‘AGT 15’: Top Judge Cuts Performances of All-Time

‘Jake’s Take’ is celebrating ‘America’s Got Talent (AGT)’s’ best Judge Cuts performances from the past five seasons. (Photo property of NBC)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Over the past five years, America’s Got Talent (AGT) Judge Cuts has delivered game-changing performances and superstar guest judges. Sadly, thanks to the coronavirus, AGT abandoned the format this year. Now, only Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, and Sofia Vergara will make the final verdict on which acts will advance to the Season 15 live shows.

Before the Season 15 acts find out their fates (next Tuesday), here are some of my favorite Judge Cuts performances from the past five seasons.

Hans brought camp to the AGT: Season 13 Judge Cuts round. (Video property of NBC)

#12: Hans: “It’s Raining Men” (Season 13; Quarterfinalist) 

Jake’s Take friend Hans kicks off our countdown with his impeccable cover of “It’s Raining Men.” It was campy, and I remembered grinning massively throughout the segment. Thankfully, the judges voted Hans through to the Season 13 Live Shows.

Paul Zerdin & Baby’s “Duck”-related act received Marlon Wayans’ Golden Buzzer during AGT’s tenth anniversary. (Video property of NBC)

#11: Paul Zerdin (Season 10; Marlon Wayans’ Golden Buzzer; WINNER) 

The eventual Season 10 winner introduced his friend, Baby, to the world at Judge Cuts. There were incredible moments throughout his set from Baby, thinking that Howie Mandel was “Daddy!” to the duck-infested tale of Little Red Riding Hood. I was so happy that veteran entertainer Marlon Wayans chose him as his Golden Buzzer act.

Jon Dorenbos received Ne-Yo’s Golden Buzzer after his spectacular Judge Cuts performance during AGT: Season 11. (Video property of NBC)

#10: Jon Dorenbos (Season 11; Ne-Yo’s Golden Buzzer; Finalist) 

Former NFL star Jon Dorenbos brought his love of magic to Simon Cowell’s first season as a judge. Using a giant deck of playing cards, he brilliantly brought the future World of Dance judge’s playing card (five of clubs) through magic artwork. Jon’s humor and showmanship earned Ne-Yo’s Golden Buzzer, but a massive fanbase took him to the Season 11 finals.

Johnny Manuel fought hard to earn Seal’s Golden Buzzer during AGT: Season 12. (Video property of Got Talent Global)

#9: Johnny Manuel: “Lately”/”I Have Nothing” (Season 12; Seal’s Golden Buzzer; Semifinalist)

Season 12 fan-favorite singer Johnny Manuel had a rough go-around during his season’s Judge Cuts. Johnny was forced to perform TWICE! While I loved his take on Stevie Wonder’s “Lately,” Simon asked him to perform an A cappella cover of his audition song. Once again, Johnny delivered, and the former Masked Singer alum gave Johnny his Golden Buzzer.

Legacy act Light Balance Kids received their Golden Buzzer and ticket to the AGT: Season 14 live shows from guest judge Ellie Kemper. (Video property of NBC & Talent Recap)

#8: Light Balance Kids (Season 14; Ellie Kemper’s Golden Buzzer; Finalists)

The junior version of fan-favorites Light Balance is the next act in this countdown. The Ukrainian dance troupe delivered a flashy routine that blew the Season 14 audience away. Like their mentors, the kids earned a Golden Buzzer thanks to The Office and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt actress.  

Original AGT judge Piers Morgan awarded Japanese dance crew Siro-A a ticket to the Radio City Music Hall live shows. (Video property of NBC)

#7: Siro-A (Season 10; Piers Morgan’s Golden Buzzer; Semifinalists) 

Japanese dance crew Siro-A made a significant impact on America’s Got Talent’s tenth anniversary season. The group delivered an epic performance that brilliantly combined video, graphics, and dance into one massive number that stunned both the fans and the judges. They became original judge Piers Morgan’s only Golden Buzzer act.

Malevo’s fiery Judge Cuts performance earned George Lopez’s Golden Buzzer during AGT: Season 11. (Video property of NBC)

#6: Malevo (Season 11; George Lopez’s Golden Buzzer; Semifinalists) 

The Argentinean dance troupe brought the heat during the Season 11 Judge Cuts. Right from the start, the men delivered an outstanding combination of drumming, fiery choreography, and fire that made former judge Mel B scream with delight. Thankfully, George Lopez gave them the Golden Buzzer, and a ticket to the Dolby Theatre live shows! 

Piff the Magic Dragon and Heidi Klum teamed up for an hysterical AGT: Season 10 Judges Cuts audition that earned him NPH’s Golden Buzzer. (Video property of NBC)

#5: Piff the Magic Dragon (Season 10; Neil Patrick Harris’ Golden Buzzer; Finalist) 

Comedic magician Piff the Magic Dragon introduced the world to Mr. Piffles during the Season 10 Judge Cuts. Between giving an awkward hug to guest assistant Heidi Klum and transporting the card into a can of dog food, Piff made the audience laugh during his set. I was so happy that guest judge Neil Patrick Harris chose him to go to the Radio City Music Hall live shows. 

Sofie Dossi stunned guest judge Reba McEntire during her Season 11 Judges Cuts round. (Video property of NBC & Talent Recap)

#4: Sofie Dossi (Season 11; Reba McEntire’s Golden Buzzer; Finalist) 

Aerialist and contortionist Sofie Dossi delivered one of Season 11’s best Judge Cuts performances. Sofie showcased her spectacular talent with an epic audition that made jaws drop. Reba McEntire took the words right out of fans’ mouths when she awarded Sofie a trip to the Dolby Theatre live shows. 

Guest judge Olivia Munn awarded Angel City Chorale her Golden Buzzer for their powerful cover of “Baba Yatu.” (Video property of NBC & Talent Recap)

#3: Angel City Chorale: “Baba Yetu” (Season 13; Olivia Munn’s Golden Buzzer; Semifinalists) 

As an AGT super-duper fan, no music act has ever come close to perfection in the Judge Cuts rounds than Angel City Chorale. Under Sue Fink’s impeccable direction, this massive group of 145 performers delivered a robust cover of “Baba Yetu” that inspired unity and togetherness. I got chills from this performance, and I distinctively remember jumping for joy when Olivia Munn pressed the Golden Buzzer. 

The Clairvoyants became AGT: Season 11 frontrunners during the Judges Cuts round. (Video property of NBC)

#2: The Clairvoyants (Season 11; Runner-Ups) 

Jake’s Take friends Thommy Ten and Amelie van Tass showcased their superstar potential during the Season 11 Judge Cuts. They mentally took the audience to Las Vegas as Amelie corrected predict the judges’ card, dice, and Simon’s serial number of his $100 bill. Guest judge Louis Tomlinson should have given them the Golden Buzzer. Thankfully, the duo made it to the Season 11 finale. 

V.Unbeatable’s outstanding Judge Cuts performance raised the standard for future acts competing on AGT. (Video property of NBC)

#1: V.Unbeatable (Season 14; Dwyane Wade’s Golden Buzzer; Fourth Place Finalists)

When I saw V. Unbeatable’s Judge Cuts performance, I was blown away! This outstanding dance troupe fused Bollywood and acrobatics in an electrifying combination that left audiences gobsmacked. V.Unbeatable made Vikas proud, received Dwyane Wade’s Golden Buzzer, and made AGT history! 

Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar