AGT Makes Golden Buzzer History…AGAIN

AGT Season 17 On-Air Team
Howie, Heidi, Terry, Sofia, & Simon made America’s Got Talent (AGT): Season 17 history with a third group Golden Buzzer. (Photo property of NBC)

By: Jacob Elyachar,

Before we start this week’s recap, Jake’s Take wants to send its thoughts and condolences to The Voice and America’s Got Talent alum Nolan Neal’s family and friends.  MJs Big Blog reported that the Season 15 quarterfinalist passed away at 41-years-old. Thank you for entertaining us, Nolan.

Last year, America’s Got Talent (AGT) made history as it revealed the Group Golden Buzzer!

Opera phenom Victory Brinker became the first recipient of the Group Golden Buzzer, and she made it to the finale. Earlier this year on America’s Got Talent: EXTREME, aerialist Erika Lemay received the second Group Golden Buzzer after dazzling the judges with her beautiful aerial routine. Tonight, host Terry Crews and judges Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, Howie Mandel, and Heidi Klum came together and awarded an act the third Group Golden Buzzer of the series. Which act received the life-changing Group Golden Buzzer and will perform at the Dolby Theatre Live Shows? Read on to find out!

After acknowledging Howie’s absence, the West African acrobat group Amoukanama ran out onto the stage. I loved the group’s energy and stunt choreography; this felt like a Vegas act! Simon and the ladies gave them a standing ovation, and the Got Talent creator predicted they could go to the finals. They received the night’s first set of 3,000 Yeses! 

Singer Sam Cieri traveled from New Jersey and revealed that he made money making music a month ago. He wanted to be a self-sufficient musician. When Sam sang, my jaw dropped, and I thought I was watching the second coming of Michael Bolton. Heidi and Sofia lead the Pasadena Civic Center audience in a standing ovation. Simon called the performance “authentic,” and he received three “Yeses.”

Simon buzzed saxophonist Wenzi McGowen, but he moved to the next round, thanks to the ladies. Meanwhile, the South Korean singing group Maytree made its USA debut. I loved their interpretations of theme songs such as The SimpsonsCheers, and Modern Family. The quintet had a very creative audition from start to finish. Simon gave them a standing ovation, and Heidi loved their harmonization. The trio earned a unanimous “Yes” from the judges! 

Ballet from Dark gave a powerful performance after they revealed their backstory to AGT viewers. It was a moving audition, but I wished the audition was not rushed. Heidi called the version “joyful,” and the trio gave Ballet After Dark the magical three “Yeses.” 

As the group left the stage, Ukrainian aerialist Svivtlana Rohozhyna dedicated her audition to her father, who is serving on the frontline in Ukraine and Russian conflict. The chandelier twirling along with the quick change was a stroke of genius on Svivtlana’s part. All three judges were on their feet, and Simon flashed Svivtlana a thumbs up and added that she had star quality! She received another set of three “Yeses.” I got chills watching Svivtlana call her father via FaceTime. 

Boston whip act Jack the Whipper has over 25 years of experience as a whip performer. The 33-year-old also shared that he was an NPR anchor. I loved his showmanship and presentation style. I am so glad Simon got karma as he hit the buzzer for Jack. But he learned a great lesson as Jack successfully implemented him in the final stage of his act. I am glad that Simon took back his X (for the second time this season) and that he joined Sofia and Heidi in advancing Jack to the next round.

SingHarlem represented Harlem as they enthusiastically ran out on stage. The choir performed a fiery rendition of En Vogue’s “Free Your Mind.” I loved their harmonies, but Simon was on the fence. Moses, the male vocalist, started “Amazing Grace,” They soared and got Simon on his feet. Sing Harlem traveled back to the Big Apple with three Yeses.

Howie’s return to the panel kickstarted the second part of the evening! A legion of Howies greeted him! The John Glenn High School Dance Team dressed as the legendary comedian to impress him. I laughed as they performed their routine to Pitbull’s “Fireball.” The kicks reminded me of watching a junior version of the Rockettes. They received a standing ovation from Howie and Heidi, and Simon wanted them to step up if they made it to the next round. The John Glenn High School Dance Team received the first set of four Yeses of the evening as Howie joined them on stage for a celebratory dance.

19-year-old Amanda Mammana traveled from Connecticut to compete to win the Season 17 crown. Amanda revealed that she has a speech impediment but has found a way to communicate through singing. Her original song was beautiful from start to finish, and it reminded me of the first time I heard Nightbirde sing: “It’s Ok.” The music was beautiful, and the performance moved me. Amanda received a standing ovation from everyone at the Pasadena Civic Center. Thank you to the audience member who shouted: “YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH” to Amanda. Sofia praised her for following her heart, and Simon added that she had a pure voice and was a great songwriter. Amanda received the magic four “Yeses” from the judges.

People from around the world travel to audition for AGT. The Lazy Generation traveled from the United Kingdom to audition for the NBC Reality TV competition. It felt like I was watching avant-garde Jackass, and I was so surprised that Simon led the crowd in a standing ovation. Heidi called it a “good, hot mess.” Sofia, who buzzed them, did not get the act. While the actress said “No,” Simon joined his fellow veterans in voting the Lazy Generation to the next round. 

After Howie gave Heidi an actual set of opera glasses, Professor Murat brought his flea circus to town. Unfortunately, it was an enormous waste of time as Sofia and the guys buzzed them out. Hoping to change the mood was Yu Hojin. His passion for magic developed when he was eight years old. At first, his father was not a fan of Yu’s magical pursuits and eventually accepted his son’s passion and made him promise to be the best. This season, I got the first chills from a magic act as Yu performed Emeli Sande’s “Read All About It.” The performance was well executed, and Yu received a standing ovation from Howie and the ladies. While Simon was disappointed that an ostrich did not appear, the Pasadena Civic Center immediately booed the Got Talent creator, who also voted “No!” Thankfully, Howie and the ladies gave him three yeses! 

Chapel Hart was the final act of the evening! The Mississippi-based trio grew up together and wanted to dominate the world if they did well on AGT. They sang an original song, “You Can Have Him, Jolene,” which was a sequel to Dolly Parton’s iconic song: “Jolene.” The trio has phenomenal harmonies, and they put a smile on my face. I loved how they got the Pasadena Civic Center audience up dancing. Well done, ladies! 

Chapel Hart got the final standing ovation of the evening and one of the loudest reception from the audience. Simon called it “fantastic” and Howie predicted that they would go far in country. Terry and the judges gave them the third Golden Buzzer of the franchise!

Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar