“America’s Got Talent” season 15 continues on June 23 with another two-hour episode showcasing the best (and worst) auditions. In this phase of “AGT,” an act needs at least three of the four judges (Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Sofia Vergara) to give them a “yes” vote to advance to the next round. If two or more judges buzz the act, it is immediately eliminated.
Each judge, along with host Terry Crews, has one chance to hit the “golden buzzer” and send an act straight through to the live performances. Terry was inspired to press his golden buzzer on the season 15 premiere by the performance of the Voices of Our City Choir. Their mission is to serve the homeless community of San Diego. In their audition they sang “Sounds of the Sidewalk,” an original tune written and produced through their songwriting clinic. In the second episode, new judge Vergara made it rain gold for 10-year-old Roberta Battaglia who delivered a stunning rendition of Lady Gaga‘s “Shallow” with her mature-for-her-age voice. Then, on the third episode, Heidi sent singer Cristina Rae straight to the live shows as her golden buzzer act. Simon hit the button for WAFFLE Crew, naming them his favorite audition of the season.
Below, follow along as we recap all the action on “America’s Got Talent” Season 15 Episode 5 in our minute-by-minute blog.
8:02 p.m. – As was the case at the end of last week, Heidi is “under the weather” again and is not on the panel at the start of tonight. That means with three judges it will only take two yes votes for an act to move on to the next round. The first to perform was Annie Jones, a 12 year old Australian singer. Her rendition of “Dance Monkey” by Tones and I was a legit bop and a half and she even moved around the floor with her own slick dance moves. Following the performance Simon took note of the cheering audience and said her confidence was “quite amazing,” joining the other two judges for a full set of yes votes.
8:10 p.m. – Comedian Ty Barnett from Chicago was next on stage to deliver a hilarious set focused on his ability and (unwillingness) to be a gentleman. His joke style is to leave you hanging just before the punchline and then drop it with an unexpected switch in narrative. Every single joke landed with the audience and judges leading them to all vote yes and for Howie to say he reminds him of Richard Pryor.
8:20 p.m. – The next act certainly dressed the part of a winner in his blue tux, but his finger-snapping audition earned a quick buzz-off once the audience started booing. That put Shaquira McGrath on edge ahead of her own audition, a vocal performance of “Redneck Woman” by Gretchen Wilson. The vibe of her country hit was the perfect dose of surprise and talent, leading to a roaring cheer from the audience and causing her to cry. Simon said she has a great voice and great personality and that there’s good things in store for her, beginning with three yes votes!
8:32 p.m. – When we returned from the commercial break it seems a new day of auditions had started and with Heidi’s continued absence, Sofia brought along her friend from “Modern Family,” Eric Stonestreet to fill her seat as a temporary fourth judge!
8:34 p.m. – Eric’s first audition was Extreme Dance Force, a crew of young men ranging from 14 to 19 years old. Their hip hop dance style got the crowd and Sofia both hyped up, but Howie’s body language was anything but impressed. Howie called it “sloppy” and told them it wasn’t great. Luckily for the group, Simon disagreed with Howie and joined Sofia with a yes vote. Eric admitted to being somewhere in the middle, but ultimately joined with a yes vote to send them through to the next round.
8:44 p.m. – Rapper Chefboybonez didn’t exactly deliver on the promise of being a skilled rapper, but instead shocked everyone by popping his eyes out of their sockets mid-hype causing Sofia to immediately X him out. But Sofia stood alone in that feeling with both Simon and Howie happily giving him yes votes, saying that the show doesn’t exist without acts like him. Once again Eric was caught in the middle and with audience support and because he wouldn’t be back to see his next show he gave him the third yes!
8:56 p.m. – Next up, with actual magic, was Winston. Using eerie music he was able to build suspense as he made cards appear out of nowhere from the palms of his hands, out of his mouth and from his hair as if he was some sort of monster. It was a unique presentation of card tricks that caused the panel to give him a standing ovation before sending him to the next round with unanimous praise.
9:08 p.m. – The second Australian to take the stage tonight was dancer Louis Shivlock. His audition to a Queen song gave him a high energy atmosphere that matched his high kicks, huge leaps and exaggerated technicality. Howie was the first to vote and gave him a no, countered by Sofia and Eric with a yes, leaving Simon as the swing vote this time. In order to “encourage this kind of determination,” Simon took a “leap of faith” and gave him a third vote to the next round.
9:19 p.m. – West African (by way of Atlanta) group Bone Breakers did literally that with their audition. It wasn’t long into the performance that they were twisting their bodies in unbelievable ways with contortions, stretches and splits that blew everyone’s minds. Unlike other contortionists, this crew made a complete dance routine out of their talent which made it feel unique and dynamic. Through his shock, Eric told them he was happy he got to witness that, setting the tone for a panel that really loved the group and easily sent them through to the next round.
9:30 p.m. – Nashville guitar player Jesse Kramer hoped that AGT would put him on the map as a rock n roll artist. He flipped Lady Gaga‘s “Bad Romance” on its head with his grunge rock version of it, reeling the audience in with every new line. The judges were split though, with Howie once again diverging from the rest of the panel as the harshest critic. That being said, they all felt he deserved a second chance to pick a better song and believed he’s talented so they gave him four yes votes to go through. Odd!
9:34 p.m. – Serban Cioca came to the stage with a ton of stalker-like love for Simon. His original song may have got Terry dancing on stage left, but eventually he descended into “la la la” and “diddly diddly diddly” as everyone hit their red X except a scared Eric. Simon called it the worst song he’s ever heard and Eric called it his favorite thing he’s seen, but still gave him a no with everyone else.
9:43 p.m. – Just as we had two Australians, we also had two Venezuelans audition tonight. The first was magician Winston and the second was 73 year old bodybuilder Josefina. Her audition mostly consisted of strutting around the stage, audience and dais flexing her body and yelling “pow” and laughing. The highlight of the audition was seeing a shirtless Terry join her on stage for some dual flexing. The problem was that Simon didn’t understand what the act is, and even if they found her inspiring they couldn’t give her any yes votes.
9:51 p.m. – The final act of the night was Brasilian silk aerialist Alan Silva. Coming from a circus family led Alan into his talent, even as he defied the bullies throughout his life who told him that because of his size he should be a clown instead. Alan’s family was on hand to support him: his wife and kids watching him for the first time ever from the side of the stage and his alum brother from Deadly Games in the audience. His music choice of Sia‘s “Alive” set the perfect exuberant and inspirational tone for his tricks and high soaring moves. Tears were flowing when both of his young kids ran on stage once he finished to give him giant hugs. The judges had nothing but praise for Alan, calling him a natural performer and telling him that he is a talent that can inspire people across the board. It was an easy vote of yes from everyone so we’ll see Alan again in the next round!
9:59 p.m. – No Golden Buzzer tonight? Ugh, they should have given Eric one to use! Which act would you have given it to?