‘AGT’ Auditions Has No Audience But Finds Howie Mandel’s Golden Buzzer Act

AGT veteran Howie Mandel found his Golden Buzzer act on one of the most unusual episodes in show history. (Photo property of NBC)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com 

For the first time in America’s Got Talent (AGT) history, the Judges’ Auditions had no audience. Acts would have to face Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Sofia Vergara, and guest judge Eric Stonestreet alone without any audience support. Which acts rose above these tragic circumstances and delivered epic auditions? Did the exponential pressure cause the acts to cave? Also, Howie Mandel found his Golden Buzzer act! Who will advance to the Season 15 live shows? Read on to find out…

After Terry Crews talked with Eric Stonestreet and the others, Simon pressed his buzzer to showcase how loud it was without the audience. Despite not having an audience in front of them, the CA Wildcats brought their energy to the Pasadena Civic Center stage. The Plano, Texas natives revealed that they are a mixed-age performing troupe (youngest member is 13-years-old, and their oldest is 30). After Howie Mandel joked that they would be cheering for the judges, the troupe got into formation. My jaw dropped as they brought out their aerial stunts and cartwheels. The CA Wildcats impressed me with their audition and deserved the four-judge standing ovation. Sofia loved the synchronization, and Simon loved their ambition. They received the first unanimous “Yes” of the evening.

12-year-old pianist Jacob Velazquez brought out his vision board to his audition. He also wanted to inspire people with PDDNOS (Pervasive Development Disorder Not Otherwise Specified). I immediately fell in love with my fellow Jacob’s attitude and outlook. He sat down on the piano and performed an original song. I was very impressed with his composition work. However, he brought out his drums and played Fall Out Boy’s “Centuries.” He is a talented kid whose talent has no ends, and I got chills. Howie Mandel called him a “prodigy,” while Eric Stonestreet loved his tone and dynamics on the piano. He received the second set of “four Yeses” of the evening.

As a loyal Wendy Williams fan, I was so happy to see Michael Yo walk on the AGT stage. This time, he was going to perform stand-up comedy. Michael Yo’s material talked about aging and unpredictability. I smiled throughout his set and started tearing up because he shined throughout his set. Howie Mandel stated that he made the right choice and the correct decision to audition. Sofia even gave him air hugs. Michael received a ticket to the Judge Cuts. 

Brothers Gage is a sibling harmonica duo. They claimed to have hundreds of harmonicas at their home. They also wanted to perform at the Super Bowl and the Grammys. The school students played a produced original track, and the Brothers Gage put a smile on my face. Both Sofia and Howie Mandel gave them a standing ovation and made Terry excited. They received four “Yeses” to the Judges’ Cuts.

Jamaican native turned Los Angeles transplant Shevon Nieto stepped onto the AGT stage. The 37-year-old revealed that she was a two-time Olympic runner who competed in the 400m hurdles retired from the sport in 2016. She retired due to her husband, two-time Olympic high jumper Jamie Nieto, was in a jumping accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. She found comfort through music, and it is healing both of them. She performed an original song, “Through the Good and Bad,” that she dedicated to Jamie. It is a beautiful song with shades of Monica’s “For You I Will” and Fantasia’s “When I See U.” Shevon received a standing ovation from all four judges. Howie Mandel called it a “wonderful, moving performance.” Sofia added that she loved her voice and Simon called Shevon’s story “powerful.” She received a ticket to the next round.

I loved it when cellist Elijah de la Motte mentioned that Emil & Dariel inspired him to audition. The young cellist did an impeccable cover of Ariana Grande’s “7 rings” and The Sound of Music’s “My Favorite Things.” Sofia loved his enthusiasm, and Howie Mandel loved his infectious joy. He received four Yeses to advance to the next round.

After a series of failed auditions, 15-year-old Kenadi Dobbs walked onto the AGT stage. She sang an original tune called “A Ticket to Tennessee,” where she sang about her parents’ support. She has a superb voice for her age, and I can see be her generation’s Maren Morris and Kelsea Ballerini. The judges gave her a standing ovation, and Simon called Kendai: “ a firecracker.” She received four one way tickets to Judges Cuts. 

46-year-old Crystal Powell is hoping to make the judges laugh. I loved the way she walked across the Pasadena Civic Center stage. I loved her set from the word: “Go.” I could not stop laughing! This was one of the best auditions of the season. Crystal headed to the next round of the competition!

After saying goodbye to Eric, it was time to make Got Talent history! For the first time in show history, AGT invited an act that is currently competing on Britain’s Got Talent (BGT)Florida native Wesley Williams shocked Simon, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden, and David Walliams during the BGT: Series 14 Judges’ Auditions with his massive unicycle. Tonight, the One Wheel Wonder auditioned in front of Simon, Sofia, and Howie Mandel. After Terry Crews assisted him on getting on a taller unicycle, he juggled three different knives. I loved his audition from the start, and he has pure showmanship. However, my jaw dropped when Wesley brought out his monstrous unicycle. He received three “yeses” to the next round.

27-year-old Brandon Leake was the last contestant of the evening. He found his escapism through his writing. After revealing that he just welcomed a new daughter to Terry before facing the judges. Tonight, he became the first spoken word artist to compete on AGT. For his audition, he performed an ode to his sister. I loved his charisma and it broke my heart to learn about his passing of his sister. Howie Mandel was the first judge to give him a standing ovation and decided to award him his Golden Buzzer.

In two weeks, AGT auditions end!


Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar