Kenan Thompson joins ‘AGT: Season 15’ As Quarterfinals Continue

Saturday Night Live star Kenan Thompson filled in for Simon Cowell for this week’s edition of AGT. (Photo & graphic property of NBC)

By: Jacob Elyachar,

America’s Got Talent (AGT) continues its fifteenth anniversary season’s live shows at Universal Studios Hollywood. Simon is still out recovering from his back injury, and this week it is Saturday Night Live star Kenan Thompson’s turn to fill in for the Got Talent creator.  

As someone who watched Kenan Thompson since his All That and Kenan & Kel days, I was genuinely excited to see him join Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, and Sofia Vergara at the Judges’ Desk. Plus, he has been killing it as a guest panelist for The Masked Singer

Tonight, 11 more acts fought for a place in the Season 15 Semifinals. Which acts soared to the occasion? Were there any acts that were buzzed by Howie, Heidi, Kenan, and Sofia? Read on to find out!

Like last week, all of the acts would be performing across the Universal Studios Hollywood soundstage, the country, and around the world. Singer Kelvin Dukes kicked off the night when he performed in the New York City soundstage. He sang Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie,” and I was bored by the performance. Yes, he has talent, but there are more talented kiddos on the show this season. C

The Shape received the purple edit on this season of AGT. A majority of these dancers are high school seniors who did not have the opportunity to continue this year because of coronavirus. The Charlie Chaplin routine did not entertain me, and they were not as unique as previous dance troupes like V.Unbeatable and Zurcaroh. D+/C- 

Kameron Ross repaired his relationship with his mother after being diagnosed with cancer (and it is now in remission). He tackled Lady Gaga’s “Million Reasons” for his shot at advancing to the Season 15 semifinals. In all honesty, this performance was a mess. Kameron was pitchy, and he did not wow me! D+ 

India’s Got Talent winners Bad Salsa performed in their home country of India to stay alive in the competition. My jaw dropped as Bad Salsa performed their routine. This was an act that did not disappoint their performance, and they delivered an epic moment. A 

Impressionist Vincent Marcus made me laugh with his first audition. Also, I loved his pre-performance package that featured “Snoop Dogg,” “Pitbull,” and “Eminem.” Tonight, he revisited nursery rhymes featuring an accurate Lil Nas X, 50 Cent, and Eminem. While there was a problem with the first half, he nicely recovered during the second half of the performance. 

In all honesty, I feel like Alexis Brownley and the Puppy Pals stole a spot from an act that was wrongly eliminated from Judge Cuts. I am not the biggest fan of animal acts and kid acts. I would have buzzed the act immediately. It was a mess! 

I have been waiting to see glam rocker Bonavega hit the live shows. He performed a glam rock cover of The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” and “Guilty” with an electric guitar solo. I wished the performance was a little longer because he was so entertaining. A-

Diablo performers Spyros Brothers took over Krustyland, and Howie, Heidi, and Sofia joined them. I loved the performance from start to finish, and it truly put a smile on my face. The Spyros Brothers rose the show to another level of excellence. A- 

Fan-favorite Daneliya Tuleshova was the next act to take the stage. She tackled Harry Styles’ “Sign of the Times,” and I sensed that she was a student of Ariana Grande, Beyonce Knowles, and Christina Aguilera. Daneliya is talented, but we already have enough singers in the competition, and in all honesty, Roberta is much better than her. I hope that someone gives her a recording contract after the show. B

The show went to Falls Lake (home to Pirates of the Caribbean and Jurassic Park 3) for danger act Jonathan Goodwin. His Judge Cuts performance blew me out of the water. Tonight, the Britain’s Got Talent alum tested out “Trial by Fire.” In the pre-performance package, he said that this stunt could be fatal. Jonathan asked Heidi to assist him. After she inspected both the safety pin and a lock, Jonathan revealed that he would attempt an escape stunt. Jonathan was doused with fuel and locked into the harness; he told Heidi back to get to safety. Throughout the stunt, I was terrified, but thank god Jonathan survived! 

Terry Crews’ Golden Buzzer act, Voices of Our City Choir, concluded the festivities. The group performed “Stand By Me,” and they gave me the chills that I have been looking for all night. I loved the mixture of spoken word and vocals. The harmonies were impeccable, and I pray that they go through to the next round. A+ 

Tomorrow night, Season 12 champion Darci Lynne and the Jabbawockeez provides the entertainment as five more semifinalists were revealed!!

Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar