America’s Got Talent: Season Nine-The Final Auditions

AGT Season Nine judges and host

The “AGT” crew were all smiles as the final round of auditions began! (Photo property of NBC)


By: Jacob Elyachar,

Over the past few weeks, America’s Got Talent: Season Nine has produced many memorable auditions.

Tonight, the remaining hopefuls must impress Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Howard Stern and Mel B. in order to move on to the next round.

Who rocked? Who got buzzed home? Read on to find out…

Up first to face the judges in New York City was 35-year-old magician Rogue. Inspired by David Copperfield, he opened his own magic show and after years of entertaining children, he wanted to entertain bigger crowds. For his act, he played a high stakes game of Russian Roulette with Mel B’s intuition. Despite her objections, Rogue told her to shoot staple guns at his head. Luckily, the guns were not filled with staples and Rouge moved onto the next round.

While AGT got selfie fever, Atlanta brothers Emmanuel and Phillip Hudson demonstrated comedic rap as they dropped fresh beats about ratchet women. Their act divided the panel as both Howie and Mel B laughed during the entire 90-seconds. Unfortunately, Heidi was confused and Howard buzzed them. With a divided panel, Howie pressed the Golden Buzzer and they became the second act to move to the next round.

As the judges took a hot dog break, Wild West performer Loop Rawlins wanted to be a cowboy since he was young. However, he struggled to be a full-time performer while raising his two kids. His thousands of hours of practice paid off when he demonstrated superb rope spinning, which included a burning lasso. Heidi declared a “great audition” and Howie was wowed and stated that Loop provided an “unexpected, great moment.” He received a unanimous “Yes!” from all of the judges.

It is a huge risk playing original songs on America’s Got Talent! Veteran judge Howie Mandel is not always a fan of original music and the debate could divide performers. One band that took a risk was Beach Avenue. Their original composition, “Coming Your Way,” was a breath of fresh air. Beach Avenue’s sound and lyrics were outstanding and they are going to be huge after this show. Mel B stated that they were the total package and Howard stated that they set the bar high for the other bands in the competition.

46-year-old stand-up comedian Joe Matarese brought his family to his audition. While the Cherry Hill, New Jersey native stated that almost his whole family supported him, his grandma still did not approve of his career path. He proved his grandma wrong when Joe spewed out incredible belly laugh worthy jokes on fatherhood that received a standing ovation from Howard, Howie and Mel B. When Joe told everyone that he had been doing stand-up for 25 years, Howie simply stated: “Amazing that we have not heard about you yet!” I have a feeling that Joe is going to shake up the comedy category this year!

10 years ago, Sal Gonzales served in the Marine Corps in Iraq! After a couple of months of being in Iraq, Sal’s leg was blown up and he was sent home. He turned to music to help him with his healing! Sal joined the Wounded Warrior Project to prove that any injured soldier can follow their dreams. His cover of “Ain’t No Sunshine” showcased the pain in his voice and his crisp raspiness. Howie was truly moved from his audition and Mel B told him that he was really inspirational. All four judges unanimously sent Sal to the next round.

For the final half of the show, the gang traveled to Los Angeles to celebrate Mel B’s birthday! A familiar face stopped by the show to audition for a second chance to be on the show! Five years ago, Kelli Glover auditioned for the show, but the show’s then judges (Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and David Hasselhoff) cut her before the live shows! Kelli returned to the stage and delivered an outstanding cover of “I Have Nothing” that was on the same level of excellence of both Jennifer Hudson and Tessanne Chin. All four judges gave her a standing ovation and gave her the permission to go on her redemption journey.

Last season, Taylor Williamson’s awkwardness and superb jokes took him all the way to the Season Eight finale. Another comedian that might find himself on the same path might be…Darik Santos. His 90-second monologue on his personal life ignited the audience. I also enjoyed his banter with Howard. While the King of All Media stated that he got Darik and Howie added that Darik reminded him of a younger, lower energy version of himself, Heidi thought it was not AGT worthy. Luckily for Darik, Mel B and the men outvoted her.

Next week, the judges determine which acts move on to the Radio City Music Hall stage!


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