“America’s Got Talent: The Champions” ends the audition round of season 1 on Monday with the fifth and final episode showcasing 50 acts drawn from around the world. Another 10 take part on the February 4 edition of this spin-off from “AGT” including a past winner of the main show: magician Shin Lim who pulled off an upset on “America’s Got Talent” last summer.
Of the other nine acts, five won in their respective countries, including three who took the title on “Britain’s Got Talent”: shadow dance group Attraction (2013), pianist Tokio Myers (2017) and comedian Lost Voice Guy (2018). Another, sand artist Kseniya Simonova, won “Ukraine’s Got Talent” in 2009. And escape artist Cosentino was the “Australia’s Got Talent” winner in 2011.
Each of the other four acts on the bill on Monday lost their bid to win “America’s Got Talent.” Among these is Jackie Evancho who was the season 5 runner-up in 2010. In the nine years since she has racked up millions of record sales and performs to sell-out crowds.
The other three “AGT” finalists set to perform on episode 5 of “America’s Got Talent: The Champions” are: mentalist Colin Cloud (AGT 2017); musical group Sons of Serendip (AGT 2014); and singer Sal Valentinetti (AGT 2016).
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8:02 p.m. – In the last four weeks we saw Mel B, Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel all send their favorite acts through to the final with the Golden Buzzer–tonight it’s new host Terry Crews‘s turn to make someone’s dreams come true. The other nine acts will compete for the favor of the super fans across the country that will decide which one of them will be the second act to move on.
8:04 p.m. – The first act to perform tonight was the Hungarian champions of BGT, shadow dance group Attraction. They were hoping to impress Simon once again and prove that they are just as good as they were in 2013 when they won. Their routine was a love story to America that saw the shadows of a man and his son traveling to the U.S. and through all of its major cities and landmarks. Howie loved how concise and emotional the story was and Heidi called it “flawless.”
8:12 p.m. – Next was singer Jackie Evancho, who competed when she was 10 years old (she’s now 18), the runner-up from season 5 of AGT. Since then she traveled the world performing on television and recording albums, one of which made her the youngest solo singer to go platinum. Her performance tonight garnered a roaring round of applause from the audience and earned high praise from Simon who said that she’s gotten better.
8:22 p.m. – Back two years after his first stint on the show, Colin Cloud returned on Simon’s request that he deserved a second chance after just barely missing the finals. For his trick Colin correctly predicted that a random member of the audience would be thinking of David Hasselhoff‘s name which happened to already be written on Colin’s pocket square and who was already seated in the auditorium in the exact seat that Howie chose at random using one letter and one number. Simon was enthralled with the performance and said that he “absolutely redeemed himself.”
8:35 p.m. – The most recent BGT winner, Lost Voice Guy, was next and said that he’s gained confidence that he didn’t have before the show. Because of his cerebral palsy he is unable to speak so in order to fulfill his dream as a stand-up comedian he uses a speech aid device. His set tonight focused on his disability, drawing the crowd in and explaining who he is as a person while also being funny. Howie said that he uses him as an example of a comedian that the American audience needs in order to champion a comedian on their seasons.
8:46 p.m. – For fifth place finisher singer Sal Valentinetti, AGT changed his life and allowed him to perform all over the country, but he returned to prove that he can win. Heidi was most excited to see him return to the stage because he was her Golden Buzzer choice in 2016. Tonight she was just as over the moon for Sal as she was then. His rendition of “Mack the Knife” made Howie call him as real and authentic as Frank Sinatra. Simon even said that he’s “star struck” after seeing him sing.
8:55 p.m. – Tokio Myers made his first ever trip to the States in order to compete as one of the five champions on this evening’s show. Prior to his performance Simon referred to him as one of the greatest winners the show has ever had. His piano and drum performance tonight was accompanied by stellar graphics and pyrotechnics. After critiques Simon pleaded to the super fans to vote Tokio through to the finals–he probably should have petitioned to Terry though! That Golden Buzzer was still up for grabs.
9:07 p.m. – Next to take the stage was Ukraine’s Kseniya Simonova, a sand artist that won UGT in 2009 and then went viral online with her performance. What she did was draw on a light box covered in sand as it was projected on to the big screen for the audience to see. Through her constant rearranging of the sand she told the story of the birth and life of a boy who became famous and forgot his parents. The way she drew so quickly and clearly was indeed impressive–Simon called her one of the best contestants across all country shows, Howie called her art beautiful and declared her a champion and then Terry came out from backstage to hit his Golden Buzzer out of respect for her “ability to move people.” Great choice, Terry!
9:19 p.m. – Knowing there was only one spot left for the finale, escape artist Cosentino took the stage for his shot to best his runner-up placement from eight years ago. Tonight he gave himself 2 minutes to use only a lock pick in order to escape a spinning wheel before bear traps, crossbows and fire severely hurt him. One by one he managed to pick four locks just before arrows and bear traps skewered his arms and in the last moment before a giant flame blew right where he would have been. The dangerous act earned a standing ovation from the judges and audience with Howie complimenting his showmanship on top of the mastery of the thrilling act.
9:32 p.m. – Next to go was Sons of Serendip who managed to pursue their music aspirations even after coming up short on their season of AGT. As champions they want to prove to the judges that they’ve evolved and can win. Their song tonight included a keyboard, cello and harp accompaniment, creating a beautiful moment that Heidi likened to “magic.”
9:41 p.m. – The final performance came from last year’s AGT winner card magician Shin Lim. In his trick tonight Shin managed to run a series of disappearance and reappearance acts right in front of a shocked Terry, including increasing a single card in his palm into many and then having another set appear inside his jacket without him feeling a thing. The judges loved the performance, but the cheers from the crowd were deafening–you can tell Shin is a beloved champion by AGT fans!
9:55 p.m. – Of the nine acts still waiting to hear whether they’d advance to the final, the top three as voted by the super fans from all 50 states were: Attraction, Shin Lim and Sons of Serendip! Terry told them that Attraction won the Northeast, Shin won the Midwest and Sons of Serendip were big in the South and West. But with the votes split across the states, third place went to Sons of Serendip and second place went to Attraction. That means that Shin Lim heads to his second straight final in back to back seasons!
NEXT WEEK: The Finals are here! All 10 acts will perform for their chance to be crowned the champion and Terry promised a big twist!