“America’s Got Talent: All-Stars” continued Monday night with the fifth 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 30 episode were ventriloquist Ana-Maria Mărgean, singers Archie Williams, Peter Rosalita and Tom Ball, comedian Axel Blake, magicians Jasper Cherry and Mervant Vera, ukulelist Mandy Harvey, martial artists World Taekwondo Demonstration Team, and comic duo Yumbo Dump.
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. The acts to advance from episode 4 were magician Aidan McCann and dance act Power Duo.
Follow along with our episode 5 recap live blog of the performances and the judges’ critiques below:
8:03 p.m. – Terry announced that in tonight’s penultimate preliminary episode the final Golden Buzzer would be given out and it’d be a unified decision called the Group Golden Buzzer. In next week’s sixth and final set of initial auditions there will be no Golden Buzzer.
8:04 p.m. – The first act of the night was Peter Rosalita, the young singer that finished in the semi-finals of season 16 who impressed the judges with the professionalism he displayed during a “hiccup” in one of his performances on the show. Tonight he sang “Go the Distance” by Michael Bolton, after which the judges gave him a well-deserved standing ovation. Peter admitted to the judges that the show is still nerve-wracking for him, but Heidi said that he’s still “a star in the making,” Howie mentioned that he was amazing despite the nerves and a sore throat, and Simon thought his voice got better since they last saw him.
8:12 p.m. – Comedian Axel Blake was next to take the stage, introducing himself for the first time to Heidi and Howie as a Golden Buzzer choice from Simon on season 15 of “Britain’s Got Talent” which he went on to win. His set of jokes tonight was inspired by his and his family’s first trip to Los Angeles, their packing habits and airline preferences. Howie thought he showed up well for himself for his first time in America and Heidi thought his content was relatable. Simon noted that the audience was laughing throughout and that he’s going to do really well.
8:23 p.m. – Another one of Simon’s Golden Buzzers was up next. Ukulelist Mandy Harvey first appeared on season 12 of AGT and has since recorded two albums and performed all over the world, but she finally feels like she has the confidence to go all the way on the show. Tonight she performed an original song called “Something I Can Feel” that earned her a roaring ovation from the judges and crowd. Heidi called her voice angelic and says she oozes positivity and Howie said she’s “so inspirational.” Simon explained to Mandy that he had hoped she’d come back with a good original song and was proud that tonight she returned with a “great” song.
8:34 p.m. – The comic duo Yumbo Dump arrived placing blame on Heidi for their failure to win season 13. On that season she gave them the red buzzer because they “didn’t step it up” in the quarter-finals. As such, they wanted to make Heidi laugh this time around and in that they succeeded. Heidi even joined them on stage for their final “joke,” where she assisted in rubbing a rubber band against their belly in order to create the sound of a “Heidi standing ovation.” Simon mentioned that their brand of funny stupidity is what the show’s all about, Heidi admitted to being wrong about them in season 13, and Howie said that they are even funnier than they ever were.
8:45 p.m. – The next act was rapping magician Mervant Vera from season 17. Based on his success since that season where he finished as a semi-finalist, Mervant learned that this was the correct career path for him. Tonight he collected a bunch of random words from envelopes placed in the audience and then used those to create a rap. He used all of the random words three times in the course of the rap and then turned each over to reveal the word “destiny,” which was the same word chosen as the eighth random envelope. Heidi liked that part of his act was showing how random the choices were to dispel rumors that it was fixed. Howie said that his magic is amazing, but his freestyle rapping is also amazing. Simon likes him and his message, saying that seeing how important it is to him goes a long way.
8:57 p.m. – Singer Tom Ball was the second “Britain’s Got Talent” performer to appear tonight. Tom finished in third place on the same season that Axel won. Tonight he sang “The Sound of Silence” for the judges alongside a string quartet. Once again the judges panel stood in ovation as the crowd roared behind them. Simon opened critiques by wishing that it had been the first time he’d ever heard Tom because it was unexpected and the best performance all series. Howie added that he does it “so right” and Heidi called it “larger than life.” Simon said that if Tom had done that song in season 15 that he would have won. As the audience began to chant “Golden Buzzer,” Terry descended from the stage to join the other judges in giving Tom the Group Golden Buzzer!
9:10 p.m. – World Taekwondo Demonstration Team was a group that earned Terry’s Golden Buzzer on season 16 and as they took the stage tonight Howie called them one of his favorite acts ever. They finished in the top 10 that time around so “All-Stars” is their second chance to live up to their potential as winners. Following their exciting recital of martial arts tricks, Simon called them “unbelievable” and “on another level.” Heidi said they’re both athletes and dancers, calling it “insane” that they can remain in synch. Howie added that they deserve to be in The Finals and expressed a lot of love for them as a group.
9:21 p.m. – The third act to come from “Britain’s Got Talent” was magician Jasper Cherry, a finalist from season 14. Tonight his mission was to prove time travel through a card trick that incorporated iPhones, clocks and photography that blew everyone’s mind. Howie called it an act that superfans love, Heidi said it was imaginable and that he makes her believe in the impossible, and Simon legitimately believed in the magic of his act, saying that it was clearly not a trick.
9:33 p.m. – Another former champion to perform tonight was ventriloquist Ana-Maria Mărgean who was inspired by Terry Fator before winning “Romania’s Got Talent” season 11. Ana-Maria performed with her disagreeable rescue dog puppet Waldo, incorporating a heavy dose of comedy along with a vocal performance of “You Don’t Own Me.” Heidi was not surprised she’s a winner because her voice is beautiful and she’s funny. Howie loved that she’s only been practicing ventriloquism for a couple years and that her mom made her puppet for her. Simon concluded that it’s exciting to see a winner from another country come to America to compete with the best of the best.
9:44 p.m. – The final performance of the night was singer Archie Williams, the season 15 finalist whose story of being freed after 36 years in prison for a wrongful conviction inspired everyone. His rendition of “Ain’t No Sunshine” impressed Howie because it so uniquely tied to the story of his life and that makes him deserving of success. Heidi said he touches her heart every time he’s on stage because he’s honest and raw. Simon thinks he came back better than he was before and called it a “strong” and “creative” performance for a singer.
9:55 p.m. – In order to reveal the choice of the superfans, Terry first revealed the names of the three acts that earned the most votes: Peter Rosalita, Ana-Maria Mărgean, and Mandy Harvey. From that top three, the act that finished in third place was Mandy and in second place was Peter. That meant that Ana-Maria was the winner of the superfans vote and will perform again in The Finals.
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