‘AGT’ Airs Season 15 Judge Cuts

Howie, Heidi, Sofia, & Simon delivered the crucial news to America’s Got Talent: Season 15 hopefuls. (Photo property of NBC)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

If this were any regular season of America’s Got Talent (AGT), we would be halfway through the Judge Cuts rounds. We would have seen guest judges press the Golden Buzzer, watch fan-favorites burst in tears of happiness as they got the “OK” to advance to the Dolby Theatre live shows, and feel bad for the eliminated contestants.

However, 2020 is not an ordinary year for the NBC summer talent competition series. Over the past few weeks, fans watched how the production team handled the rising coronavirus pandemic. From a packed audience in the Pasadena Civic Center with four judges to acts performing for only Simon, Sofia, and Howie, AGT’s fifteenth anniversary season continues to be a milestone season.

Tonight, we are at the Season 15 Judge Cuts. A diverse group of acts will face off for several spots in the Season 15 Live Shows. Whose dreams will come close to reality? Which acts walked away disappointed? Read on to find out!

Talent Recap posted a preview of this year’s Judge Cuts layout. Terry met Simon, Howie, Sofia, and returning judge Heidi Klum at a sound stage set up like a drive-in movie theatre. After Simon judged Howie’s chicken car, the judges were impressed with the massive movie screen with all four of their “Xs” under it.

First, the Judges looked back at all of the people that received a “Yes.” They put through 100 people and will have to send them more than half of them home. The judges heated debates and decided to bring back several acts that were on the bubble. Celina was the first person to hear from the judges, and it was good news! Celina was not the only one who received good news: Alan Silva, Archie Williams. Bad Salsa, Bonavega, Brett Loudermilk, Kameron Ross, Malik DOPE, Double Dragons, Noah Epps, Pork Chop Revue, and the Spyro Bros were among the acts that were sent through.

On Day Two on Judge Cuts, they invited 10 acts to prove themselves worthy of joining the others in the Season 15 live shows. Simon and Maria were the first to face the judges. The duo performed an incredible routine that made me smile! Heidi stated that the duo was better than their first audition.

Hula hoop artist Craig Reid faced the judges. His routine was to Lady Gaga’s “Stupid Love.” I truly underestimated Craig, and I loved his energy. Sofia called the routine “fun,” while Heidi commended his skill. Howie loved his “slinky-esque” routine, while Simon called him “a born performer.”

Max Major was the third act to face the judges. His online audition was one of my favorite performances from the AGT at Home segments. He decided to take a risk and get inside Simon’s head. He noted a red envelope before laying out the on-air team’s photographs. I got chills throughout Max’s presentation, and he correctly predicted everything Simon said. I was blown away by the routine. 

Harmonica duo Brothers Gage impressed me when they filled the Pasadena Civic Center auditorium with their sound. I was blown away when the duo performed LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem.” I could not stop smiling as I watched them perform. While Howie stated it was not a slam dunk, Sofia noted that the duo makes harmonica sexy. 

Nolan Neal called the Judges from Nashville. The Voice: Season 11 alum wanted to prove to the judges that he did belong in the competition. He performed in front of a campfire, and his voice has a “Rod Stewart” quality that is enticing to the ears. Simon noticed his personality change, and Sofia noted that she would be fighting for him at the end of the evening. 

One singer that hopes to receive a ticket to the next round is Shaquira McGrath. She auditioned in week four with “Redneck Woman.” Tonight, she sang Avicii & Aloe Blacc’s “Wake Me Up.” The stadium server inserted soul into the piano-backed cover. Shaquira’s voice was charming to the ears. Simon praised Shaquira for commanding the soundstage, while Heidi declared her a “country star.” 

Heidi tried to defend herself to Ty Barnett, who brought up her harshness to comedians over the years. I loved that Ty brought his family and friends into the audition as his audience. He talked about kids having no filter and his daughter’s disdain from working fast food. Ty’s material was impeccable, and I think having an audience worked in his favor. Heidi vibed with his content, but both Sofia and Simon stated that his first audition was better.

Harmonica duo Brothers Gage impressed me when they filled the Pasadena Civic Center auditorium with their sound. I was blown away when the duo performed LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem.” I could not stop smiling as I watched them perform. While Howie stated it was not a slam dunk,  Sofia stated that the duo make harmonica sexy.

Nolan Neal called the Judges from Nashville. The Voice: Season 11 alum wanted to prove to the judges that he did belong in the competition. He performed in front of campfire and his voice has a “Rod Stewart” quality that is enticing to the ears. Simon noticed his personality change and Sofia noted that she would be fighting for him at the end of the evening.

Ryan Tricks noted that he is working in the sewage when he spoke with the judges. The magician recruited Britain’s Got Talent and America’s Got Talent: The Champions judge Alesha Dixon to help him out, He correctly predicted Alesha’s contact and the message that she “magically” sent over the message. I was in awe of Ryan, but I thought that Max was a better performer.

The Ninja Twins faced the judges once again. The duo wanted to prove Simon wrong. The pair decided to sing Justin Bieber’s worst song ever: “Yummy.” While it was camp as hell, I was not impressed. The only time I laughed was when Simon had a horrifying expression on his face. Heidi called it “infectious,” but Simon called it “so bonkers and hysterical.”

Simon reunited with a Britain’s Got Talent alum. The Got Talent creator introduced his co-patriots to daredevil Jonathan Goodwin, who performed in the Britain’s Got Talent: Series 13 semifinals. Jonathan revealed that the judges were going to see “the most dangerous and scariest thing” he ever performed. The online auditionee lined up a series of four crossbows, and he introduced the judges to a metal blindfold. His assistant, April, poured water into a glass cup. He asked Howie to close his eyes and yell, “STOP!” when the water is getting close to full. Both Terry and Sofia freaked out when they saw the crossbow and April standing next to a balloon’s target.

Thankfully, Jonathan hit the balloon and not April. Next, he brought out the crossbow quartet. Underneath the loaded crossbows were four water containers and sports bottles. All of them were connected to the crossbows’ triggers. Because of the bottles’ weight, Jonathan explained that all of them would “fire at different times” at the target where he would be standing—blindfolded. He called this stunt: “Blindfold Chicken with Crossbows.” As April turned on the water containers, Jonathan successfully blocked all four arrows!

After the acts performed, it was time for the judges to make their decision. The judges invited Simon and Maria (over the Brothers Gage? Strange choice!), Jonathan Goodwin, Shaquira McGrath, Nolan Neal, and Max Major!!!

Next week, the show celebrates its fifteenth anniversary!

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar