After months of taped audition episodes, “America’s Got Talent” has finally gotten to the live portion of the competition. NBC aired the second of three quarterfinals on Tuesday, August 21. The judges — Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Mel B — no longer have complete control. Rather, the viewing audience votes for the acts that they want to see move on to the semifinals based on their performances in this two-hour episode.
Twelve acts are set to take to the stage to perform on Tuesday. Only seven will make the cut and still be in with a chance to win the $1 million grand prize and an opportunity to headline at a Las Vegas casino showroom. Three of these dozen hopefuls for the season 13 championship earned the coveted Golden Buzzer at their auditions, which allowed them to bypass the judge cuts phase and prepare for the live shows. They are singer Makayla Phillips, dance duo Quin & Misha, and children’s choir Voices of Hope.
Below, read our recap of how they and the other nine acts as they were showcased on Tuesday’s live show, which is episode 13 of season 13. Who impressed you the most and who was the biggest disappointment? Be sure to sound off with your thoughts down in the comments section.
8:02 p.m. – Tonight’s first performer was Makayla Phillips, the singer that earned Heidi’s golden buzzer. She delivered a mature rendition of “Issues” by Julia Michaels that showed she can fit well into the current pop music market. Heidi was especially pleased with Makayla’s performance, even going as far as to say that she sang it better than the original. Howie warned her that though she’s great and deserving that this is one of the strongest years for singers so he hopes that people vote her into one of the seven spots.
8:13 p.m. – Da Republik, the dance crew from the Dominican Republic, invaded the stage next with an alien apocalypse themed hip hop routine. The highlight of the performance were the flips and tricks, some of which were across three sports cars on stage. The judges were up on their feet at the end–Mel was hyped for them, Heidi was inspired by how passionate they are and Simon called them the best dance group they’ve seen so far in the live shows. Even Tyra commented on how much emotion they bring to their work! Hopefully their fans are as passionate and can push them through with enough votes.
8:23 p.m. – The second singer of the night was Noah Guthrie, the former cast member of “Glee” who is looking for his second chance in the industry. Instead of covering a known song he performed his original track “Show Me Some Mercy” and served up some serious Marcus Mumford vibes with a gritty vocal and a full band behind him in support. Simon gave him huge props for choosing to do an original tonight and thinks that he will gain a lot of fans for it. Howie detracted from Simon and Heidi’s support and said that he doesn’t think it’s going to resonate with the audience. Amidst a string a boos from the studio audience, Mel agreed with Howie so the judges were split on this one!
8:33 p.m. – The comedy act Yumbo Dump returned to the show with another performance of sound effects using their bellies, much to Simon’s horror. Tonight they recreated the sounds of a typhoon (that one earned a red X from Mel), a zip tie (that one earned red X’s from both Simon and Heidi) and a “dolphin love story” (that one earned a meek round of cheers from the audience and actually got a laugh out of Mel as well as a standing ovation from Howie). Simon called the final part of the act “beautiful” and took back his red X (as did Mel eventually), but Howie was the biggest supporter of the act, calling them “touching and emotional.” Heidi refused to take her own red X back because despite coming into the night excited to see them she didn’t think they stepped up their act for the live shows.
8:45 p.m. – One of the judges’ favorite during the auditions was Samuel J. Comroe who delivered a comedy set tonight in front of probably the biggest audience of his life. All of his jokes were about a dog he and his wife adopted, which Howie was happy to see since his previous acts focused more on his Tourettes. Heidi was vocal about how much she loves Samuel as a personality, but unfortunately she wasn’t on board with his set tonight.
8:51 p.m. – The Voices of Hope children’s choir, one of the golden buzzer acts to take the stage tonight, was up next with their colorful performance of “A Million Dreams” from “The Greatest Showman.” Though the vocal performance wasn’t the very best, they did light up the stage with their coordinated movements and huge smiles. Mel wasn’t a huge fan of the song choice, but Simon thought it was perfect and said he “wants them in the show all the way to the end.”
9:01 p.m. – This year there isn’t a dog act in the live shows–instead we have The Savitsky Cats who perform a similar act of tricks and commands on an elaborate set. Tonight their theme was “Keeping Up with the Kats,” a play off of the Kardashian family, and executed a series of hop sequences, balancing walks and hoop jumps, but in a few instances the cats seemed more fickle than you’d hope. Though Howie and Mel appreciate that the act is cats doing things that dogs normally do, they didn’t think they stepped it up from last time and would like to see something new from them. Simon, for some reason, was overcome with a fit of laughter (apparently at some cat puns Heidi used?) and couldn’t give his critique! I think he liked them though.
9:11 p.m. – The third solo singer of the night was Glennis Grace, the act that Simon said during auditions was “already a star.” Also taking on a song from “The Greatest Showman” film with the ballad “Never Enough,” Glennis impressed Simon and Heidi enough for an ovation. I thought she began the performance rather rough and timid, but Simon and Howie both thought it was a “wow moment” for her career. Mel focused on her personal story, applauding her taking back her power as a single mother.
9:22 p.m. – Horror-themed illusionist The Sacred Riana entered the stage tonight amidst fire and smoke to perform most of her act at the judges table. Mel was noticeably uncomfortable throughout, especially when Riana handed her a voodoo doll with her likeness on it. At one point a swarm of other Rianas came out of the audience and stormed the stage as the real Riana ascended a wall at the back of the stage like a horror film demon. And then…….. a scream, cut to black and a commercial break! Whhhhhhaaaatttttt?
9:30 p.m. – Back from break, the judges, still spooked, were mixed on Riana’s performance. Simon called her “brilliant” and hopes that she makes the finals, Howie was scared but thinks she’s wonderful, Heidi thinks she’s memorable but wants more wow in the magic and Mel basically refused to critique her which I took as a vote against her advancing in the competition!
9:33 p.m. – The last golden buzzer act of the night, Quin and Misha, was up next with a much more positive performance. Tonight their act was certainly elevated with the drama of an elaborate set to perform around, but in truth it’ll never not be amazing that Quin achieves the daring and intricate ballroom choreography she does at her age and with her vitality. Howie was the only judge to not give them a standing ovation because he thinks that if you remove the age factor if they’re really worthy of a spot in the next round. All the other judges disagreed, but especially Simon who thinks that you can’t remove the age because it’s exactly what makes their act special. Truth!
9:43 p.m. – The second overall wild card act chosen by the judges to return to the competition was Front Pictures, the virtual reality artists that choreograph intricate stories in front of a high res video screen. Tonight their performance focused on a man exploring a haunted house, what Heidi referred to as a “different dimension.” Simon called it “astonishingly good” and demanded that the audience give them a huge round of applause, but Howie reiterated something he told an act last week that he hopes it translates as well back home as it does there in the theater.
9:54 p.m. – With not much time left, trapeze act Duo Transcend took the stage as the final act of the night. This was their first performance since Tyce dropped Mary in their previous audition and tonight, showing no more fear than they did before that mistake, they once again blindfolded Tyce for the climax of their act. That climax was a second attempt at the very trick that they messed up last time and they executed it perfectly to an outburst of applause from the audience! Heidi said that “hands down” they were one of the best acts of the night and Simon, who admittedly doesn’t always love these kinds of acts, called them “brave, incredible and nuts” but asked that they bring the fire back!
10:00 p.m. – Tomorrow we’re back for another live results show where seven acts from tonight will advance to the semifinals. A reminder that five of those acts will be based on votes overnight and the other two will be decided by the Dunkin’ Save and the judges save, pulled from the pool of three acts that place 6th, 7th and 8th in the votes. Make sure you support your favorites and let us know which acts those are in the comments below!
Be sure to make your full ‘AGT’ predictions, including which seven of these will advance to the next round, and you might win win a $100 Amazon gift certificate. It’s fun and easy, so start predicting right now.