“America’s Got Talent” continued season 18 on June 6 with a two-hour showcase of acts in “Auditions 2.” There are no changes to judges’ dais this summer with executive producer Simon Cowell and long-time judge Howie Mandel taking their place on the ends of the table. Heidi Klum returns as well, as does Sofia Vergara who took a break when “All-Stars” aired earlier this year. Hosting duties are entrusted to the lively Terry Crews once again.
In the audition phase of “AGT,” an act needs at least three of the four judges to give them a “yes” vote to advance to the next round. If two or more judges buzz the act, they are immediately eliminated. Each judge and Crews has one chance to hit the “golden buzzer” and send an act straight through to the live performances.
In the season premiere, Simon led the panel in handing out the first ever Audience Golden Buzzer to Mzansi Youth Choir from South Africa.
The format will be the same as in previous seasons, with “America’s Got Talent” airing just on Tuesdays at first with the initial weeks devoted to the auditions that took place around the country. The live shows begin on Tuesday, August 22 with voting results shows following on Wednesday.
Below, read our minute-by-minute “America’s Got Talent” recap of Season 18, Episode 2 to find out what happened Tuesday, June 6 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. Then be sure to sound off in the comments section about your favorite acts on NBC’s long-running reality TV show and who you think will ultimately join the AGT list of champions.
8:03 p.m. – Night two of initial auditions kicked off with 10 year old dancer Lambros Garcia who said that if he wins the million dollar prize that he’d “like to have a dog.” His high-kicking, high-energy jazz routine brought the judges and audience to their feet. Howie told him that he dances with joy and precision and that his performance is the ultimate response to his bullies at school. Sofia called it “spectacular” and Simon added that Lambros has “natural stage presence.” Heidi started the votes with a “yes” and three more followed to give Lambros what Simon totaled would be “4 and a half thousand yeses” to go to the next round.
8:10 p.m. – Next up was the 26-person trap choir from North Carolina, Sainted. They explained that they sing trap songs and met through their church community. Their medley of songs included the use of solo vocals, group harmonies, one member on turn tables and another on the keys. Howie was left “shook,” calling them young and exciting because they’re not what you expect a choir to be. Heidi loves their vibe and that they built a look with style and choreography. Sofia called them creative and fun with great dancing and amazing voices. Simon concluded by saying he “loved everything about this.” He called them “so cool, so current” and called out the “amazing lead vocal” as a standout. They all knew it immediately that this would be “about 4,000 yes” votes to the next round.
8:22 p.m. – Ahead of their performance, the Ramadhani Brothers promised to show the judges that they’ve never seen before. The judges got nervous when the crew brought out a ladder and started bolting it to the floor in front of their booth. Before getting to the ladder, the brothers balanced one on top of the other by just their heads with the balancing one in a headstand. Because that wasn’t impressive enough (it was!), they then moved to the ladder and achieved the same stunt but while climbing and then descending the ladder from the opposite side. Howie said it was “the scariest, most dangerous act” he’s ever seen on the show and it left him speechless. Heidi screamed, “This is how you do it!” and added that they’re amazing. Sofia called it the most “exciting, fun, scary” and thought the strain in their face made it even better. Simon said it “was about as close to perfection” as it could get. When the votes were cast, it was yet another set of four thousand “yeses” according to Simon’s tally.
8:35 p.m. – Ex-corporate pilot Virginia Stone came to “AGT” to show off her calling talents that she perfected at the Iowa State Fair. She’s adapted her hog calling to “husband calling” and used Simon’s name as an example. He was not impressed though, hitting his red buzzer alongside Heidi’s use of hers. Howie and Sofia didn’t hit their buzzers, but they voted “no” anyway.
8:38 p.m. – Virginia was followed by the women of Avantgardey, a Japanese dance group. Heidi said that they’re “beyond in sync” and that they think out of the box with their ideas. Sofia called it “something weird that we’ve never seen” and Simon called it “genius.” Howie closed it out by saying he’s never seen anything like it before and then kicked off the votes to total four unanimous “yeses” to advance.
8:47 p.m. – 17 year old Indonesian pianist and singer Putri Ariani came to America for the first time to take steps toward her dream of going to Juilliard and winning a Grammy award. Following her performance, Simon rushed to the stage to personally introduce himself to her and to her father who was by her side, and then asked her to sing a second song because he liked her voice so much. Once again Simon was gobsmacked by Putri’s voice, as were the other judges who joined him in a standing ovation. Putri told Sofia that she’s excited and can’t believe the roaring applause for her. Howie and Sofia called Putri an angel and a superstar. Heidi added that she sounded beautiful in the first song, one Putri pointed out was an original to the judges’ surprise. Simon said she has “an amazing, distinctive voice” and that she has a glow about her. He said he hopes it will make a difference in her goal of getting in to Juilliard that he was hitting the golden buzzer for her! Simon’s decision meant she’d advance straight to the live shows.
9:04 p.m. – Mandy Muden explained to Terry prior to her audition that it isn’t easy being a female magician, but she’s managed to build her career over the course of 25-30 years. On stage, she told Sofia that if she wins the cash prize that she’d “probably spend it on men.” The comedic flavor continued through her act and was a large part of why the judges wound up adoring her. Sofia said the act was “quite a surprise” and she didn’t expect to have so much fun. Howie called her a “very good magician” and the “epitome of someone that deserves to have their own show.” Heidi and Simon also loved her, adding to Sofia and Howie’s love with the “yes” votes to send her through to the next round.
9:17 p.m. – 6 year old singer Zoe Erianna was next to take the stage, telling Terry that she’d build out a “big, fluffy bed” if she won the million dollars, but later told Simon she’d buy a convertible and a Barbie camper. Following her vocal performance of “Born This Way,” Sofia (Zoe’s favorite judge) called her one of her favorite contestants ever. Heidi liked the theatrics that Zoe added to her performance and Howie called her an “adorable baby version” of Lady Gaga. Simon liked that she was brave and fearless, but also had a great voice and included the hand movements. Everyone loved the audition and so it was an easy call to get four “yes” votes to send her through.
9:27 p.m. – Over 170 coconuts were laid out for German martial artist Muhamed Kahrimanovic who hoped to beat his own Guiness World Record for most coconuts broken into two pieces in one minute. Muhamed’s current record prior to the audition was 148 coconuts. Unfortunately, after the minute-long trial, the Guiness adjudicator on set verified that only 23 coconuts were properly split. At the announcement, Simon hit his red buzzer, saying “not even close,” and so it was a “no” vote to see him again.
9:36 p.m. – Mitch Rossell learned to love country music through a bond with his father growing up, teaching himself later in life to play the guitar and to sing. At the age of 10, Mitch lost his dad, grandfather and grandmother in law when they were all involved in a collision with a drunk driver in their small town. Learning to play country music is how Mitch honors his father’s memory. Following the performance of his original song, Howie responded to the content of a father-son relationship and predicted that it becomes a country hit in downloads. Sofia called it amazing and Simon said he loved every part of the audition because it was “sincere.” Heidi started the voting, including her “yes” vote alongside the other three for Mitch to advance to the next round.
9:50 p.m. – The final act of the night was Ray Wold, a comedic danger act who was able to commission his 85 year old mother to perform with him in order to audition for the show. Their goal in performing was to show the younger family members that you’re never too old to “go for the gusto” in life. In the act, Ray lit himself on fire and then threw flaming daggers at his mom, surrounding her in fire as well. Howie was not all that impressed, hitting his red buzzer just before Ray threw the final dagger near his mom’s head as Terry screamed “That’s spectacular” from the side of the stage. Heidi called the act “a hot mess” that she loved, Sofia was speechless in a good way, and Simon thought it was a brilliant performance. Howie had a different opinion and said “You just shouldn’t throw knives at your mother,” sticking to his “no” vote. Heidi, Sofia and Simon overruled Howie, giving Ray and his mom the three “yes” votes needed for them to pass the first round.
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