America’s Got Talent” is halfway through the second stage of the competition — the judge cuts. The third of these four pre-taped episodes airs on July 31. Eighteen performers, who made it through the auditions phase, must do their act once more in front of the “AGT” regulars — Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Mel B — as well as guest judge singer Martina McBride.
By the end of the episode, the judges will have cut these 18 acts down to just seven who advance to the live quarter-finals. One of those lucky seven will be extra special as they’ll have been hand-picked by McBride for the Golden Buzzer treatment. In so doing, she can overrule the other judges to send her favorite act straight through.
Below, read our “America’s Got Talent” Season 13, Episode 9 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.
8:00 p.m. – In the previous two episodes of Judge Cuts, two choirs, Voices of Hope and and Angel City Chorale, earned the golden buzzers and were sent straight through to the live shows. What kind of act will earn Martina’s golden buzzer tonight?
8:03 p.m. – The first act to audition for the judges tonight was mother and daughter and cat act Marina and Svetlana under the stage name The Savitsky Cats. In the audition the cats jumped through ladders, climbed across parallel bars while hanging by their paws and walked and hopped on their hind legs. In the middle of the act there was a slight pause as one cat was sluggish to perform a spinning trick, but in the end Howie said they stepped up their act from their first audition and overall the panel loved it.
8:13 p.m. – Tonight Blue Tokyo promised new tricks and new stunts in order to step up their game and while Heidi and Howie loved them, Simon and Mel were both left cold and wasn’t ready to support them to move on to the lives. They were followed by the OC Music & Dance group who promised more time focused on individuals, but the judges thought that they were better when they performed as a group and so this audition wasn’t as good as their first one.
8:15 p.m. – Howie voted against advancing the PAC Dance Team after their first “Wizard of Oz” inspired audition so tonight their goal was to earn his approval. Tonight their performance was inspired by “Alice in Wonderland” and was full of high energy pop and hip hop choreography, but failed to meet their goal–halfway through the audition Howie hit his red X. Though he appreciates all of their effort, he sees the show as seeking more than what a high school dance team can accomplish. Most of the rest of the panel disagreed with him, including Martina who said that they were doing exactly what they should be doing as high schoolers. Simon really likes the troupe, but was concerned that their music tonight did not match the theme and it made the performance suffer overall. That being said, it sounds like he still supports their presence on the show and may still lobby for them to advance!
8:25 p.m. – Seventh grader Jeffrey Li and sixth grader Angel Garcia built a bond backstage, but are fundamentally up against each other tonight because of their similar age and they’re both solo singers. Angel sang a Spanish version of “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars tonight, exuding as much maturity as he did in his first audition. Heidi, Martina and Simon all loved him, but Howie continued to be harsh on the acts and was hung up on Angel’s eyes being closed throughout the performance. Jeffrey followed him with his own rendition of “One Moment in Time” by Whitney Houston and after shocking the judges with such a bold song choice completely blew their socks off. The depth and clarity in his voice was incredibly powerful, earning a standing ovation from the crowd and a ton of respect from the judges. Martina acknowledged that Jeffrey seemed nervous, but loved what he did and Simon said that on paper it shouldn’t have worked but it did!
8:37 p.m. – Ms. Trysh came to the stage for her take on “If You Don’t Know Me by Now,” but unfortunately buckled under the pressure and forgot the lyrics. After her, Kazi tried her hand as well, but wasn’t up to par either and left as quickly as she arrived. Bone Hampton was next with his comedy routine, but bombed, leaving the stage disappointed.
8:39 p.m. – 71- and 35-year olds Quin and Misha returned tonight hoping to turn things around with their dance routine. With moves as good as any younger ballroom dancer, the duo earned a huge round of applause, especially from Martina who was so inspired by the act that she hit her golden buzzer and sent the dancers straight through to the live shows! The rest of the panel couldn’t have been happier with the decision–Mel was even in tears! Martina said that so many people give up on their dreams later in life and believes that it’s important for everyone to see Quin’s journey and hear her message on the show.
8:50 p.m. – Next up was singer-songwriter Noah Guthrie who was part of the “Glee” cast before it was canceled and is now looking for his second chance at stardom. The judges loved Noah’s first audition, but tonight Simon had to stop him in the middle of the song due to poor song choice. Luckily he allowed Noah to try another, “Whipping Post” by The Allman Brothers, and was able to reclaim the support of the panel. Mel said that the second song was much more his style and allowed her to see more of his personality and hear the tone of his voice better.
9:00 p.m. – Jules and Jerome performed another daring see-saw acrobatic act tonight, but Simon cautioned them that perhaps it wasn’t ambitious enough. Taking notice of that challenge, sibling tumblers Alejandro and Ricardo of Fratelli Rossi, who fell during their first audition, knew that tonight they had to do something no one has ever done before. In fact, they began their audition by warning the judges that their act is so dangerous that they didn’t even rehearse it earlier. That trick involved bringing Martina to the stage to confirm hat the blindfold they put on was in fact blinding before repeating their tumbling act to perfection! The judges agreed that they are one of the most engaging and engrossing acts and appreciate that they stepped it up this time by adding the blindfold. Simon is inspired by their dedication and even Howie didn’t have anything negative to say!
9:12 p.m. – Bensax International was adored again by the judges, but unfortunately we only saw a small portion of his instrumental audition. He was followed by a much longer clip of Oliver Graves performing his deadpan (pun intended) comedy act. His brand of comedy is very self-deprecating and relies heavily on short, sarcastic phrases rather than long form storytelling. Based on her reactions, Martina seemed a little hesitant about Oliver, but Howie loved him and was the only one to stand for applause. Howie called him one of the most original young comics he’s seen, but Martina qualified that comedy is subjective and liked his…. timing. That’s a little bit of shade, no? Go off, Martina! LOL
9:21 p.m. – Udi Dance was back tonight with another fully immersive, glow in the dark dance routine that told an intricate story. Tonight’s story seemed to continue where the last one left off, including the use of characters in blue and others in red that tormented the central figure. I have to say, this group is by far my favorite in the entire competition, and Mel, who said their creativity is out of this world, seems to agree, at least in part!
9:31 p.m. – Sibling band We Three won over the judges with their first audition with a song about their mom who passed away. Tonight their song “Lifeline” is about “dealing with your demons” and earned, I think, the first full standing ovation from the judges. Mel gushed about their lyrics and passion, Martina recognized their talent for creating vulnerable lyrics that touch people and Heidi loved how humble they are.
9:43 p.m. – Tonight’s final audition came from horror/magic act The Sacred Riana who once again refused to answer the judges’ questions. Instead she approached the dais and handed her creepy doll to Mel who reluctantly held it before passing it off to Howie. For the actual act, Riana placed an empty book in a dollhouse and when she opened it again showed that bloody handprints and other drawings were now on the pages. She then took back the doll, locked her in the same dollhouse and then after asking her to “come out and play” another human girl bursted out of the dollhouse. All of the judges were completely freaked out, especially Mel who admittedly does not like scary things.
9:53 p.m. – After deliberation, the judges delivered their verdict on which SIX acts would join Quin and Misha in the live shows. First, both Bone and Oliver were sent home, followed by good news for The Savitsky Cats! Trysh, OC Dance, Kazi and Bensax were all eliminated, but PAC Dance Team advanced based on the trust that they’ll do better in their first live performance. Riana also moved forward because the judges agree that the public would like to see her perform again in the next round. Blue Tokyo, Jules and Jerome and even Fratelli Rossi (ugh!) all received bad news, but my favorites Udi Dance made it! Between Angel and Jeffrey, the judges decided that neither would advance (wow, that’s a shocker) and instead pushed both Noah and We Three through.
10:00 p.m. – Next week Chris Hardwick joins the panel in the last edition of the Judge Cuts and will choose his own favorite with his golden buzzer while the rest of the panel will decide on the final six acts to advance to the live shows. With tonight’s additions, who is your favorite act heading to the live shows?