After six weeks of episodes devoted to auditions, “America’s Got Talent” has moved on to the next stage of the competition — the judge cuts. The second of these four pre-taped episodes airs on July 24. Eighteen performers present their act in front of the “AGT” regulars — Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Mel B — as well as guest judge actress Olivia Munn.
By the end of the episode, these 18 acts will be winnowed down to just seven who will advance to the live quarter-finals. One of these will be extra special as they’ll have been hand-picked by Munn for the Golden Buzzer treatment. In so doing, she can overrule the other judges with and send her favorite act straight through.
Below, read our “America’s Got Talent” Season 13, Episode 8 recap of the acts in the order in which they took to the stage on Tuesday’s episode. Who are you most excited to see perform in the live shows? Be sure to sound off with your thoughts down in the comments section.
8:10 p.m. – Up first tonight is Human Fountains. You’ll remember this comedy troop for duping the audience into thinking they were opera singers, when in actuality they created “human fountains” by spitting water around the stage and even into each others’ mouths. As juvenile as this act is, I have to confess I enjoyed their audition and love their sense of humor. Tonight their act tells the story of a man waking up to start his day by brushing his teeth, showering and having breakfast. At one point the water was even replaced by orange juice and eggs before being spit into each others’ mouths. Disgusting! I love it! These are the days I miss Howard Stern on this show because he would be raving. Heidi, Mel B and Howie were on their feet by the end. Simon and Olivia were grossed out by the act.
8:20 p.m. – Next up is Shin Lim, a close-up magician who gave up classical piano to pursue his dreams in magic. He floored the judges during his first audition with his slight-of-hand trickery. This week he asked Olivia to assist him by joining him on stage. It’s tough to describe a card trick, but the man is some sort of wizard. Cards are changing suits, disappearing and multiplying before our very eyes. Olivia didn’t have much of a role other than having a bird’s eye view, but the act was impressive. Heidi tells him that out of all the magicians, he’s the only one that makes her truly believe magic is possible. I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t advance to the next round.
8:30 p.m. – The Melisizwe Brothers and Macey Mac were sort of glossed over to introduce a kids segment the producers clearly feel should be headlined by Sophie Fatu. The first two child acts can kiss their season goodbye, but Sophie is poised to be one of the season’s front-runners. Tonight the five-year old looks as adorable as ever as she belts out “New York, New York.” I feel like I’m watching a stage version of “Curly Sue.” Simon informs Sophie that she’s officially the youngest contestant ever on “America’s Got Talent.” Let’s face it, this girl is pure gold and could easily win this season.
8:40 p.m. – Next to the stage is The Colombian Dance crew Reyes Del Swing. This competition means everything to them and when they couldn’t afford rehearsal space, they practiced in the streets. Their high-flying routine was highly edited into just a short clip, so despite Simon commenting “I think we definitely need you in the live shows,” they could be in danger. They were followed by another dance crew, The Future Kingz. This Chicago-based hip-hop crew is led by a pair of passionate brothers and ranges from ages 7-23. Olivia and Mel B love their song selections of Bruno Mars, Bel Biv DeVoe and MC Hammer. This group is far from flawless, but they have a lot of heart. All of the judges were on their feet except for Howie.
8:50 p.m. – Next up is Lioz Shem Tov, a comical mentalist from Israel. I’m not even sure if he’s actually from Israel or this accent is part of his act. He promises to shock the audience tonight and change the world of “mentalism” forever. He plays around with an inflated rubber glove and turns it into various objects and animals. He then mocks a couple tricks and actually has the judges laughing pretty hard. He’s charismatic and mildly entertaining but it’s just not for me. Olivia said “it’s not magic, but it’s something awesome.” Simon thinks he’s hilarious. Lioz insists he’s not trying to be funny. Heidi feels the same way I do. She just doesn’t think it’s that funny. He is charismatic though.
9:00 p.m. – The next act to perform is the Angel City Chorale, a 145-person choir that smashed their first audition of “Africa” by Toto. This community choir is made up of singers of all ages, races and backgrounds. They have grown into one big family and singing for a living would be the sum of all of their dreams. Tonight, they are performing some sort of African hymn with theatrical movements and sound effects. I have to admit, I’m generally not a big fan of choirs like this on talent shows, but I enjoy them. A standing ovation from all of the judges should bode well for their chances to move on. Do I feel a Golden Buzzer coming? Olivia loves the diversity of the group and finds them so inspirational that she could no longer hold back. BOOM! Tonight’s Golden Buzzer goes to the Angel City Chorale.
9:15 p.m. – Next up is Shannon & Reckon, a duo that consists of a woman and her talented Doberman. Tonight they had a workout theme, but the audience didn’t seem impressed. They got the short edit as did techno-dancer Exisdance. Determined to get the party started is the self-professed international superstar, Hans. This flamboyantly dressed all-around entertainer is quick-witted and overflowing with personality. Tonight he’s singing “It’s Raining Men.” Let’s be clear, this man can’t sing, but does it really matter? He puts on a show that would be the perfect niche act for a Vegas extravaganza. Pianos, umbrellas, glitter, accordions…what more do you need?
9:25 p.m. – Jump-rope artist Vivien Vajda battled through two sprained ankles to complete her athletic routine before being carried off the stage. Next, illusionist Rob Lake hopes his style of magic stands apart from Shin Lim, who performed earlier. He didn’t “wow” Simon with his first audition and hopes to up his game tonight. After making a woman appear in an elevated cage, he walks up to join her. The mystery woman chains him up and then walks across the stage to stand on a different table. Both of them cover themselves within curtains and magically switch places within mere seconds. The judges found it incredible. I was bored.
9:40 p.m. – With just four acts remaining we rush through Leah Mathies‘ original song. The judges didn’t care for her music, but liked her voice. The same went for Hunter Price, who also performed an underwhelming original. Howie hated it so much that he pushed his red “X” button. Hoping to reverse the trend is Joseph O’Brien, the charming, small-town singer-songwriter who will perform a cover of “I Can’t Fight This Feeling” by REO Speedwagon. Joseph has an undeniable ability to connect with the lyrics, but within seconds Simon stops the performance. Taking a chance, Joseph sits back at the piano to perform an original song. The judges look on smiling. Clearly he has struck a cord, but I thought he was doing just fine with his first song. There’s something special about Joseph.
9:50 p.m. – The last act to perform before the judges make their cuts is the self-described trailer park comedian, Vickie Barbolak. She actually had quite a heartwarming video introduction that documented her struggles in life and close relationship with her daughters. Once she hit the stage she had the audience rolling and seems to be well on her way to the live shows. The judges gave her a standing ovation.
9:58 p.m. – The judges debated their favorite acts of the night as they decided which six would join the Angel City Chorale in the live shows. They chose Joseph O’Brien, Shin Lim, Rob Lake, The Future Kingz, Hans and Vickie Barbolak. Am I the only one shocked to see Sophie Fatu eliminated? Wow!
10:00 p.m. – Next week is another round of Judge Cuts with singer Martina McBride as the guest judge with her own golden buzzer to use on one act. See ya then!