“America’s Got Talent” season 16 continues on June 15 with a special one-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.
Last week, Simon sent songbird Nightbirde straight through to the live shows after she performed an original song tonight called “It’s Okay,” lyrically about the last year of her life. In the song she offered support to herself and others struggling, as she does with cancer, that comes from within.
Howie was inspired to press his golden buzzer on the season 16 premiere by the performance of the Northwell Nurse Choir, a group of 18 nurses workers out of New York City that worked on the front line through the pandemic. As a choir their mission is to “shoot out some joy and love” to help people “find their resilience.” For their audition they sang a mash-up of “Lean on Me” and “Stand by Me” that included singing, beat-boxing and lite rap elements.
The format is the same this year as last, with “America’s Got Talent” airing initially just on Tuesdays with these first six weeks devoted to the auditions that took place around the country. Then there will be four weeks of Judge Cuts beginning in July, followed by the series of live performance shows and results episodes.
Below, follow along as we recap all the action on “America’s Got Talent” Season 16 Episode 3 in our minute-by-minute blog.
10:02 p.m. – Kicking off the night was Toronto-based boy band CZN with an a cappella song that impressed Simon and earned them four yes votes to the next round. They were followed by another all male group from NYC, T.3, who has goals of taking over the world as entertainers. For their audition they did a roar of a rendition of “Into the Unknown.” Both Heidi and Sofia were filled with complete glee during the performance, leading to a complete standing ovation from the panel. The judges thought it was fun, unexpected and in Simon’s words a “great, great, great audition.”
10:09 p.m. – Stand up comedian Kabir Singh came to the show for the opportunity to better support his mom with his career following the death of his father. For his set he used the quarantine as a gateway into discussing race in a way that made a punchline of all groups and his own take on bill paying. Sofia and Simon loved that he was able to make the topic of serial killers funny, but everyone agreed that he really packed a punch with his magnetism and relatability. For all four judges it was an easy “yes” to send him through.
10:20 p.m. – Next up was nearly 70 year old Mama Char with a dance routine to Paula Abdul‘s “Straight Up.” Mid-performance Simon hit his X (probably because he didn’t like the song) and Heidi and Sofia were left asking “is that all?” The indifference among the judges was powerful and so it was a clear no for each of them. They much preferred Storm Large, a 51 year old singer of the haunting Frank Sinatra song “I Got You Under My Skin.” The judges loved that she made the song her own in a such a mesmerizing way. Simon told her that she’s amazing and began with the first of four yes votes to move her along in the competition.
10:32 p.m. – To start his audition, Klek Entos came to the stage promising to be the “sum of all your fears” to run an experiment of intuition and memory. Using Sofia, Heidi and Terry as assistants, he manifested a spider within a box after Terry said an inkblot looked like one. The judges were so freaked out by the “horror event” that they couldn’t help but consider it a fantastic audition and give him a ticket to the next round.
10:41 p.m. – Likening herself to Lady Gaga and calling herself “bigger than pop and art,” The Misfit promised to give us a “musical freak show.” Despite having four dancers with her on stage and fully planned choreography, Simon was calling the act “terrible” while it still unfolded and he and Heidi were hitting their X. Howie suggested that she focus on one aspect of entertainment because she wasn’t great at any of them together. It was a clean sweep of no votes, but The Misfit was determined to “take it with a grain of salt.”
10:51 p.m. – The final audition of the night came from World Taekwondo, a demonstration team from all over the world. For their act they showed off their training and discipline at skilled and purposeful hand and foot combat by using the destruction of wood planks to maximum effect. Throughout the performance the judges’ jaws were on the floor with excitement. But before the judges could give their votes, Terry came from backstage to declare that “it’s about courage, confidence and respect” before slamming his own fist into the Golden Buzzer! Terry’s decision sends the group straight through to the live shows in Hollywood later this summer.