‘America’s Got Talent: All-Stars’ episode 2 recap: 10 more acts perform for Golden Buzzer and superfans vote

America’s Got Talent: All-Stars” continued Monday night with the second group of 10 acts performing for a coveted spot in The Finals. The new spin-off series features former “Got Talent” contestants from America and across the global franchises in a seven-week showdown to determine which ultimate all-star will claim the title of “Got Talent World Champion.” Longtime series judges Howie Mandel, Simon Cowell and Heidi Klum return to judges’ panel with Terry Crews on stage for hosting duties.

The 10 acts that performed on the January 9 episode were aerialist Aidan Bryant, singers Detroit Youth Choir and Sara James, musicians Divyansh & Manuraj, magician Dustin Tavella, comedian Jackie Fabulous, ventriloquist Jamie Leahy, dance group Malevo, one hit wonders Tone the Chief, and dancer Vitoria Bueno.

In each of these first rounds, only two of the 10 acts will advance to The Finals. One will be hand-selected by one of the judges via the Golden Buzzer and the other picked by a collection of superfans from across the country. In the January 2 premiere, dance group Light Balance Kids received the Golden Buzzer from Howie and acrobatic trio Bello Sisters advanced on the superfan vote.

Follow along with our episode 2 recap live blog of the performances and the judges’ critiques below:

8:04 p.m. – For this second episode it was decided that Terry would have control over the Golden Buzzer, offering him the chance to send his favorite act of the night straight through to The Finals. The first act vying for his attention was “India’s Got Talent” season 9 winners Divyansh & Manuraj, two musicians that joined as one act when they met for the first time at their IGT auditions. Heidi referred to their flute and beat boxing performance as “Bollywood meets Brooklyn” and Howie suggested that “the world is gonna love you.” Simon said he loves “acts like this” that are different from what is already in the marketplace and thinks they will stand out in the crowd.

8:13 p.m. – On season 17 singer Sara James received Simon’s Golden Buzzer, but she was cut in the Top 10. Now a star in her home country of Poland, Sara came back to the show with a cover of the Harry Styles song “As It Was.” Howie appreciates that Sara can take someone else’s song and make it her own. Heidi called her “a star in the making” and complimented her style that appeals to young kids her age in their early teens. Simon said that Sara has the ability to communicate what type of artist she wants to be through her performances and thinks she may have given herself a breakthrough moment with the song.

8:24 p.m. – Semi-finalists in season 11, Argentinian dance group Malevo made their return for the chance at showing that they can be champions. Heidi was energized by the intensity of their performance and acknowledged how much passion they showed. Howie said that they brought more energy and more music this time around, adding that he thinks they could have their own show in Vegas. Simon called it perfection, noting that they set the standard for how everyone else needs to perform. Simon privately told Howie he would have given them the Golden Buzzer and they wondered why Terry didn’t.

8:34 p.m. – The next act to the the stage was Tone the Chief who took their song “B Double O T Y” all the way to the semi-finals of season 8 wanting to be a one hit wonder. The song rose on the children music charts at the time, but now they want to take it to the next level. Simon admitted that the song “got better in time” and called it “amazing.” It was clear by the audience reaction that they were well-loved by everyone in the room, but they’d have to wait to hear from the superfans if they advance.

8:45 p.m. – The second champion to return in this group was magician Dustin Tavella from season 16. For his act tonight, Dustin presented his brand of magic via storytelling to send a message of self-belief and following your dreams. Heidi called it “another genius perfect performance” and Howie said he’s one of the best in the genre of being an inspirational magician. Simon argued that he’s even better now than when he won the show.

8:58 p.m. – Also from season 16 was self-taught aerialist Aidan Bryant who finished as runner-up, losing to Dustin. Aidan promised that since the show he’s improved in flexibility and lines and returned in order to prove he can win. Heidi was impressed that he used no attachments to hold on and that he was able to recover from a slight mistake in the air. Howie admitted that single person aerial acts are not his favorite, but that he did something better than he’s ever done before. Simon called him “one of the most talented contestants we’ve ever had” and said tonight’s performance “a 10.”

9:11 p.m. – 13 year old ventriloquist Jamie Leahy was a runner-up on “Britain’s Got Talent” season 15. He returned as an all-star in the hopes of expanding his audience through the exposure of AGT. He and his puppet the chicken Chuck did a light bit of comedy and then sang a song about friendship that was reminiscent of old school variety acts. Heidi liked that he blended good comedy with a great voice and said he sparkles on stage. Howie compared him to the Ed Sullivan variety show and thinks the audience will love that classic aesthetic. Simon said part of his appeal is how charming he is and that he has his own lane of talent.

9:20 p.m. – Comedian Jackie Fabulous remembers her final set in the season 14 semi-finals as being not good, so her return to all-stars was about redemption. Her set tonight focused on the milestones she’s achieved since being on the show, like turning 50 and getting married. Howie called her “such a joy,” noting her stage presence and charisma. Heidi said her delivery is solid and that she brings so much personality to her act that makes it enjoyable to watch. Simon thinks she got better since the show and believes this go-around will be important for her career.

9:31 p.m. – Another act that was runner-up on their original season 14 was Detroit Youth Choir, a group that earned Terry’s Golden Buzzer that season. Tonight they sang a remix of the Imagine Dragons song “Thunder” with rap solos and group dance choreography. Following their performance the audience was chanting “DYC” and Simon confessed to being speechless. He called it “just magic, absolute creative magic.” As Simon got emotional, Howie said that they radiated more than just music and dance by making it a thrilling “champion performance.” Heidi said they are not a “snoozy” choir and are incredible. Once again, Terry descended from the stage to stop the critiques, saying that there is no need to go to the superfans because he wants to hit the Golden Buzzer again in tribute to the city of Detroit and all that their director Mr. White has done.

9:44 p.m. – The final act of the night was from 18 year old Brazilian Vitoria Bueno, a dancer who was born without arms. She was a Golden Buzzer act that finished in second place on season 15 of “Das Supertalent.” Heidi thanked Vitoria for coming to AGT so that everyone in America can see her, calling her routine beautiful. Simon said that perseverance is part of being a star and she’s one because she has that and a glow when she’s on stage. Howie closed out the commentary by pointing out how difficult it is to do ballet without the balance of arms and that makes her elegance on stage even greater.

9:55 p.m. – With the remaining nine acts on stage, Terry revealed that the three to receive the most votes from the group of superfans were Aidan Bryant, Divyansh & Manuraj, and Vitoria Bueno. Narrowing it down even further, next eliminated was Vitoria as the third place finisher. And from the top two, it was Aidan that earned the most votes and will appear again in The Finals!

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