‘AGT: Season 17’ Auditions Enter Week 6

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, jakes-take.com

After series creator Simon Cowell revealed his top Golden Buzzer acts in show history, America’s Got Talent (AGT): Season 17’s Judges Auditions continued!

Tonight, more hopefuls auditioned for the chance to join saxophonist Avery Dixon and dance group Mayyas at the AGT live shows.  Did anyone impress the judges (Cowell, Sofia Vergara, Howie Mandel, and Heidi Klum)? Which acts were buzzed out? Read on to find out!  

After Terry Crews revealed that Howie was ill and implemented the classic AGT rules (acts only need two Yeses to advance), he ushered Travis Japan to the stage. The group (who had been together for five years) flew from Japan hoping to dazzle the audience and become the world’s biggest stars. I think Travis Japan has what it takes to follow in BTS and Monsta X’s footsteps. I loved their presentation and showmanship. Heidi led the audience and her fellow judges in a standing ovation. Sofia noted that it felt like a Vegas act, and Simon loved their energy. Travis Japan received the first 3,000 Yeses of the evening.

I thought the Dino Don act was a complete waste of time, and while they were not buzzed, they got three “No’s.” Another horrible act was Parrot Man, who did get the classic three buzzers. 28-year-old impressionist Shenay Kloss brought cockroaches and both the ladies pressed their buzzers. Simon surprisingly said: “Yes,” but thankfully, Heidi and Sofia sent her packing.

32-year-old Nashville resident Ben Waites strolled onto the stage. The vocal coach decided to sing Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” for his audition as it communicates a “message of hope” for everyone. After acknowledging his wife, mom, and grandma, who were respectively with Terry Crews backstage and in the audience. Before he sang, Simon asked Ben if his students knew that he auditioned; Ben said: “No, because the focus is on them.” When Ben sang, he gave me one of the most notable cases of chills that I have experienced this season. It was a beautiful vocal, and I believe that Cyndi herself would approve of this cover. Sofia wiped back tears as she led the Pasadena Civic Center audience in a standing ovation. Simon called it a great audition and “a moment.” Ben received three “yeses” from the judges and a kiss from his wife.

Duo Forza gave the Messoudi Brothers a run for their money and got three “Yeses.” Not to be outdone, acrobatic performers Duo Rings walked onto the AGT stage. Flor and Nico traveled from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to compete in the talent competition. They created a routine showcasing their passion for entertainment and sports with a hint of their love for each other. Flor revealed they have been together for nine years but married for three. Duo Rings performed their routine to Haley Reinhart and Postmodern Jukebox’s version of “Creep.” They remind me a lot of Duo Transcend. Like the AGT Champions: Season Two Runner-Ups, Flor and Nico created a steamy routine that included superb drops and spectacular choreography. It was very mesmerizing! Simon and the ladies gave them a standing ovation. I loved that they told the judges that they created the act from scratch, which set them apart from other acts. Duo Rings became the latest recipient of the three “Yeses.” 

Acapops Kids came together to honor their friend, Nolan. Nolan passed away suddenly, and to honor their friend, the group decided to sing their song, “My Turn.” The group got a tremendous welcoming from the crowd. The group has been together for four years. I got chills as they performed, and they had a star power aura surrounding them. Heidi called the performance – “Beautiful,” and Simon, who gave them a standing ovation, called it – “a moment.” They received three yeses.

Brazilian illusionists Henry and Klauss decided to spook the judges and the Pasadena Civic Center audience. They agreed to handcuff themselves and escape from a floating barrel before being dropped to the stage. After it seemed they had failed their audition, the duo reappeared at the Judges’ Desk as crew members. Due to wowing the crowd and the AGT judges, Henry and Klauss advanced to the next round. 

Unfortunately, Erica Glenn’s song-and-dance tribute to Simon did not impress the ladies. While Erica and her crew left the stage, rope artist Adam Winrich stepped onto the stage and needed a volunteer. Thankfully, the audience chose Sofia, and the actress refused to answer Adam’s question about being whipped. I loved the rope artistry and the inclusion of the toilet paper gun! Simon apologized for pressing the buzzer too early but voted “No.” Luckily, the rope performer received a ticket to the next round, thanks to Sofia and Heidi.

Stefanny and Yeeremy were a dancing duo from Colombia (which made Sofia scream with delight). They created a routine that was specially choreographed for the Modern Family alum. This was one of the best dance auditions I have ever seen, thanks to electrifying choreography! Sofia called it “Spectacular!” Stefanny and Yeeremy received three “Yeses” from the judges! 

Violinist Alex Rivers revealed that he auditioned for the judges earlier, but Simon wanted to hear another song from him. The panel gave him 24 hours to prepare another song, and he delivered Dua Lipa’s “New Rules.” Alex got the whole audience to dance and even got a standing ovation from Simon. Alex received 4,000 “Yeses” and a ticket to the next round!

After the judges checked in with a sick Howie, Arnold and Anotnio Balla stepped onto the stage. The judges noticed some balancing equipment on stage, and the brothers noted they would use it in their act. I was impressed with their balancing and strength abilities. My jaw dropped when the youngest brother stood on the older’s head. I was thrilled when they perfectly executed those stunts and Heidi proclaimed that they reinvented the balancing act. The only thing that Simon did not like was the oranges and suggested they should use knives in the next round. The Balla Brothers received “three yeses.”

39-year-old Wyn Starks had the privilege of being the last audition of a Howie-less AGT. (Hope to see you next week, Howie!) The Minnesota native turned Nashville transplant worked in hospitality before he was laid off due to the pandemic. He sang an original song, “Who I Am,” which was one of his recently deceased twin brother’s favorite tunes. Wyn’s voice instantly gave me chills. I loved his tone, honest lyrics, and massive vocal range. I cannot wait to see what he does next. For the second time tonight, Sofia wept back tears and joined Simon and the audience in giving him a standing ovation. 

Next week, Howie returns and the auditions continue!

Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar