Eric Liebowitz/NBC(NEW YORK) — America’s Got Talent concluded its “Judge Cuts” on Tuesday. Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howie Mandel locked down the 36 acts advancing to the live performance shows. Mel chose this week’s guest judge, former AGT panelist Piers Morgan, who joined the regular panel and got to use the Golden Buzzer for his favorite act, sending them to Radio City Music Hall without any consultation from the AGT judges.
Only seven out of the 20 acts that performed on Tuesday’s show were allowed to move on to the next round. They were dance crew Siro-A, young dancers The Gentlemen, magician Derek Hughes, acrobatsDuo Volta, singer Alicia Michilli, stand-up comic Gary Vider and professional regurgitator Stevie Starr.
America’s Got Talent begins its live shows next week.
Here’s a rundown of some of Tuesday’s highlights:
The Gentlemen, ages 9 and 12, performed a dance routine that amused the audience and judges, including Heidi, who noted they “made the crowd go crazy.” Stern liked the choreography and the music choice, but warned the duo that it tended to get “repetitive.” Piers didn’t hold anything back, declaring the stage was “too big” for the youngsters. Mel B disagreed though, saying she “couldn’t stop smiling.” Howie called them “the full package.” The Gentlemen move on to the next round.
Magician Derek Hughes asked Howie to think of a city and Mel to think of a guy’s name, writing his predictions on two pieces of paper. After supposedly failing to guess both, he invited Howard onstage. He then wrote the word “morbid” on a piece of paper, showed Stern a dictionary and placed a playing card in a random part of the book, determined by Howard. The word on the top of the page turned out to be the word “morbid.” Hughes then retrieved the pieces of paper he discarded earlier and revealed that he actually did correctly guess the answers to Howie and Mel’s questions. Most of the judges were impressed, except for Morgan, who insisted the act didn’t have the “wow factor” he would’ve liked to have seen. Hughes advances to the live rounds.
Duo Volta performed their daring acrobatic stunts on a trapeze high in the air. Stern declared their performance was “something like a dream,” and “magnificent.” Morgan thought they had chemistry, but wasn’t sure they rose to the level of the other acrobats in the competition. The other judges prevailed and Duo Volta advances to the next round of competition.
Soulful singer Alicia Michilli blew everyone away with her performance of the Jackson 5’s “Who’s Loving You.” Mel B declared it was “ambitious” and really liked it. Morgan thought Alicia had “raw talent” and a way of “captivating an audience.” Stern, however, thought she tried a little too hard to top what she did last time and “overcompensated.” Howie agreed, but noted the competition was “a journey,” and wanted to see more. Klum agreed, saying she heard what she needed to hear. Michilli moves on to the next round.
Japanese multimedia dance crew Siro-A put on a visually stunning performance that fused mime, laser effects and electronica music and brought Howie to his feet. Howard declared, “If there’s a definition of ‘stepping it up,’ you did it.” Piers agreed and pressed his Golden Buzzer, moving the act straight through to Radio City.
Stand-up comic Gary Vider walks dogs to support his career and hopes to change that with a good showing on AGT. His financial woes provided the material for Tuesday’s routine. Howard was pleased. So was Piers, who noted Vider’s ability to “ad-lib,” demonstrating that he’s a “naturally funny guy.” Gary wasn’t Mel’s “cup of tea,” but she also acknowledged that the laughter coming from the audience indicated she was in the minority. Howie said he was a fan, but feared Vider’s comedy was so subtle, many people might not “get it.” He’ll get a chance to find out, as he advances to the live rounds.
Finally, it was professional regurgitator Stevie Starr who began his portion of the show by swallowing a cherry tomato and a razor blade, then managing to slice the tomato with the blade while it was in his stomach. Next, Starr swallowed a series of coins marked with letters. He then asked Piers to spell a word with the letters on the coins and brought them back up in that order. He made the trick even more interesting by ingesting a clip and regurgitating the last coin with the clip attached to it. The judges agreed the act was gross but oddly compelling, and Starr advances in the competition.
One of Tuesday’s heartbreaking moments came when Stern informed acrobats Duo Vladimir that it was the end of the road. Earlier, they performed some impressive stunts, including one in which they balanced on swords held in each other’s mouths. Heidi “absolutely loved” the act. Piers noted it was “different” and he liked it, applauding their ability to “command” the audience. Unfortunately, with only seven spots left, the judges went with the night’s other acrobatic team, Duo Volta, over them.
Dancer Aaron Smyth, 23, performed a series of spins, jumps and tumbles that brought the audience to their feet, which impressed Morgan. Mandel agreed the routine was “impressive,” but didn’t match his last one. Stern, however, disagreed, noting Smyth “did step it up from last time.” “Well done,” added Mel B. Smyth’s routine wasn’t enough to get him to the next round.
Alex Boyé and his band performed Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk.” Mel B thought the “power and the energy coming off the stage was undeniable,” but the performance felt “under-rehearsed.” Howard thought they had potential, but sometimes slipped into “wedding band shtick.” Piers didn’t think they’d reached a level where people would pay to see them. Heidi disagreed with the others, declaring, “I loved it.” Boyé was sent home.
Stern and Mandel thought New York City pop musician and nightlife personality Kayvon Zand’s audition was weird enough to earn another look, but this time he only managed to anger the judges. After getting buzzed by everyone except Howie, Zand protested and started a fight with the panel, including Mandel, who ended up hitting his buzzer too.
America’s Got Talent airs again on Wednesday with a special episode celebrating the show’s most memorable acts from around the world. AGT returns live next Tuesday at 8 p.m. Eastern time on NBC.
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