By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Breaking News! America’s Got Talent announced their Judges’ Cuts’ guest judges for Season 11!
Comedian George Lopez, country music queen Reba McEntire, former One Direction member, and Simon Cowell protégé Louis Tomlinson and Top 40 soul man Ne-Yo will join the AGT judges to determine which acts will take the stage at the Dolby Theatre. Hopefully, the guest judges will have the same opportunity to press the Golden Buzzer and send an act to the Season 11 live shows.
Speaking of the Golden Buzzer, a Season 11 teaser showed that host Nick Cannon will (finally) have a chance to press the Golden Buzzer like his Britain’s Got Talent counterparts, Ant & Dec, sometime this season. Did he press it tonight? Read on to find out!
As the judges made their entrance in the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, 18-year-old AGT superfan and Kansas City native Ryan Beard brought his mom to his audition and prayed that the judges did not buzz him. After making the judges and audience laugh with his homeschool back story, he sang an original song called “Ladies’ Man.” He reminded me of a young Randy Newman, who hysterically told his origin story through song. Howie stated Ryan was a hit with the ladies, while Mel B called him: “Sweet, charming and funny.” Heidi wanted more and Simon said that he would remember his audition. Ryan received the first unanimous “Yes” of the evening.
Ever since Mat Franco won Season Nine, magicians have been trying to top the Las Vegas headliner and become the second magic act to win the show. Siblings Kaden and Brooklyn Rockett wanted to be the first brother-and-sister magic act to impress the judges. Kaden shocked the audience sawed his sister in half and immediately won over the public. As Brooklyn was carried off the stage in two pieces, Simon was shocked that Kaden cut Brooklyn in half, while Mel B loved their entire presentation. They received the second unanimous “Yes” of the evening and moved on the Judges’ Cuts.
The Smiths (Raii and Whitney) have been married for five-and-a-half years and met in a college choir. Initially, the Smiths supported major acts around the world as backing vocalists (Alicia Keys and Estelle), and now they want their chance to grab the spotlight as a singing duo. They performed a soulful duet of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s “You’re All I Need to Get By.” I loved their harmonies, and I hope that next round that they cut loose and deliver a bombastic vocal that would take them to the Dolby Theatre live shows!
Simon hates clowns! He is literally terrified of them! The Got Talent creator faced his worst nightmare in the form of Ricky the Barber. His tattooed blue faced clown showed off his enthusiasm, but his mediocre rapping and juggling skills failed to impress Simon and the ladies, and he was eliminated out of the competition.
Married couple Annie and Andre (ThroWings) wanted to show their dangerous aerial act to the world. Annie broke her spine doing this act with a previous partner. But, it was Andre that convinced her to do their act and reassured her that he would be there to catch her. The duo transformed themselves into a human trapeze and showed off their death-defying stunts. Mel called it “Incredible” and Heidi called it “elegant and dangerous.” Simon declared it: “Incredible” and joined his fellow judges in voting “Yes” to Judges’ Cuts. (Editor’s note: I saw this act audition for the judges and it was breathtaking! On a side note, it was the only time that I was near the Judges’ Desk. I was a seat holder for a few acts.)
59-year-old sword swallower Dan Meyer started swallowing in 1997. Despite his nearly 20 years of doing this act, he racketed countless of injuries and wanted to prove himself to Simon and the judges by something he has not done before. After successfully swallowing his sword, he took a car axel. Next, he called Nick over to assist him with his next phase of his act: steer a car that Dan pulled by using the car axel. My jaw dropped to the floor as Dan dragged the car across the stage. Howie gave him a standing ovation and liked that he blended both danger and strength acts, while Simon called him “certifiably nuts, but liked the act.” Dan moved on to the next round.
14-year-old Sofie Dossi combined hand balancing and contortion together for one spectacular first audition. Her movements were crisp and she successfully picked up an apple with her feet and ate it. While Sofie’s gymnastic skills were impeccable, I was extremely impressed with her archery skills as she shot a crossbow with her feet. Both Heidi and Howie gave Sofie a standing ovation, while Simon jokingly asked: “What planet are you from?” and gave her father a shout-out for a job well done. Sofie might be one act to watch during the next round.
One of the acts that I got to see audition for the judges was 54-year-old Christopher. His goal was to be a part of a music group. While he was unable to find a band, Christopher went the solo route and decided to create a group with the help of his “friends.” The Las Vegas native used life-sized marionettes dressed up as the Village People and got the crowd up on their feet with “Y.M.C.A.” I remember watching this performance and having the time of my life watching Christopher performed. I am so happy that Howie and Mel B gave him a standing ovation. Heidi praised his choreography, while Mel B stated that she would see him again and again. I cannot wait to see what he brings to the Judges’ Cuts.
San Diego native Brian Justin Crum had the last audition of the night. After facing a rough childhood while he was tormented for being fat and gay, his mother gave him the courage to follow his dreams as a singer. He delivered a powerful cover of Queen’s “Somebody to Love” that was worthy of moving onto the next round. If Brian makes it all the way to the finals, I would love for him to sing this song with Voice champion Jordan Smith. It would be a powerful vocal duet between two of the most powerful male vocalists of our generation. Brian received the only four-judge standing ovation of the night and was advanced to the next round.
Next week, Nick Cannon ends the “AGT” auditions with the Golden Buzzer!