AGT: Season 14 Goes Live From Dolby Theatre

Which acts impressed Howie, Gabrielle, Julianne, & Simon tonight as AGT: Season 14 went live from the Dolby Theatre? (Photo and graphic with NBC)

By: Jacob Elyachar,

After nine Golden Buzzer acts, several standout performances, and shocking eliminations (gospel singer Callie Day and acrobat Matthew Richardson were robbed), America’s Got Talent (AGT): Season 14 went live!  Tonight, some of the season’s biggest acts competed on the Dolby Theatre stage.

Which performers stole the show and shined on the Dolby Theatre? Did anyone got buzzed by the judges (Simon Cowell, Julianne Hough, Gabrielle Union, and Howie Mandel)?  Read on to find out! Also, starting tonight, I will be grading each Dolby Theatre performer by a letter grade.

Terry Crews walked out onto the Dolby Theatre stage to Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke,” and he introduced the judges. Once all pleasantries ended, it was time to get down to business.  GFORCE kicked off the evening. In all honesty, GFORCE did not deliver in my humble opinion. I wished that I had the power to teleport into the Dolby Theatre and buzzed them. F

I love Greg Morton! The impressionist had me at his first audition, and he is one of my favorite acts. Tonight, he transported the Dolby Theatre audience to Studio 14. He made me laugh from the moment that he walked onto the stage. Greg’s impressions were spot on, and his infectious energy made the set memorable. A-

I was overjoyed when Carmen Carter made it to the Dolby Theatre live shows. This woman is probably the best vocalist in this competition this year. She tackled Imagine Dragons’ “Believer” and dominated the song. While it took me a few notes to recognize the song, I thought Carmen delivered a star-making performance. B+/A-

The Emerald Belles drill dance team received a hero’s welcome from their hometown. After receiving their own day from the mayor, the girls took the Dolby Theatre stage. In all honesty, this routine was a disaster and amateurish. F

A few weeks ago, Brad Paisley awarded 15-year-old singer-rapper Sophie Pecora with his Golden Buzzer. Right now, I see Sophie as a Grace VanderWaal clone. In addition, she needs to write more positive songs because I did not connect with her original tune tonight! C

The Messoudi Brothers made their Dolby Theatre debut. The acrobatic balance trio delivered the heat during the Judges’ Auditions and Judges’ Cuts. This trio gave America a taste of what their Vegas act would be like tonight. I liked that they added a live band and one of them was blindfolded. I think that they definitely stepped up from the previous rounds and I hope to see them in the next round. A-

Voices of Service is one music act that I looked forward to seeing at the Dolby Theatre live shows. They have brilliantly represented their country so far this season, and I was interested to see what they were going to do this round. Tonight, they sang Gavin DeGraw’s “Fire” and the group gave me chills! I am so happy that the quartet was joined by their fellow servicemen and servicewomen on the stage. It was brilliant (and probably the best) performance of the night! A+

Bratty Ansley Burns made an unwelcome return to AGT. Multiple media outlets confirmed that the 12-year-old singer was named the only previously eliminated act to receive the show’s prestigious Wild Card spot. I am appalled by the decision because I believe that either Callie Day or Matthew Richardson should have gotten the coveted spot. While Simon interrupted her twice in early rounds, he did not interrupt her god awful performance. F

Blacklight painter Alex Dowis may have missed my Top 15 acts of this season, but he is one performer that I hope audiences do not underestimate. Alex transported the Dolby Theatre audience into the Milky Way galaxy and across time. His impeccable artwork gave me chills as he combined music and art into a spectacular presentation that is ready for Vegas. A

Julianne Hough’s Golden Buzzer act, Luke Islam, is a Broadway fan! After blowing everyone away with his impeccable cover of Waitress’ “She Used to Be Mine,” he found his way to the Dolby Theatre stage. Tonight, he tackled Dear Evan Hansen’s anthem “You Will Be Found.” Luke gave me chills with his vocal performance and cemented his future in the entertainment industry. B+

After Terry warned the audience about the Bir Khalsa Group’s latest stunt, they introduced them to a new crew member. Ready or not, the trio had to perform on the Dolby Theatre stage. The Bir Khalsa trio revisited their Judges’ Auditions and Judge Cuts performance by adding new twists such as slicing cucumbers with a chainsaw and using a spear with the melons. I am so happy that the trio survived! It was one of the scariest moments of the evening and I see them entertaining audiences at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights. A-

Singer and pianist Kodi Lee concluded the night! He made his long awaited debut at the Dolby Theatre. Tonight, he performed a cover of Paul Simon’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Seeing Kodi perform this classic tune reminded me of Clay Aiken triumphantly performing this song years ago on Idol. Just like Clay, I believe Kodi is going to sell a lot of tickets and his songs will be streamed multiple times. It was a great way to end the show! A+

Tomorrow night, we will find out which acts move to the Season 14 semifinals!


  1. […] delivered a masterclass vocal performance of the song on American Idol years ago, Kodi Lee’s cover inspired millions of viewers. Kodi did not need a massive choir or orchestra behind him, his piano […]

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