‘AGT’ Welcomes New Judges Gabrielle Union & Julianne Hough

New judges Gabrielle Union & Julianne Hough smile with ‘AGT’ veterans Howie Mandel, Terry Crews, and series creator Simon Cowell. (Photo property of NBC)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

It is the most wonderful time of the year! America’s Got Talent (AGT) is back for its fourteenth season! Actress Gabrielle Union (Bring It On and The Birth of a Nation) and former Dancing with the Stars judge Julianne Hough joined Got Talent veterans Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, and Terry Crews this season. 

Hundreds of acts made it successfully past the producers and now were ready to show the new panel and America their talents!  Which acts were one step closer to inherit Shin Lim’s stash and place in the winners’ circle?  Who was buzzed out of the competition?  Who was the first member of the on-air talent team to press the Golden Buzzer and sent an act directly to the Dolby Theatre live shows?  Read on to find out!

After Simon welcomed to the new arrivals and toasted Howie Mandel’s tenth anniversary, it was time to get down to business. The first act to kick off Season 14 was 60-year-old impressionist Greg Morton, who delivered a one-person take on the Star Wars saga. He received the first four judges standing ovation of the season. Gabrielle Union stated it was time for Greg to step onto the spotlight, while Julianne admitted that she would buy a ticket for his show! He was the lucky recipient of the first four “Yeses” of Season 14!

Once Terry finished checking in with fellow newcomer Gabrielle Union, it was time for Eric Chien to take the stage! This magician was just finished conquering Asia’s Got Talent and was inspired by Shin Lim to compete.  In an earlier article, I recommended that the AGT production team recruited him to compete on America’s Got Talent: The Champions’ sophomore season.  It looks like Hanukkah came early! He delivered a fantastic opening number, but after watching a few of his Asia’s Got Talent videos, I believe he is just getting started.

Singer-songwriter Sophie Pecora turned to YouTube to express herself musically. Sophie’s goal is to tour the world, performing her original music to audiences. Before she performed, Simon asked her if Sophie if her friends knew she was auditioning for the show, and she timidly replied, “No.”  When I listened to her, I thought that she reminded me of previous contestants Grace VanderWaal and Evie Clair, who drove me insane on their respective seasons. She is not ready for this stage. However, Gabrielle Union stated that Sophie bared her soul, while Howie called her ”Unique.” She also received four “Yeses.”

Classical pianist Patrizio Ratto came from Italy with hope to impress the judges with his classical music. Before he took the stage, he revealed that his hero was Beethoven. However, this pianist was also a spectacular dancer who showed off moves that would make Season Eight champion Kenichi Ebina proud! He received a standing ovation from the judges, and I believe that he could be an early dark horse contender to go far this season!

V.Unbeatable Dance Crew traveled from Mumbai, India to compete on AGT. V.Unbeatable Dance Crew is made up of 28 dancers from 12-years-old to 27-years-old. The group’s spokespeople had a hard time living in the country because some of their members live in Mumbai’s slums. However, they hoped that their talent would be able to change their lives. As a longtime viewer, there are auditions that I will remember and V.Unbeatable’s AGT debut is one of them. Their choreography was impeccable, and the group reminded me of AcroArmy and Zurcaroh’s debuts.  Gabrielle Union was speechless, while Julianne called it “absolutely brilliance” and the performance “history in the making.” The group got a unanimous “Yes” from the judges, but I believed that they deserved the Golden Buzzer!

Full-time stand-up comedian and The Bronx native turned LA resident Jackie Fabulous stepped onto the stage. She was fired from her lawyer job and turned to comedy, which infuriated her parents. Her routine focused on jokes that included her Jamaican mother’s bluntness, The Biggest Loser, and locking people in a donut shop. Jackie’s routine made me chuckle and received a four-judge standing ovation. Gabrielle Union loved the performance, while Simon stated: “Thank God for You!” After Simon kissed Jackie and called the performance “Flawless,” Jackie headed to the next round.

X Factor UK star and drag queen Gingzilla traveled from Sydney, Australia to make her American debut. The drag queen performed Sir Tom Jones’ “She’s A Lady,” in a powerful BARITONE voice. The entire Pasadena Civic Center audience was on their feet, and so were the judges. Gingzilla headed to the next round!

Brian Miser, the Human Fuse, would not let bruised ribs stop him from making his AGT debut. For his act, his wife lit him on fire, and he launched himself over 110 feet in the air. It was one of the most terrifying stunts in AGT history. Thankfully, he landed safely on the mat, but several medics had to extinguish him. The Human Fuse received a standing ovation from all four judges and the Pasadena Civic Center audience. Gabrielle Union loved that he “WOWED” the audience, while Julianne stated that Brian inspired everyone. Hopefully, he does not take Simon’s advice and jump over something that could eat him during the next round.

22-years-old singer-pianist Kodi Lee was the final act of the Season 14 premiere. They performed Leon Russell “A Song for You.” His mom, Tina, revealed to the audience that Cody was blind and autistic, plus she credited music for saving Cody’s life. When Cody sang, his voice reminded me of Elliott Yamin who sang this song 13 years ago on American Idol.  This was a beautiful moment, Howie revealed that everyone gave him a standing ovation.  Gabrielle Union praised Tina for Kodi’s talent and gave Kodi her very first Golden Buzzer!

Next week, the Judges’ Auditions continue! Who will press the Golden Buzzer next?


  1. […] Last week, America’s Got Talent (AGT) celebrated its fourteenth season on NBC! The talent competition returned with new judges Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough as they joined AGT veterans Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel and Terry Crews.  However, the biggest breakout star they found during the premiere was 22-year-old Kodi Lee. […]

  2. […] seen impressive auditions!  However, only the performances of 22-year-old singer and pianist Kodi Lee, singer-songwriter Joseph Allen, and 11-year-old violinist Tyler Butler-Figueroa received the […]

  3. […] Tonight, the former Dancing with the Stars judge selected her Golden Buzzer act.  Who will join Kodi Lee, Joseph Allen, Tyler Butler-Figueroa, and the Detroit Youth Choir at the Season 14 live shows?  […]

  4. […] Got Talent (AGT) judge Julianne Hough finally revealed her Golden Buzzer act.   Which act joined Kodi Lee, Joseph Allen, Tyler Butler-Figueroa, and the Detroit Youth Choir at the Season 14 Live Shows, […]

  5. […] act received the opportunity to join Kodi Lee, the Detroit Youth Choir, and Sophie Pecora at the Dolby Theatre? Whose dreams came crashing down? […]

Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar