“America’s Got Talent: All-Stars” continued Monday night with the third 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 16 episode were saxophonist Avery Dixon, danger act Bir Khalsa, daredevil Captain Ruin, dance troupe Dance Town Family, comedy acts Dustin’s Dojo and Mike E. Winfield, magician Keiichi Iwasaki, singer Keren Montero, mentalist Peter Antoniou, and acrobatic danger act Viviana Rossi.
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. In the second week, Terry awarded the Golden Buzzer to Detroit Youth Choir and the superfans pushed through aerialist Aidan Bryant.
Follow along with our episode 3 recap live blog of the performances and the judges’ critiques below:
8:04 p.m. – Season 17 finalist Avery Dixon was the first performer of the night to return to the stage. In his original season he received the Golden Buzzer from Terry, but was eliminated in the Top 10. Tonight he brought along his band to complete what he called “the Avery Dixon experience” for a rendition of the hit song “Happy.” Howie said he stepped it up by going from being an amazing talent to putting on an amazing show. Heidi pointed out that she can’t stay in her seat when he’s playing and Simon said that competition brings the best out of him and he gave himself a shot at winning the show.
8:12 p.m. – Looking to make it to The Finals for the first time, mentalist Peter Antoniou returned on a path of redemption that saw him eliminated in Semi-Finals of season 16 with the red X buzzed on him from Simon. For this performance he was inspired by the tea leaf reading that his aunt used to do when he was younger and used Terry, Howie and a member of the audience as his guests on stage. Unfortunately, Simon hit the red buzzer once again. He explained that the “getting there” of his act was not good because it takes too long and he has a lack of showmanship. Howie and Heidi disagreed with that comment. Howie said it is so exciting to have someone read your mind, but admitted that the superfans might not choose him.
8:24 p.m. – Following her audition on season 17, Viviana Rossi was told by a doctor that she had to bow out because it was too soon after her injury and her body was not ready. Howie said that her act tonight looked incredibly dangerous and that she was incredible. Heidi was mesmerized and said she’s a huge fan of her. Simon thought Viviana would have made The Final last year and called her showmanship “spectacular.” He also thinks it’s unbelievable that she keeps coming to the show following injuries because that takes bravery.
8:35 p.m. – Comedic troupe Dustin’s Dojo received the first ever Golden Buzzer on season 9 of AGT, but was eliminated in the judges’ cut round. Howie and Heidi were present for that season, but tonight marked the first time Simon was experiencing their brand of karate comedy. Simon very quickly hit his red buzzer for the second time in the night and was joined by Heidi at the end of the act just as Howie was standing up in ovation. Simon had nothing to say about their performance and Heidi said she was willing to give them a chance, but she still doesn’t understand their act. Howie called them “pure comedy” even though it’s bad and atrocious.
8:44 p.m. – Though elimination in the season 17 Finals was devastating for Mike E. Winfield, the comedian found an increase in success following his time on the show, including an invite from Howie to open for him on tour. He returned to show because being a finalist is not enough for him, he wants to win. His set tonight focused on his relationship with his stepson that he refers to as “step man” because they’re similar in age. Heidi called him a “ray of sunshine” on stage and Simon added that he may have went further originally if he had done that set then. Mike stressed to Simon that he really wants to win and he came to compete, to which Simon responded with “I wasn’t planning on doing this, but I’m gonna do it.” And he hit the Golden Buzzer to send Mike straight through to The Finals!
8:58 p.m. – The first international series all-star of the night was “Britain’s Got Talent” Golden Buzzer recipient magician Keiichi Iwasaki who finished as a semi-finalist on season 15. Following his comedic magic act, Howie suggested that the superfans will love him and Heidi called him exciting because of his high energy. Simon likes that Keiichi doesn’t take himself too seriously and he differentiates himself by having a personality.
9:09 p.m. – Up next was Dance Town Family who first performed virtually in 2020 on season 15 and followed that up with performing with Jennifer Lopez during the Super Bowl Halftime Show. Heidi called their performance spectacular because of their costumes and how the energy didn’t let up throughout. Howie said it was “above and beyond” anything they’ve ever done on the show. Simon closed out the critique by saying they were exceptional in a way that made him enjoy a dance routine act more than he usually does.
9:21 p.m. – Tonight’s first champion to take the stage was “Dominicana’s Got Talent” season 2 winner Keren Montero. She performed “Rescue” by Lauren Daigle for the judges with Heidi saying that she has a real shot after that performance. Howie agreed that she has a great voice, highlighting her range and taking her soft-spokenness to a big vocal. Simon gave her the advice of turning songs into something more unique than the original because the goal is to show the audience something they’ve never seen or heard before.
9:31 p.m. – Looking to “finish what he started” on as a semi-finalist on “Australia’s Got Talent” season 9, punk rock daredevil Captain Ruin returned with a knife throwing challenge that could potentially drop a piano hanging from above on him if he missed his single shot. Simon hit his red buzzer for the third time tonight, telling Ruin that there was a lot of build up without delivery upon the danger. Heidi and Howie admitted that they weren’t very scared and that he needed “an edge” to the performance.
9:37 p.m. – Claiming to be the most dangerous act in the world, Bir Khalsa took the stage hoping wipe the slate clean for danger acts following Ruin. After chopping and hammering up fruits all over the stage (and each other), Bir Khalsa grabbed a chainsaw to saw through an apple being held between the mouths of two members. They earned a standing ovation from the judges and audience with Howie and Heidi calling it the craziest thing they’ve ever seen. Heidi said it was wild and entertaining, Howie said they topped what they’ve done on the show before, and Simon called it one of his favorite performances he’s seen so far this season because it was mad and chaotic.
9:55 p.m. – Terry revealed that the three acts earning the most votes from the superfans were Peter Antoniou, Keren Montero and Avery Dixon. From those three, the one that polled in third place was Keren. The act that earned the most votes and was voted into The Finals by the superfans was Avery Dixon!
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