Each of the first four audition episodes of Season 13 of “America’s Got Talent” has concluded in the same way: one of the judges presses the Golden Buzzer and sends an act straight through to the live performances. On the episode that aired on June 19, Mel B sang the praises of teen vocalist Amanda Mena. Howie Mandel had done likewise on June 12 for 13-year-old British songbird Courtney Hadwin. Head judge Simon Cowell was a fan of another singer, Michael Ketterer, on the June 5 edition while host Tyra Banks flipped for dance troupe Zurcaroh on the May 29 premiere. Will Heidi Klum use her one-time chance to change someone’s life on the June 26 episode?
This is the fifth of the six episodes that showcases the best (and worst) auditions on “AGT.” An act must get a yes vote from at least three of the four judges to move on to the the next round. Conversely, if at least two judges buzz an act, it is immediately eliminated.
Below, read our “America’s Got Talent” Season 13, Episode 5 recap of the acts in the order in which they took to the stage on Tuesday’s episode:
8:01 p.m. – In the hopes of turning his hobby into a full-time career, Twisty Troy took the stage with his spooky contortion act, freaking the judges and audiences completely out. In the audition he twisted and bent his body into outrageous shapes and crawled upside down off the stage and back up. Simon called it “like The Exorcist,” but he loved it. Mel liked that the act is different from what they usually see and Heidi agreed, tacking on “weird and disturbing” to her YES, the fourth from the panel which means Troy will be back in the next round.
8:12 p.m. – After skeptical looks from the judges once they heard her act was jump roping, Vivien Vajda energized the crowd with her tricks–flipping, splits, turns, hops, etc.–that all involved a constantly churning rope around her body. For Simon, Vivien’s act represents what makes the show so great, the variety that an act like this provides compared to singing and dancing competitions. The most inspiring part about her act though is Vivien’s passion for jump rope, something that wasn’t necessary to get a full set of YESES from the judges, but definitely helped boost her profile as she heads into the next round.
8:21 p.m. – Quirky and nervous small town guy Joseph O’Brien was next to take the stage seated at a keyboard and prepared to sing for the judges, but all Heidi wanted to talk about was his love life (or lack thereof, apparently)! When he finally got to sing, Joseph made every girl in the audience swoon. He picked a sweet love song that matched his personality and though they didn’t think it was the best singing audition, all of the judges see a ton of potential and talent in Joseph and so each and every one of them vouched for him to move on with a complete run of YESES from the panel.
8:33 p.m. – After a mouse-squeaker and a hot dog mouth-stuffer were X’d off the stage, a one-liner pun-telling accordion-playing pirate (French Accent) surprised the panel by building his act into an actually funny comedy routine. Mel was so surprised that she removed an X she gave him early in the act and then amidst cheers from an adoring audience Heidi took her X back, too. Staying true to character, Simon maintained his X and served French a NO, but the other three judges all gave him a YES so he advanced despite Simon’s disregard.
8:43 p.m. – Inspired by her 11 year old son to pursue her dreams, singer Glennis Grace delivered a nearly perfect copy of Whitney Houston‘s ballad “Run to You.” Seriously, the similarities of her voice to Whitney’s is truly uncanny. The performance earned a standing ovation from the entire room, including the judges, and while she easily earned a spot in the next round, both Mel and Heidi warned that she needs to break away from how much she sounds like Whitney in order to establish herself as a unique artist. We’ll see what she does with that advice in the next round!
8:56 p.m. – All the way from Paris to perform his daring act, Kenny Thomas asked Howie to come to the stage as his assistant. With a helmet on, Howie laid flat out on the ground with his limbs spread out like a starfish as Kenny revved up a motor bike and hopped around him within inches of his body. In the final moments of the act, Kenny did a flip on the bike and then skirted toward Howie on one wheel, stopping just before hitting his body. With Kenny’s assurance that future performances will include doing dangerous things with Howie, Simon kicks off what turns into a four-YES decision with his approval of the act.
9:06 p.m. – As an oncologist, Dr. Steven Eisenberg started writing and performing songs for his patients, but now he’s come to AGT to expand his practice by inspiring his message of love beyond the walls of the hospital. Tonight he wrote and performed an original song dedicated to his mom. The song wasn’t exactly the healing kind of medicine, inspiring four Xes in quick succession, starting with Mel and Heidi then Simon and ending with Howie. The judges admire his dedication to his patients, but despite a desperate plea on stage from his mom the panel held on to their NO votes and sent him home.
9:15 p.m. – Swapping stories about how hard it was to build careers with their talent, comedian Brian Kellan and illusionist Rob Lake had very different experiences performing in front of the judges. Brian was buzzed off the stage while Rob managed to break through with the panel and earn a spot in the next round. His audition involved selecting audience members, Tyra and Heidi to join him on stage while deciding to leave the theater himself after taking a selfie with Simon. Once out of the theater, Rob was visible on tv screens via his phone video. From that spot he asked everyone on stage to examine a platform set up on stage, asking both Tyra and Heidi to get on top of the platform. One audience member went behind the platform and another below the platform. A curtain was raised by Heidi and Mel on the platform and when it dropped, Rob was there! Considering the amount of people on stage, it really did have to be magic to get him to appear there, right?!
9:27 p.m. – Violinist Brian King Joseph came to AGT as a last chance of realizing a dream before a nerve disease kills his ability to feel in his hands, feet and eventually the rest of his body. He’s able to play the violin still due to muscle memory, but the feeling in his hands is quickly deteriorating. Playing with a smile from cheek to cheek and energetically moving around stage to the beat of his upbeat song, Brian not only earned the respect of the judges but also a standing ovation, a hug from Heidi and a unanimously voted trip to the next round of the competition!
9:39 p.m. – Andy Huggins took a break from his busy napping schedule to treat AGT audiences with his comedy bit. His jokes focused on his advanced age and how it relates to his sex life, catching the audience off guard and ultimately exceeding their expectations. Simon says that Andy is a memorable act, but Mel said she didn’t understand all of the jokes. Mel’s gut said NO, but it didn’t matter because Howie, Simon and Heidi all said YES to seeing him again in the next round.
9:52 p.m. – The last act of the night was singer Brody Ray with his rendition of Jordan Smith‘s “Stand in the Light.” Prior to performing he shared his trans experience and explained how singing helped save him. The looks on the judges’ faces as Brody performed said all you need to know–Mel was on the verge of tears, Heidi was wide-eyed, Howie was deeply pensive and Simon was nodding his head in approval. At the close of the song, a standing ovation from the entire room triggered an emotional response from Brody and paved the way for a round of compliments from the judges and, of course, four YESES. I definitely thought a Golden Buzzer was coming for Brody, but it did not so it’s another night without the judges sending anyone straight through to the lives.