AGT S17 Auditions End, Deliberations Begin!

AGT Season 17 On-Air Team
Howie, Heidi, Terry, Sofia, & Simon pose together during a taping of America’s Got Talent (AGT): Season 17. (Photo property of NBC)

By: Jacob Elyachar, 

America’s Got Talent (AGT): Season 17’s Judge Auditions have ended! Tonight, we saw the final auditions at the Pasadena Civic Center. Then, we saw judges Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, Heidi Klum, and Howie Mandel deliberate on which acts made it to the Season 17 live shows. Did any of the last batch of auditionees receive the magical four “Yeses”? Who will join Golden Buzzer acts, including saxophonist Avery Dixon, country music trio Chapel Hart, and dance troupe Mayyas competing for America’s votes? Read on to find out!

After the judges made their last season entrance, hotel desk clerk Emily Bland kicked off the evening with hopes to aspire to Garth Brooks’ level of fame. I was surprised by the baritone coming from her mouth; it turned out it was her husband behind the vocal. I was surprised by their lip sync vocal. The Blands received three yeses and a question mark from Simon.

Mind2Mind brought mentalism back into the auditions. James joined the judges while Marina was outside with Terry. James pressed on Sofia Vergara’s phone and correctly predicted that her iPhone battery was at 49 percent. Next, they asked the staff to collect memories from the audience, and Heidi picked one out. Finally, Marina and Terry’s live feed returned, and Heidi focused on the memory. Marina correctly predicted that Heidi saw the first time she saw the ocean in Hawaii. Simon called the audition “unbelievable,” and they left Heidi gobsmacked! They reminded me so much of the Clairvoyants, and just like my friends, I hope they go to the end. Mind2Mind received the first set of four Yeses of the evening!

21-year-old singer Aubrey Burchell traveled from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, confidentially walked onto the Pasadena Civic Center stage. The Target employee hoped that she could use AGT as a platform to escape the retail giant and to sell out arenas worldwide. I love Aubrey’s ambition and bravery as she revealed that she was recently diagnosed with level one autism. She sang The Weeknd’s “Call Out My Name” for her audition. Aubrey has a stunning vocal range, and I loved her lower register. During the audition, Aubrey reminded me of Season Nine Runner-Up Emily West and Season 16 fan-favorite Storm Large. Simon and the ladies gave her a standing ovation and Heidi loved her “fantastic voice.” Simon called the cover “genius” and stated that this could help skyrocket Aubrey’s career. Sofia even predicted that she had a chance to win this competition, and Aubrey received four Yeses. 

The LADS come from two countries but have bonded over their love of acrobatic gymnastics. They want to have a Las Vegas residency and give the money back to their families if they win. The duo elevated the Pasadena Civic Center’s temperature when they went topless. The guys reminded me so much of a duo version of the Season 14 semifinalists – the Messoudi Brothers. I was in awe when they brought their act from the stage to a platform near the judges. The ladies gave them a standing ovation, but Simon and Howie were not impressed. Sadly, the audience pressure did not help them, as they did not advance to the next round.

Terry accompanied Penny Starr to the stage. The 88-year-old shared that she had six ex-husbands (Black widow, maybe?). Penny did a strip tease to a “Grand Old Flag” that was fun. She received “four yeses” from the judges. As Penny celebrated, Mr. Moo Shakes appeared on the stage and did a Stomp routine to “Baby Got Back” and “Anaconda,” which made me laugh. Heidi gave him a “No,” while Sofia and the guys gave him three Yeses! 

25-year-old singer Bay Turner entered AGT with a dream. The Houston, Texas native is a legal assistant that dealt with a nicked vocal cord after surgery to remove two benign tumors from his body. The audition was the first time that Bay sang live since the surgery. Bay’s voice gave me chills, and I was immediately captivated by his voice. All four judges gave him a standing ovation, and Howie loved his vocal range. Bay received four thousand yeses from the audience. 

Howie was missing from the final day of auditions, and it went back into classic AGT mode – acts needed two “Yeses” to advance to the next round. After celebrating Terry’s birthday, Double Dutch jump rope crew Waffle traveled from Japan for their audition. The Tokyo-based act was intriguing, but at the same time, how can they present this in Las Vegas? Did they have fancy footwork? Yes, but I felt it was boring at times. I hate to be the Piers Morgan, Paulie Calafiore, and Meghan McCain of the bunch, but I would have pressed my buzzer. However, the group got “three yeses.”

Dancer Neguin blew me away with his audition (I wished he was not montaged), and he was accepted into the next round. Also, Unreal Crew should not have been montaged, and I loved their performance. They advanced to the next round as well.

Many alums inspired 16-year-old singer Camille K to audition for the show. When she sang her cover, I noticed that Camille K’s seductive voice reminded me of Camilla Cabello. Simon stopped the performance and asked her for an original song. Her tone was superb and won over the Pasadena Civic Center audience. I think that Camille K has the potential to be one of her generation’s top artists in time. Simon called the song – “beautiful,” and Heidi declared that Camille K had the entire package.

Terry reunited with the Nervous Nocks, who performed on AGT: Extreme earlier this season. Angelina and Michaelangelo Nock decided to return after Mr. Nock got ill and unfortunately could not compete in the AGT: Extreme finale. It was the Nerveless Nocks’ last chance to compete on AGT tonight. They continued to blow me away, especially with their routine. I am so glad that they came back to compete. The Nerveless Nocks got their set of three “Yeses” this year! 

This year, the judges said “Yes” to over 100 acts, and only 55 acts could make it to the Live Shows. Terry, Howie, and Heidi joined Simon at his house for deliberations. While Sofia was absent, she sent a giant set of notes. After reminiscing about their Golden Buzzers, it was time to get down to business. Although, I wished they gave more time to the deliberations!

For the second time in two years, AGT fans had the chance to vote to bring an act to the Live Shows through America’s Wildcard. I will split my votes between Ben Waites and Debii Dawson. Both singers deserve a spot in the competition, and their respective interpretations of Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” and ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” were beautiful moments that gave me chills. Get it right, America! 

Next week, AGT: Season 17 Goes Live!!

Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar