Favorites Step Up for Night 1 of ‘AGT: Season 16’ Semifinals

Which act did the judges (Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, Simon Cowell and Sofia Vergara) inserted back to the AGT: Season 16 competition? (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

We are getting closer to the end of America’s Got Talent (AGT): Season 16.  Tonight, 11 acts competed for a spot in the Season 16 finale. In addition, the Judges (Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, Howie Mandel, and Heidi Klum) inserted a previously eliminated act back into the competition. Who was it? Also, which acts rose to the occasion? Did any of the performers get buzzed? Read on to find out!

After Terry Crews made his entrance in a gold suit and introduced the judges, it was time to get down to business. Despite a slight hiccup where he had to start the song over again, Peter Rosalita kicked off the night with a cover of Mariah Carey’s “Without You.” I will be honest; the song was way too large for him. He will be a star, but I don’t plan on seeing him. B- 

Sound Effects Artist Michael Winslow was the second act to take the AGT stage. The veteran actor wanted to redeem himself after last week’s quarterfinals. Tonight, he asked the judges to select a category, and Simon chose animals. Next, Sofia picked “ocean,” Heidi wanted “video games,” and Howie said: “hardware.” I loved the way Michael laid out his routine this round, and it was much better than last week. B+ 

I was very disappointed to learn that Beyond Belief Dance Company was the Season 16 Judges’ Wildcard choice. There were plenty of acts to select from, such as danger act Matt Johnson, vocal group T.3, America’s Wildcard singer Storm Large, and magician Patrick Kun. Unfortunately, the judges made the wrong choice and brought Alyssa Edwards and her team back into the competition. Every time, I see them perform I feel like I am watching a recital and not a $1 million Vegas Act.

Prince George, Virginia native Aidan Bryant was terrified, leading to his AGT performance in the quarterfinals. However, he received the biggest compliment from Simon. Tonight, Aidan continued to build up his legacy. The stunts were superb, and I loved seeing a drum circle and fire. He stepped it up tonight and earned his place in the finale. 

Singer Tory Vagasy had a breakout moment during the AGT quarterfinals with her amazing cover of “Heart of Stone.” The Broadway hopeful performed The Lion King’s “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” and I was captivated from start to finish. I hope she releases a cover after the show. A- 

Terry Crews’ Golden Buzzer act, World Taekwondo Demonstration Team, returned to AGT. Tonight, the troupe delivered a fiery performance that included high-flying stunts and wood breaking. All I have to say is … see you in the finals! A+ 

Singer Madilyn Bailey has come a long way since starting her YouTube channel. Tonight, she returned to the Dolby Theatre to sing her original song: “Red Ribbon,” in honor of her number one fan: her late grandma. I liked the music, but was it worth a million dollars? I am honestly not sure. B- 

Magician Dustin Tavella has been one of my favorite acts this season. This adoptive father of two’s dedicated his performance tonight to his wife, Carrie, who has been encouraging him every step of the way. I loved how honest he was with his storytelling tonight. He asked the judges about a person who made them feel seen. We also learned that Howie Mandel is colorblind throughout the routine. This was a fabulous routine and I pray that Dustin goes into the Season 16 finale. A+

Korean Soul has been a joy to watch this season. Tonight, they performed Lauren Daigle’s “You Say.” Their arrangement reminds me of classic Boyz II Men and the Backstreet Boys. Well done, gentlemen! 

Comedian Gina Brillon has been in the industry for 24 years and every time she has been on the AGT stage, Gina has delivered. Tonight, she walked out to Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” and her set focused on her 1-year-son’s birthday and how kids do not have filters. I loved that she mentioned her wedding plans as well. I loved her material, and I hope that Gina makes it to the finale. A- 

Once more, Jimmie Herrod closed out AGT. Sofia Vergara’s Golden Buzzer act selected an outstanding cover of P!nk’s “Glitter in the Air.” It was worthy of winning AGT. A+ 

Tomorrow night, the first set of AGT: Season 16 finalists are revealed, while Season 12 alum Preacher Lawson and Emmy, Grammy, and Tony-winning actor Ben Platt will provide the entertainment.

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