AGT 16 Ends Auditions, Begins Deliberations

Howie, Heidi, Sofia, and Simon made difficult cuts on AGT’s first Deliberations Round. (Photo property of NBC’s Trae Patton)

By: Jacob Elyachar,

America’s Got Talent (AGT): Season 16 wrapped up its Judges’ Auditions! While it was fun seeing the acts perform in front of the judges (Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, Howie Mandel, and Heidi Klum), we now entered the fundamental phase of the competition. Countless acts got “Yeses” from the judges, but now it was time to eliminate half of them.

Unfortunately, due to the upcoming Summer OlympicsAGT had to change its live show reveals. The fan-favorite Judge Cuts were gone and in their place was Deliberations. This style is the equivalent of the show’s UK spin-off, Britain’s Got Talent, where the judges rewatch ALL the auditions again to determine who advances to the Dolby Theatre live shows.

Who moved forward to join the Golden Buzzer acts (Northwell Health Nurses’ Choir, Nightbirde, World Taekwondo Demonstration Team, Jimmie Herrod, Lea Kyle, and Victory Brinker) in the live shows? Whose dreams came crashing down? Read on to find out!

Bini the Bunny was the first to face the AGT judges on the final night of Season 16 auditions. The Israel native and his owner, Shai, were friendly, but it was not a good audition. While he made a basket, Simon pressed his buzzer because Bini did not do anything. However, Howie and the ladies were more in a generous mood and gave them one final chance.

Savannah Robertson sang an outstanding cover and received four “Yeses,” while Zac Taylor performed an average cover of “Best Part.” He also received four “Yeses.” Superfan and The Voice France alum Gabriella Laberge walked onto the AGT stage. She decided to audition for the talent competition after watching it for many years. She performed James Blunt’s “Goodbye My Lover” for the judges. Gabriella’s voice reminded me so much of Ellie Goulding, and her violin solo was superb. She received a standing ovation from all four judges and a thumbs up from her fellow Canadian – Howie Mandel. Sofia called it a “treat,” while Howie called Gabriella “angelic.” Gabriella got all four “Yeses” to advance to the next round. 

Medhat Mamdouh traveled from Egypt to play the recorder and surprised them with superb beatboxing. I bobbed my head the entire time Medhat performed. Simon dreaded the performance, but he stated that it was unexpected. Howie said it the best: Medhat made the recorder “trendy.” He received four “Yeses.” As Medhat left the stage, jugular Sergio Paulo stepped onto the stage. I was impressed by his skills, and Simon gave him a “thumbs up.” Sofia called him a “showman,” while Simon loved his presentation. Just like Medhat, Sergio got four “Yeses.”

Pasha stepped onto the AGT stage solo because his wife missed his flight. Terry rolled out Pasha and a woman wearing a yellow polka-dotted dress. I was impressed with the choreography and the comedic elements of the routine. My jaw dropped, and the judges were blown away. Pasha received four “Yeses” for his efforts. 

A trio of dancing bears (Charming Bears) performed on the AGT stage and I was surprised that they were sent through to the next round. Contortionist Anna McNulty shocked the judges with her contortion. Meanwhile, the Science Wizard blew everyone away with his presentation. Comedic band Lewberger performed a hysterical song tribute to a shirtless Terry Crews. Finally, 14-years-old Dylan Zangell sang “Somebody to Love” and earned a standing ovation from all of the judges. 

One of the final auditions was the Columbian hand-balancing act Rialcris. After exchanging a conversation with Sofia in Spanish, the trio performed. I have to admire the trio’s strength and athleticism, but they were not as entertaining (or as hot) as Season 14’s Messoudi Brothers. However, Rialcris received a standing ovation from Sofia and the judges. The trio received four “Yeses” and a ticket to the next round.

Comedian Mike Goodwin bonded with Terry Crews on making their families laugh. His set talked about online education and nursery rhymes. Mike’s material made me laugh so hard, especially his twist on “10 Little Monkeys.” Simon called it a good audition, and Mike received four “Yeses” from the panel.

Before relator Anica Aneeka performed, she tried to ask Simon if she could sell his house. Tonight, she sang Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart.” I loved the energy she showed during the performance, and both Howie and Heidi gave her a standing ovation. Heidi loved her passion, and Howie called her “fun to watch.” But Sofia and Simon were not feeling it. However, Sofia did join the veterans in voting her to the next round.

After Terry met with some of the Olympic hopefuls, competitive eater and Germany’s Got Talent alum Mary Bowers appeared out of a massive wedding cake and began to eat it. In addition to getting “X’s” from Howie and Heidi, she failed to reach the competition. Meanwhile, Pizza Man Nick Diesslin got some assistance from Howie as he showcased some smooth moves. Pizza Man thoroughly entertained me, and he even got a standing ovation from Simon. He received four “Yeses” from the judges! 

As soon as contortionist DFlex got Season 16’s final set of four “Yeses,” the auditions concluded and the hard part began. The AGT judges gathered at Simon’s Malibu compound to determine who would entertain America when the show returned to the Dolby Theatre. 

AGT is back at the Dolby Theatre on August 10 and the acts will be revealed in three weeks!

Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar