8:13 p.m. – Next up is magician Shin Lim with yet another card trick. He has Tyra pick a card from a deck (queen of spades) and write her name on it. He inserts the card back into the deck and by just gliding his palm over the deck he raises it from the middle to the top and then is able to imprint it on to his chest. Through the course of the trick he also puts the signed card in Tyra’s palms and then switches it into his hands and a blank card into hers, pulls it out of an envelope, and then changes the deck into an invisible deck except for her card. Howie calls his act the best magic act he’s seen and both Heidi and Mel are speechless. Despite saying he didn’t need any other card tricks, Simon joins the other judges for a YES, giving Shin four.
8:25 p.m. – The third to take the stage is Ian, a man originally from Scotland, that wants to become a member of the judges panel. He likens himself to Simon, but says that ultimately he would replace Howie. They actually let him take Howie’s seat for the following act. That act is musician Mike who uses his hands and mouth to recreate farting noises in the melody of “America the Beautiful.” Heidi, Mel and Simon all hit their X immediately, but Ian takes a bit longer and then flubbers his critique which leads to not only the audience booing him off the panel but Simon firing him and Howie getting his seat back.
8:36 p.m. – Sibling band We Three, made up of Joshua, Bethany and Manny, take the stage to perform an original song. They come from a large supportive family with a long history of musical talent and are inspired by their mother who passed suddenly from unexpected tumors. Their song about their mother, performed with guitars, a keyboard and drums, is incredibly moving and brings tears to the entire room before earning a standing ovation from the panel and the crowd. Mel felt the personal connection to the song, Heidi loved their harmonizing and both Howie and Simon loved it. With that they become the third act to receive a full set of four YESES from the judges.
8:48 p.m. – The four guys of Fontane Umane have reignited their singing group from their college days to compete on AGT. Tonight they’re taking on “My Heart Will Go On,” but as it turns out they aren’t actually singers, but instead the comedy act Human Fountains that spit water out and on to each other in a sort of dance satirizing opera. Simon, of course, hit his X very quickly, but Mel sings their praises and calls them “absolutely brilliant.” Howie and Heidi also enjoyed the act, as did a large portion of the audience, but Simon remained the only NO and so they advance!
8:59 p.m. – Hailing from a rough neighborhood in Manila, The Philippines, an already emotional group of dancers called Junior New System take the stage to show off their choreography. The men saved up all of their money to move to America in order to compete and hopefully win so that they can support their families back home. Their act is a high energy performance of hip hop/pop music that includes perfect synchronization, acrobatics and overall the sensibility and enthusiasm of a cheer act, but hits their stride when they all put gold glitter high heels on and continue the act! At the close of their dance all four judges are on their feet and the crowd is roaring, meaning only one thing: four YESES! Howie takes the lead with the judges, saying that they are the epitome of making dreams come true.
9:09 p.m. – The eighth act we see tonight is rapper Flaujae who hopes to fulfill the dream of her father who was a rapper, but passed away at the age of 20 before she was born. She listens to his music still and is not only inspired by him, but she and her mother feel like she has inherited his talent. Tonight she performed a song she wrote herself about her dad’s passing as well as the aftermath for her and her mother. The song is also a powerful ode to gun control (!!) and it’s her honesty that impressed Mel. Heidi and Howie are thankful that a 14-year old has come along to provide the message she is and Simon calls it his favorite audition of the day “by a clear mile.” After brining her mom to the stage, the judges give her another standing ovation and four YESES to send her to the next round. Simon even visits Flaujae backstage to compliment her once again!
9:21 p.m. – Comic of 20 years, Vicki Barbolak, takes the stage and is immediately working the judges by telling them she’s a ballerina. Over the course of her act she interacts with the judges just enough to keep them engaged and relies heavily on sarcastic comedy that pokes fun at her own life. Her self-deprecating humor works really well and I love her voice and look a lot! When the audience erupts into a standing ovation for her she breaks into tears which is really sweet to see after she gave such a tough girl act. Howie throws a huge compliment her way, telling her she is filling the void left by Joan Rivers, and Simon doubles down on that by saying she’s the funniest person he’s ever seen on the show. With the added support of the women, Vicki gets four YESES.
9:32 p.m. – The next round of acts are teased to be scary. The first promises to transfer into a witch that is 748 years old using a possessed mask. Under cloak he approaches the judges’ table and reveals a silly mask while blowing some smoke around and after getting boos and four Xs says the act was actually just casting a “spell of creativity” on the theater. Uh…. okay. Then we get a series of clowns that all flop and a young girl dressed like the doll she carries. When asked her name she refuses to speak, drops her doll and approaches the panel as we cut to commercial! To be continued…
9:41 p.m. – … She heads straight to Mel’s seat and pulls out a collection of photographs and a news clipping about deaths and has Mel choose one of the photos. At that point, Simon hits his X, but Mel continues to play along with what turns out to be a magic trick laced with horror. Despite a lack of support from Simon, The Sacred Riana earns a YES from the other three judges and will be seen on stage again.
9:51 p.m. – The final act of the premiere is the dance troupe Zurcaroh that includes very young children and older members, none of whom are professional dancers but are instead people who lacked the opportunity to “be something.” Their routine is theatrical, including fire torches, hooded costumes, precise timing and daring acts like tossing and lifting young girls high in the air. Howie becomes Wowie in his critique, hurling multiple “wows” at them. Turns out that’s a bit contagious because Mel and Heidi both echo it before Simon calls them breathtaking and Tyra, catching her breath, runs to the judges’ table to hit her Golden Buzzer! Zurcaroh goes straight to the live shows, one of five acts this season that will earn that privilege!