“America’s Got Talent” kicked off the season 16 quarter-finals round on August 10 with the first live show of the summer. The second of these three episodes airs on August 17. It too features a dozen acts per night who will perform for America’s votes. Judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Sofia Vergara can still buzz an act but the real power is in the hands of the home audience, who will vote overnight for their favorites.
On the August 10 quarterfinal of “AGT,” the line-up was led off by Howie’s Golden Buzzer, Northwell Nurse Choir. Two other groups — Korean Soul and T3 — perform as do a pair of solo singers, Victory Brinker and Tory Vagasy, and dance groups Dokteuk Crew and Shuffolution. Also in hunt for the season 16 championship are mind reader Peter Antoniou, comedian Josh Blue, aerialist Aidan Bryant, acrobats Positive Impact Movement and entertainers Johnny Showcase.
Below, follow along as we recap all the action on “America’s Got Talent” Season 16 Episode 11 in our minute-by-minute blog.
8:02 p.m. – Social media singing group T3 kicked off tonight’s show with a remix of the Olivia Rodrigo hit “Good 4 U.” Howie called their harmonies seamless, but Heidi pointed out that they’re better when singing a cappella without the backing track. Sofia also pulled back a little, saying that she preferred their first audition and then Simon agreed with Heidi saying that it could have been better and they “blew it.”
8:13 p.m. – South Korean dance group Dokteuk Crew promised new moves and new tricks ahead of their latest performance. The synchronization of their choreo to a Lil Nas X remix was certainly impressive, but maybe not quite as new as we would have expected. Heidi said that they provide moments that look like special effects to elevate their dances and Sofia told them it’s clear they put in a lot of work. Simon agreed with Sofia’s commentary on the “too orange” outfits and the staging in general, saying that they were lost in the whole production.
8:22 p.m. – The multitalented entertainer Johnny Showcase got the ultimate hype up from Terry prior to his latest performance, but once again the production of the act was the bigger star on stage. The 60s inspired funk band aesthetic that he put together with his group was trippy and reminiscent of The B-52s, but their vocals were uninspired and flat. Halfway into the performance both Simon and Howie hit their X buttons at the same time, leaving Heidi on her own to clap along while Sofia was simply left confused what was even happening. Sofia and Howie explained that they enjoyed the comedy last time and it was missing in this performance. Simon called it “horrific” and that it was the “worst song” he’s ever heard. Heidi absolutely loved the performance because she felt the funk and the whole aesthetic of their costumes.
8:32 p.m. – Howie was the only judge to give Tory Vagasy a no during the auditions so tonight her goal was to change his mind, as well as proving to America that she deserved her spot in the live shows. Howie was the first to speak after her version of the SIX song “Heart of Stone,” but once again he wasn’t in her corner and said that she doesn’t stand a chance against some of the other singers in the competition. Simon differed, saying that it started out as a “good” performance and ended as a “great” one, qualifying it as the best act of the night. Heidi called it “flawless” for her beautiful voice and Sofia finally had nothing bad to say and assured her that she doesn’t need to worry about winning because she’ll be fine.
8:42 p.m. – Bringing shuffling from social media to the main stage, Shuffolution says they have grown closer as a group since their original audition and that they’re pursuing the dance as a full dream. Simon told them that their audition was his favorite this year, but this performance was a step back from that and like something he’s seen a million times before. Surprisingly, Heidi sort of agreed and noted that the dance style can get repetitive. Howie pointed out that one member fell and said that there’s a lot of pressure for the live shows and Sofia closed it out by saying this time it was more cheerleading than dancing.
8:52 p.m. – Aidan Bryant taught aerial acrobatics to himself using videos online, inspiring Simon to tell him that he’s exactly the kind of act they’re looking for on the show. Tonight he used two looped ribbons to perform spinning tricks as he was raised and swung from a rig in the ceiling. The act got three of the four judges to stand in ovation for him (only Howie remained sitting). Heidi called him an inspiration because he’s self-taught in only two years and thinks his opening package showing him back home puts his story into great perspective. Sofia also thinks he performs like a professional despite such little experience, but Howie pointed out that his transitions from trick to trick are rough and an area he can improve. Simon did his best to silence Howie, saying that “by a mile” he is a Vegas act and a star in the making.
8:59 p.m. – Moving right along, Howie’s Golden Buzzer act Northwell Health Nurse Choir was up next. Tonight they delivered a rendition of “You Will Be Found” from “Dear Evan Hansen” that was a bit too quiet in its solo moments, but much more powerful wen the whole group harmonized for the choruses. For the first time all the judges rose for a standing ovation, together expressing that it’s impossible to separate their story as nurses from their talent. Sofia was visibly emotional and called it a spiritual performance while Simon said it was better than their first audition.
9:09 p.m. – Positive Impact Movement has the goal of inspiring people to live healthier, more physical lives. In response to Heidi’s previous comment that she can’t see their muscles, they set a goal of an act that is bigger and more daring than before. While they managed get higher with ramps and basketball hoops as props, Simon was not impressed and hit his X well before their final trick of creating a tower three people tall. Simon explained that his buzzer was because the performance “was a mess” and he’d call them “No Magic Mike.” Howie didn’t agree with Simon, but he thought what they did in their audition was more interesting even though he acknowledges they do something he can’t do. Heidi and Sofia both said that they didn’t even notice that Simon hit his buzzer because the audience was so loud for them and they think of them as a unique act.
9:19 p.m. – For Peter Antoniou‘s next act he once again enlisted the four judges to show his expert mentalism. He correctly predicted what foods were inside the cans they randomly selected while he was blindfolded. The second trick was a really long journey just to get Sofia to eat some pineapple based on a can of Simon’s choosing. Howie and Heidi liked that there were a lot of layers to his act, but it’s still engaging and easily understandable. Simon called him a “wizard.”
9:35 p.m. – All four members of Korean Soul quit their jobs in order to make a new career in repurposing American pop songs in their own style. Tonight they flipped the Aerosmith classic “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” into a harmonized piano ballad. Heidi said it was a “snoozy” version of the song and that she misses what they did in the first audition. Simon was on the same page, but said that outside of a predictable song choice he does really like them. He also urged them to take a bigger risk with the song selection. Howie was their biggest supporter though, calling them his favorite act of the night.
9:45 p.m. – Aiming to fight the stigma that he’s a “novelty act,” comedian Josh Blue just wants to make people laugh. Tonight his set once focused on living with a disability and the ways that society corrals all disabled groups into one large group. Howie said he’s both amazing and informative, checking off every box that a comedian should. Sofia said that no matter what he says he is funny and he’s inspirational. Like the others, Simon is a fan and says he has “an edge” about him that makes them excited to see what he’s going to do.
9:56 p.m. – To close out the night, the only act to ever received a group Golden Buzzer, Victory Brinker, took the stage for an opera song she says she switched to at the last second. It was another standing ovation from the judging panel with Simon comparing Victory to Carrie Underwood in the sense that she will become one of the biggest stars to come from the show because of her unique talent. Heidi called her the cherry on top of an amazing night and Howie urged the public to vote, though he’s certain that she is locked to advance to the semis.