Eric Stonestreet joins ‘AGT’ as a Guest Judge

Actor Eric Stonestreet reunited with his Modern Family co-star Sofia Vergara at the America’s Got Talent Judges Desk. (Photo property of NBC’s Trae Patton)

By: Jacob Elyachar,

It was a Modern Family reunion on America’s Got Talent. One of Kansas City’s favorite sons, Eric Stonestreet, reunited with his former co-star Sofia Vergara at the Judges’ Desk. The actor substituted for Heidi Klum as she was sick during the Season 15 Judges’ Auditions tapings.

Which acts impressed Eric Stonestreet, Sofia, and AGT stalwarts Howie Mandel and Simon Cowell? Did anyone press the Golden Buzzer? Read on to find out!

Before Eric Stonestreet could join the judges, Terry revealed that Heidi was sick and told the audience that they would revert to the old AGT rules (three buzzers equals game over). Australian Annie Jones decided to travel to America to compete on the show. Annie sang Tones and I’s “Dance Monkey” for her audition. As she performed, Annie reminded me of the second coming of Rachel Crow and Dove Cameron. I predict that Nickelodeon and Disney would be calling her after the show! Sofia Vergara loved her confidence, while Howie called her “a star.” Annie received the mandatory three “yeses” to advance to the next round. 

After Howie checked in with Heidi Klum via FaceTime, it was time for comedian Ty Barnett to face the trio. The Chicago native has been doing stand-up for 18 years and was inspired by Richard Pryor. It took him a bit to find his rhythm, but I liked Ty’s energy and how the crowd reacted to his jokes. I loved his glasses’ jokes and how he lost sympathy for kids in horror films. He received a trip to the Season 15 Judge Cuts!

Shaquira McGrath auditioned for AGT. She was a server at one of the stadiums and entertained her customers and co-workers. However, it took Shaquira a long time to work up the nerves to audition for AGT. She sang Gretchen Wilson’s “Redneck Woman,” and the audience immediately fell in love with her. While Sofia admitted that she was not a music expert, she loved the performance. Simon predicted that this was just the start of her career. Shaquira received 3,000 “Yeses” for her phenomenal audition. 

Thankfully, Eric Stonestreet joined the crew around the 8:30 PM/7:30 PM slot. The Chicago-based Xtreme Dance Force was the first act to the fearsome foursome. The group ranged from four to 19-years-old. My jaw dropped when they displayed their choreography. They could be the second coming of Junior New System. However, Howie called them “sloppy,” and Eric Stonestreet was caught in between Howie and Simon. Eventually, Eric voted with Simon and Sofia and sent them to the next round.

21-year-old Winston was called “a baby” by Sofia Vergara after he walked onto the stage. The Venezuela native revealed that he was a magician. He explained that he was the first magician in his family and that AGT marked the first time he performed in America. He suddenly made cards appear out of thin air, and they multiplied everywhere. It was very dramatic, but I applaud him for incorporating horror elements into his audition.  Sofia called the performance: “incredible” and loved his creativity. Eric Stonestreet predicted that Winston would be on the same level of some of the show’s top magicians. Winston received his ticket to the Season 15 Judge Cuts.

17-year-old Lewis Shilvock traveled from Australia to showcase his innate passion for dance. He did a routine to Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now,” He reminded me so much of watching Travis Wall, Benji Schwimmer, Nick Lazzarini, and Derek Hough in their primes. However, Howie thought it was “musical theatre” and not Las Vegas! Luckily, Simon, Sofia, and Eric Stonestreet gave him the chance to move forward.

I am not a huge fan of contortionists at all. I would actually have pressed my buzzer for the Bone Breakers. The West Africa natives turned Atlanta transplants may have impressed the audience, but I thought it was gross. Sadly, they advanced to the next round.

Nashville, Tennessee’s Jesse Kramer, hoped to increase his audience through AGT’s platform. I was very impressed with his cover of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.” I loved the hard rock influence of his voice. As the Pasadena Civic Center audience gave him a standing ovation, Simon enjoyed his audition. Howie was honest and said that he was bored by the performance. Thankfully, he got a unanimous “Yes” from all the judges. 

73-year-old Josefina strutted out on the stage and revealed that she started bodybuilding at 59-years-old. TV Insider revealed that a shirtless Terry Crews joined Josefina on the Pasadena Civic Center stage. The duo had a flex off including Terry’s signature pec bounce to the Black Eyed Peas’ “Pump It.” The flex-off definitely inspired a lot of people to pursue bodybuilding. Sadly, the judges said: “No.”

At the end of the evening, Alan Silva stepped onto the Pasadena Civic Center stage to face Eric Stonestreet and the rest of the panel. The Brazil native turned American citizen is part of a circus family and he was hesitant to audition for the show because of his size. As he pointed to his wife and two children backstage, Alan mentioned that this audition would be the first time that his kids would see him perform. He also added that his brother is Alfredo of Deadly Games (who appeared on Season 11 and America’s Got Talent: The Champions’ first season). Simon added that he and his brother “looked alike.”  In fact, Alan pointed out that his brother was in the audience.  

As Simon mentioned that Deadly Games was one of his favorite acts of all-time, Alan added that Alfredo told him that. After Alan mentioned that he wanted to have his own Vegas show, he began to perform. Alan is a fantastic aerialist and he delivered phenomenal stunts to Sia’s “Alive.” My jaw (along with Eric Stonestreet’s jaw) dropped once Alan swung above the crowd.  It was definitely one of the more emotional auditions of the season.

If Alan continues to deliver these epic performances, I could see him run all the way to end of the season. I truly enjoyed seeing Alan’s children run across the stage and hug him at the end of the performance. God, I wish that Eric Stonestreet was given the chance to press the Golden Buzzer for Alan. He received a ticket to the Season 15 Judge Cuts.

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar