‘America’s Got Talent’ episode 15 recap: Semifinals 1 includes Golden Buzzer acts Jimmie Herrod and World Taekwondo Demo. Team [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

“America’s Got Talent” moved on to the semifinal phase of season 16 on Tuesday with a live show featuring performances in a variety of formats. In this semi-finals round, which consists of two episodes, 11 acts per night, including wild card selections brought back after elimination in a previous round, will perform for the judges. After each round of performances, three acts will advance to the finals based on the overnight audience vote. The 4th, 5th and 6th vote-getters will compete live for the Dunkin’ Save which one will earn and another will be saved by the judges.

On the August 31 live show, Simon Cowell. Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara will watch a line-up led by two Golden Buzzer acts: Sofia’s choice, singer Jimmie Herrod and host Terry Crews‘ pick, World Taekwondo Demonstration Team Martial Arts Group.

Also in the group of 11 are three other solo singers — Madilyn Bailey, Peter Rosalita and Tory Vagasy — plus the vocal group Korean Soul, stand-up comedian Gina Brillon, aerialist Aidan Bryant, magician Dustin Tavella and voice artist Michael Winslow. The wild card slot went to Beyond Belief Dance Company, who were eliminated in quarterfinals 1 when Madilyn broke the judges tie by winning the public vote.

SEE ‘America’s Got Talent’ judges rankings: All 13 judges ranked from worst to best

Below, follow along with our live blog as we recap all the action on “America’s Got Talent” Season 16 Episode 15 in our minute-by-minute blog.

8:03 p.m. – Kicking off this first night of the semis was Peter Rosalita with the Mariah Carey version of the ballad “Without You.” Like a pro, he knew he missed the mark at the start of the song and asked the band to restart so that he could get off to the right start. Whether the slip up set him off his game or not, the song may have been too big because it was not the strongest vocal he’s had in the competition. Still, the judges gave him a standing ovation and applauded his recovery from the hiccup at the beginning. Simon was impressed with the fact the he knew he missed the intro and commanded the stage on live television at such a young age.

8:14 p.m. – For his next set of voices, actor Michael Winslow played a game with the judges where he had them pick a category and he would make as many noises within that set as he could in his time. Simon chose animals, Sofia chose the ocean, Heidi chose video games and Howie chose hardware. The categories gave him a chance to do a much wider variety of sounds than we heard him do in previous stages of the competition. Howie loved that he chose something interactive this time and Heidi made the point that the audience was laughing the whole time. Simon expressed respect for Michael and that he came out tonight more relaxed than last time and having left the nerves of last week behind him.

8:25 p.m. – After elimination in the quarterfinals, Beyond Belief Dance Company was the one lucky act to return as the judges wildcard choice to join the semis. For their second chance the young girls brought the heat with another high energy dance routine. Heidi continued to show support for them and said that she thinks they deserve to be in the finale. Howie said they delivered this time around and Simon said that their sense of optimism that they represent is one of the main reasons why they brought them back and what they bring to the competition. He added that this performance was better than their previous one.

8:35 p.m. – Taking the stage next was aerialist Aidan Bryant with his attempt at perfecting the art he taught himself in his own yard. Tonight he used an apparatus of three rings intertwined to make a globe that he wove in and out of while it spun from the rafters. The dramatic music helped elevate an act that at its most dangerous involved him spinning from the top of the globe by only his ankles. Sofia exclaimed that it looked like watching a Vegas show and said this time around the production was so smooth. Simon reiterated that he’s only 16 years old and self-taught, calling it a gold medal level performance. Howie admitted that he was critical in the last round and that this time around he took the criticism and improved upon his act.

8:46 p.m.Tory Vagasy has taken hits from Howie in the past for not measuring up against the other singers in the competition, but tonight she was determined to prove to him and the audience that she belongs in the finals. To do that she chose “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” as her song. Simon told Tory that she was in a tough spot following Aidan and ultimately she was too safe tonight. Howie acknowledged that she’s an amazing singer with an amazing voice, but agreed with Simon that her style just isn’t right for this show. Heidi differed from the guys and said that they’re lucky to have her and that any Broadway show would be lucky to have her on their stage, too.

SEE Where are the first 15 ‘America’s Got Talent’ winners now: Find out what happened to your favorites

8:57 p.m. – Terry’s Golden Buzzer act World Taekwondo Demonstration Team has a mission of bringing the world together through their athletic art form. This week they returned with their now trademark synchronicity in movement, but raised the bar by having artists perform their skills while blindfolded and guided only by the sound of ringing bells. They also incorporated more combination tricks which meant more broken wood flying all over the place. Howie called them his favorite act of the night and said he could watch it for two hours straight. Heidi said that what they do is so inspiring and she can imagine all of the people at home wanting to learn taekwondo for themselves. Sofia thought that everything was bigger and harder this time, but Simon closed by suggesting that last week they weren’t as good as he originally thought and this week they rebounded by giving their best performance of the competition.

9:09 p.m. – For her past two performances Madilyn Bailey gave us one original song and one cover song. Breaking the tie tonight, she chose another original called “Red Ribbon” about the memory of her grandmother. Howie hasn’t been a huge fan of Madilyn this season and tonight was no different, comparing her to Tory because she hasn’t been as original as she was in her first audition. Heidi acknowledged that it was a hard song for Madilyn to sing and that tonight she won her over. Simon thought she was true to who she is as an artist tonight and that she’s taken criticism really well through the competition.

9:20 p.m.Dustin Tavella‘s love for his family is at the core of the magic he performs and tonight was no different. For the act he had the judges think of special people in their lives and select items in succession that are reminders of them. Despite the randomness of their selections, Dustin was able to prove that he had predicted them because he had notes in his pocket saying so. Sofia was blown away despite how nervous he was and Simon reiterated that he’s special because of his storytelling.

9:34 p.m. – Based on Simon’s critique last round, Korean Soul came to the semis with a goal of connecting more with the audience with their song. To do that they picked Lauren Daigle’s “You Say,” but the judges couldn’t agree about whether or not they succeeded. Simon did think the song choice was good, but he also thought that too many parts of the song sounded out of tune. Sofia disagreed, saying they’re getting better and that they applied the judges comments. Howie differed again by saying that he liked them better last time, including the song choice last time.

9:45 p.m. – Comedian Gina Brillon delivered a set tonight that centered on her role as a parent and the challenges that come along with children finding language and the changes to a woman’s body post-pregnancy. Howie pointed out that Gina is in the year of comedy as one of four comics to make the semis and that she is his wife’s favorite. Heidi called her bold, Sofia called her relatable and Simon said that he was wrong for being so critical of her last time because he loved her tonight.

9:55 p.m. – The final performance of the night was saved for Sofia’s Golden Buzzer act, singer Jimmie Herrod. Tonight he sang Pink’s iconic ballad “Glitter in the Air.” In a rare sight for the evening, the judges rose again in a standing ovation with Sofia calling him a showstopper and raising the bar yet again. Simon called it a “masterclass” and suggested that he will do very well in the Vegas show. Heidi and Howie both referred to him as the best and that there’s no way anyone could follow a performance like that.

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