“America’s Got Talent” began the final phase of its unconventional season 15 on Tuesday with the final live show featuring performances from the 10 finalists. The 10 acts arrived at the final after earning enough votes from the public in the quarter-final and semi-final rounds and with the support of this season’s panel of judges: Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara. Simon Cowell was absent from the latter half of the season as he recovered from surgery.
The line-up for this final night of performances was led by the three Golden Buzzer acts left in the competition: Howie’s pick Brandon Leake, Sofia’s pick Roberta Battaglia, and Heidi’s pick Cristina Rae. The set also included Broken Roots, Alan Silva, Archie Williams, Kenadi Dodds, Bello Sisters, BAD Salsa, and Daneliya Tuleshova.
Below, follow along with our live blog as we recap all the action on “America’s Got Talent” Season 15 Episode 23 in our minute-by-minute blog.
8:02 p.m. – While Terry Crews introduced the judges I couldn’t help but notice that all of the top 10 were in the house live except for Bello Sisters. That’s exciting knowing that they’ll all mostly be there tomorrow night for the results!
8:04 p.m. – The first performance of the night was from Roberta Battaglia. Tonight she sang “Scars to Your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara. In a night that is likely to give us quite a bit of standing ovations from the judges, Roberta got the first one. Sofia told the 11 year old that she continues to be surprising with her talent. Heidi said that she is “born to be a singer” and that she can see her doing that as a career for many years. Howie took it up a notch by stating that she is the one to beat tonight because she’s been an audience favorite throughout the season.
8:14 p.m. – Performing live for the judges for the first time, BAD Salsa was up next to show off their extraordinarily quick ballroom dancing routines. While I missed seeing them in the stunning natural settings of India, to see them perform live finally was such a treat. Heidi has always been a big fan of the duo and tonight she said they bring so much creativity to what they do and that she’d fly all over the world to see them. Howie told them that they’ve always been amazing, but seeing it in person is a completely different (and better) experience. Sofia said that they took it to another level and that they’re one of her favorite acts that she’s ever seen in her life.
8:35 p.m. – After a recap of the season we got back to performances with Kenadi Dodds. Tonight she delivered a guitar ballad by Carrie Underwood called “Love Wins.” Sofia said that there was more energy in this performance because she was standing and moving around the stage rather than sitting at the guitar. Heidi compared Kenadi to Taylor Swift at the beginning of her career and Howie said she stepped it up tonight to prove that she has what it takes to win.
8:45 p.m. – Last week Brandon Leake promised that he would present his best poem for the finale. Surely he lived up to that with the most heartfelt one of the season, covering the subject of fatherhood and what it means to raise his daughter with love and selflessness.
8:56 p.m. – Always a champion for his Golden Buzzer act, Howie said that Brandon moves the audience like no one ever has before and recaps all the stories of his life that Brandon’s told through his performances. He also said that his work is more important now than ever. Sofia liked that this was a hopeful performance from him and that seeing him out on the studio lot was also a good change. Heidi called his work a “beautiful gift” and that he deserves his own show in Vegas.
8:58 p.m. – We learned tonight that Broken Roots has only been together as a duo for just over a year, but independently their careers in music began from a very early age. Tonight they sang “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins from an outdoor stage that gave the feel of a legit rock concert.
9:07 p.m. – Sofia told the guys that every time she sees them she loves them more and Heidi said they had the toughest road to get here and that they’ve done well with their journey. Howie called tonight’s performance his favorite song choice of theirs and acknowledged that the singers will have the hardest time in the vote because there are so many of them.
9:10 p.m. – The only act not performing in person tonight was Bello Sisters, instead delivering a recorded performance from Germany that featured their father as a special guest to shoot the bloom off of a flower with a crossbow in their final stance. Heidi called them “true athletes” and an incredible act to watch. Howie called this their shakiest and slowest performance of all them and received a ton of boos from the at home audience. Sofia disagreed by calling it perfection and stressing that the audience should vote for them.
9:20 p.m. – Next up was the inspirational and persevering Archie Williams with a beautiful rendition of The Beatles song “Blackbird.” Howie told Archie that regardless of what happens he’s already a winner and that when he sings these well-known songs that he makes them more poignant because of the context of his story. Sofia called it his best performance of the season and Heidi told him that he has a special place in her heart.
9:31 p.m. – For Daneliya Tuleshova’s final performance she took on Sia‘s big hit “Alive.” Compared to some of the more downtempo ballads of the night, Daneliya’s song choice provided a louder, more powerful and darker mood while still remaining hopeful. With another standing ovation from the judges, Sofia called her “flawless” and “comfortable,” Heidi said she holds her own and Howie said that of all the singers she is the most seasoned.
9:42 p.m. – After some inconsistent critiques from the judges in the last few rounds, Alan Silva did all that he could to impress all three of them with his latest aerial performance. Tonight he returned to the ribbons and added rainfall to the spectacle of his show.
9:52 p.m. – Heidi told Alan that he’s been underestimated in his life and that being on the show proves them wrong. Sofia called his performance and the atmosphere he created with the water “magical” and Howie called this his most dangerous looking performance.
9:54 p.m. – The final performance of the season came from Cristina Rae with a cover of “Demons” by Imagine Dragons. Performing from outside on the studio lot gave her an epic setting to deliver this huge song with her huge voice. Heidi said they “saved the best for last” and that she has a “light that cannot be dimmed.” Sofia said every week she becomes more and more of a star and Howie called her the one to beat.