“America’s Got Talent: The Champions” continues on Monday with the third of five episodes showcasing the top 50 acts drawn from around the world. Another 10 take part on the January 21 edition of this spin-off from “AGT” including Angelica Hale, the runner-up from the 2017 edition.
This child singer lost the season 12 “America’s Got Talent” title to teen ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer, who competed on this show last week. Viewers were shocked when she didn’t earn enough votes from the superfans to move on to the final? Will Angelica do better than her one-time rival?
Among those acts Angelica is facing off against are two winners in their respective countries: 2007 “Britain’s Got Talent” champ opera singer Paul Potts and 2015 “South Africa’s Got Talent” victor DJ Arch Jnr.
Besides Angelica, there are six other “AGT” also-rans hoping for a different result this time around: Prince Poppycock, opera singer (AGT 2010); Tom Cotter, stand-up comic (AGT 2012); Ryan Stock & AmberLynn, danger act (AGT 2015); Jon Dorenbos, magician (AGT 2016); Billy and Emily England, danger roller skaters (AGT 2017); and Samuel J. Comroe, stand-up comic (AGT 2018).
The 10th act, magician Darcy Oake, finished in fifth place on “BGT” in 2013.
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8:01 p.m. – So we’ve already seen the acts that Mel B and Heidi Klum threw their hats into the ring for in episodes 1 and 2, and so tonight control of the Golden Buzzer passed off to Howie Mandel. In that role Howie himself had the power to elect one act of his own choosing to advance to the final, leaving the other nine performers at the mercy of the panel of super fans. And we already know how picky they can be!
8:04 p.m. – But first things first. Tonight’s show kicked off with 6 year old AJ who won the 6th season of South Africa’s Got Talent as DJ Arch. On a massive stage of LED screens and a DJing booth, AJ mixed hip hop songs live on a turntable while the audience bounced from wall to wall. Cuteness factor was definitely off the charts and the judges clearly loved him, but it’s hard to imagine that he could vary his act enough in future rounds in order to make it to the end. That being said, Simon Cowell told him that they should talk after the show because he has some ideas for his future.
8:11 p.m. – Next was Britain’s Got Talent’s star magician Darcy, a fifth place finisher which by “Champions” standards is one of the lower placements. With that in mind his goal was to “defy the laws of gravity” to make the big jump into this series final.
8:13 p.m. – For help pulling off his act Darcy asked Howie, Heidi and a volunteer from the audience to join him on stage. In that act, Howie and the volunteer first held a board above them so that Darcy could lay Heidi on top of it. At that point he removed the board and had Howie and the volunteer drop their hold of Heidi so that he was literally floating in air without support. How did he do it?! With two judges on stage with him they seemed legitimately surprised by the illusion, but Simon thought the performance lacked the showmanship necessary.
8:23 p.m. – The next performer was Angelica, the young singer from two years ago who has spent that time traveling the country as a mini-superstar. Tonight she sang “Fight Song,” a song she said is relevant to where she’s at today. If Simon is looking for growth among this season’s contestants then he has to have found it in Angelica because she (and her voice) have matured so much and her stage presence was off the charts. Her energy and enthusiasm was clearly contagious in the room and the judges could tell that she came to the show to win. Mel did take a little bit of heat for her criticism that Angelica should have taken a bigger risk with the song, but Howie disagreed so much that he stood up and hit the Golden Buzzer! And just like that Angelica advanced straight to the final!
8:34 p.m. – With the Golden Buzzer off the table now, comic Tom from season 7 had to bring the best of his best jokes if he wanted to win over the super fans. Before his set formally began Tom was able to sneak in a couple of jokes about how depressing it was for him to be the runner-up to a dog act. Sadly that’s also how is set began and it wasn’t a good start because shortly into it he got a red X buzz from Simon! It was a rough move by Simon, but in his explanation during critiques it made sense because, yes, the set was “ordinary” even if the other judges disagreed.
8:45 p.m. – Up next was opera singer Prince Poppycock, a performer that keeps his anxieties and self-doubt at bay through his performances in the costumes, makeup and personality of Poppycock. He explained that after the show he had trouble keeping his confidence up, but had worked hard to return to the show to prove himself. In tonight’s performance he not only looked regal, but sounded it as well. Especially when he remixed Lady Gaga‘s hit “Edge of Glory” to the resounding applause of the audience. Howie loved his creativity and said that he’s one of the acts that will be remembered while Simon was slightly disappointed in the song choice for being “too expected.”
8:57 p.m. – When Ryan and AmberLynn walked on to stage the panel let out groans not knowing that they were in for the very real treat of them attempting the same danger act that they failed at completing during their tenure on season 11. In the trick AmberLynn lit an arrow on fire and shot it at a target across the stage in Ryan’s mouth. But that was after, for humor’s sake I imagine, Ryan set off a mouse trap on his tongue and let AmberLynn smash his head pressed up against a cinder block.
9:06 p.m. – Luckily this season AmberLynn’s aim was much better–perfect in fact–but that didn’t stop the screams when the arrow sped toward Ryan’s face! Still, the judges were totally gagged and though she didn’t watch Mel could acknowledge that they succeeded at getting the right reaction out of the crowd.
9:08 p.m. – The second comedy act of the night was Samuel from the most recent season of AGT. He was thankful and humble about the amount of success he’s had since the show–noting that his tour is sold out for the next two years! But even with that success and pressure he was determined to return and be called a “champion.” For his set, Samuel used his time on AGT as fodder, like Tom did before him, but to better effect, earning a standing ovation and getting “brilliant” raves from the panel.
9:19 p.m. – Up next was singer Paul, winner of the very first season of Britain’s Got Talent who endearingly said that because of the show he went from “nobody” to “somebody” and that’s the magic of the show. His performance tonight included a beautiful string sextet, but it was his chill-inducing opera vocal that held center stage. Unlike most performers who get their standing ovations after they’re done performing, Paul got his multiple times during the song. Mel called it “mind-glowingly beautiful” and Simon referred to his talent as “extraordinary.”
9:30 p.m. – Former football player (now magician) Jon was next to take the stage, starting with a story of his personal journeys in life that immediately reeled in the attention of the audience. Sadly after his first stint on AGT two years ago he sustained injuries that ended his football career so he returned to earn the title in spite of that. In his triumphant act, Jon had Simon, Heidi and Mel all choose a piece of paper at random from a bag and then played a game of tic-tac-toe with Howie to reveal a board that randomly presented perfectly a puzzle with each of the three judges with the word they had chosen at random. The judges were floored by the magic and his charisma as a performer–Simon called it a personal best for Jon and lamented that he didn’t have his own Golden Buzzer to hit on his behalf.
9:43 p.m. – The final act of the night was also the second danger act, roller skater siblings Billy and Emily. Their return to the show comes after landing gigs in Vegas five nights a week, but wanting to finish the business of winning AGT. In their performance tonight began with Emily spinning on top of Billy’s head while he spun around and ended with their signature trick of him swinging her around while she held on to his beard. In all, it was a lot of the same stuff we saw from them in their original season, but marvelous to watch nonetheless. Heidi thought they’re endlessly rewatchable and Mel was amazed by how easy they make their tricks seem.
9:54 p.m. – With Angelica Hale already through with Howie’s Golden Buzzer, Terry Crews had the responsibility of announcing the three acts voted as the night’s top performers by the super fans. Those vote-getters were: Billy and Emily England, Jon Dorenbos and Paul Potts.
9:57 p.m. – Terry also announced that Billy and Emily were hot in the South, Jon was good in the Northeast and Paul succeeded with the Midwestern voters. In the end, the third place finisher was Jon, the second place finishers were Billy and Emily and the act advancing to the finals was Paul!