“America’s Got Talent: All-Stars” continued Monday night with the fourth 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 23 episode were magician Aidan McCann, singers Cristina Rae and Robert Finley, dancer Darius Mabda, cellists Emil & Dariel, comedic group Human Fountains, dance group Mini Droids, Ndlovu Youth Choir, aerialist dancers Power Duo, and horror act Sacred Riana.
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. Then, the episode 3 Golden Buzzer was handed out by Simon to comedian Mike E. Winfield and the superfans sent saxophonist Avery Dixon through.
Follow along with our episode 4 recap live blog of the performances and the judges’ critiques below:
8:04 p.m. – Tonight’s showcase started with the winners of “Philippines’s Got Talent” season 5, Power Duo. They met during that season, fell in love, and got married. Now they’re competing to live out their dream of “making it” in the United States. Howie loved that they combined aerialism with floor dancing, but also pointed out that they had a slip in their performance when she missed a rope. Heidi said that the error doesn’t matter because their performance was still beautiful. Simon liked them so much that he asked Heidi why she didn’t use the Golden Buzzer.
8:11 p.m. – Next up was Cristina Rae, a singer that Heidi gave her Golden Buzzer to on season 15 where she finished in third place. Since then she’s been doing shows on Broadway and is geared up to star in an opera, but she wants to be a household name across the country. Following her rendition of “Hold My Hand,” Heidi and Simon stood in ovation for her. Simon said her original audition was “sensational” and that he still loves her. Howie didn’t think her song choice was “out of the park,” suggesting that she may not have done enough to get through. Heidi said Cristina doesn’t need a Golden Buzzer this time around so she held off on pressing it again.
8:23 p.m. – The men of Human Fountains from season 13 returned one member short this time, but that didn’t stop the judges from recognizing them immediately. Simon was not a fan of them originally and so he gave them the red X twice and they were eliminated in the quarter-finals. Now, as TikTok streamers, they returned to prove something to Simon. Heidi told them that she’s “genuinely excited” to see them back on stage, but Simon hit the red X again and said that he thinks the spitting was higher last time.
8:33 p.m. – It’s been nine years since the brothers Emil & Dariel first performed on season 9 where they finished as finalists. This was a season before Simon was a judge so they returned for the chance to show him their music. Though he seemed bored at the very start, Simon said that they’re both really talented but also very boring as personalities. Heidi was thoroughly entertained despite admitting that it was very similar to what they did before. Howie agreed that they didn’t necessarily raise the bar on what they did before. Simon tried to get the duo to give them something interesting to latch on to with their star quality, but they were incapable of inspiring the panel out of their indifference.
8:45 p.m. – Before going out to the stage, a very nervous Darius Mabda remarked that Simon is in a grumpy mood. He was the winner of “Romania’s Got Talent” season 12 with his dancing act, but he has never been to America before and acknowledged how big of a stage it is. Heidi opened up critiques by saying he’s a “borderline contortionist” because of how incredibly he can move his body in a breathtaking way. Howie called him an amazing acrobat and athlete and thinks the superfans will respond really well to him. Simon noted that his performance changed midway from something expected to something unexpected. He added that he has a real shot at the superfans vote.
8:57 p.m. – The judges were nervous to see the return of Sacred Riana, a season 13 quarter-finalist whose horror-themed magic has always spooked the panel. For the performance, Howie was picked (or picked a piece of paper that determined he would) to go on stage as an assistant, but the whole thing freaked him out. At the “end” of the performance, Sacred Riana disappeared and the judges and audience were left confused whether it was over or not. All we had to go on was a note written to Howie that said “I’m coming for you.”
9:09 p.m. – It was a relief to the judges when young magician Aidan McCann took the stage for the American follow up to his finale run on “Britain’s Got Talent” season 14. Though long, his act to predict choices that the judges would independently make turned out correct and earned the first full standing ovation of the night. Simon called it unbelievable and Heidi said that he is a star before hitting the Golden Buzzer!
9:23 p.m. – Blues singer Robert Finley was next to return to the stage after a semi-finalist finish on season 14. He was overjoyed to come back singing his own original song and it brought the entire audience to their feet. Heidi called his voice unbelievable and was super impressed with him throwing in some dance moves. Simon was disappointed that he didn’t have a “platinum” buzzer to hit because “gold isn’t enough.” He called his voice brilliant and agreed with the others that it was a “star performance.”
9:34 p.m. – On their first trip to Hollywood, the boys of the “Belgium’s Got Talent” season 7 winning group Mini Droids performed next. Howie called their 90s music setlist “unique” for them and said they have a skillset worthy of moving forward, but there was some hesitancy in his voice. Simon asked if anyone in the group sings and he was disappointed to hear a “no.” He and Heidi thought it wasn’t good enough to earn the superfans vote.
9:43 p.m. – The final performance of the night came from Ndlovu Youth Choir, finalists from season 14 that returned to the show to continue to inspire the continent of Africa to overcome their obstacles. Ahead of their song, Howie called them his favorite choir and Simon said that they use them as reference for every other choir they see. Their very lively original song inspired another standing ovation from the judges. Heidi was seeing them for the first time and called the performance vibrant. Howie reminded us that he doesn’t like choirs, but that they perform like they’re a finished Broadway show and worthy of a Golden Buzzer. Simon called it the “right thing” to return with original music and recognized the “unbelievable” reaction from the audience in the room.
9:55 p.m. – With Aidan already through on Heidi’s Golden Buzzer, Terry revealed the three acts from the remaining nine with the most votes from the superfans: Power Duo, Ndlovu Youth Choir, and Darius Mabda. Next he informed us who placed third in the vote and that was Darius Mabda. From the final two, the won that earned the most votes and is advancing to The Finals is Power Duo.
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