LA Talent heats up “AGT: Season Nine”

America's Got Talent judges Season Nine

Howard, Heidi, Mel B and Howie found some of the best talent from Los Angeles. (Photo property of NBC)

By: Jacob Elyachar,

America’s Got Talent headed to the City of Angels to find their next superstar!

In order for an act to make it to the next round, they have to impress the show’s quartet (Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Mel B) and the massive studio audience!

So far this season, the show introduced the Golden Buzzer! This game changer gave the judges to select one act and give them a second chance. Two weeks ago, Howard used the Golden Buzzer on Dustin’s Dojo!

Did Howie or the ladies use their Golden Buzzer tonight? Read on to find out…

The first act of the evening was Kamikaze Fireflies. Rob and Kasey are professional jugglers who practiced their craft at Renaissance Festivals. Their practice paid off as they delivered an unbelievable routine as Rob balanced on Nick’s shoulders and Kasey balanced her bodyweight on a shopping cart! They began to throw fiery batons at each other. Rob and Kasey received a standing ovation from Howie and Howard. The former Deal or No Deal host commented on the danger and excitement as the judges gave their first unanimous “Yes” of the night!

Best friends Anna and Savannah represented Hart Dance Team as they delivered a spellbinding Contemporary Jazz routine with a dozen of their classmates. The routine definitely looked like something out of Sonya Taheh’s playbook! Heidi stated that it was a nice surprise and Mel B commented on the girls’ on-point choreography! They received three “Yeses” from the judges.

42-year-old stand-up comedian Jodi Miller has 16 years in the stand-up businesses. However, she has not make a living out of her passion. Before she hit the AGT stage, Jodi’s daytime job was delivering groceries to people’s houses. Her routine about comparing cats and dogs to men and women respectively won over the audience and received the first full standing ovation from the judges. Howard stated that she soared to the highest heights, while Mel B stated that she “belly laughed and did not want it to end.”

77-year-old Bob Markworth was doing professional archery for 55 years. Together with his assistant, Mayana, he hoped that he could win this show. The Robin Hood-inspired routine forced everyone in the LA audience to the edge of their seats. If Arrow needed to cast Oliver Queen’s dad, Bob, would be perfect for the part. Heidi loved his marksmanship and Howard stated that he reminded him of Mr. Magoo. He received four “Yeses” from the judges.

One of the most moving auditions of the season belonged to 20-year-old Anna Clendening; the unemployed singer was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. Music saved her from being bedridden and she soared with a stunning cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” I loved her voice and every song pierced the audience’s heart. Howie gave her a hug after the performance and both women gave Anna a standing ovation! The King of All Media thought that Anna’s performance was very emotional and gave him the chills. Anna moved directly to the next round.

After Howie debuted a new wig, 15-year-olds Jessica and Debbie came with their dance troupe to dance the “Ballet Jasmine Flowers.” The routine combined classical ballet and Chinese-style dancing. Both the choreography was gorgeously executed and it kept my attention throughout the entire 90 seconds. Mel B stated it was “pretty and beautiful to watch,” while Howie said it was “FAN-tastic.”

Up until this point, there has not been a performer so far that screamed “FINALE” to me. For 26-year-old hand balancer and Ukraine native Andrey Moraru, he might find himself performing in Radio City Music Hall in September. He showcased so much grace and strength with his movements. His stamina was incredible and earned the second four judge standing ovation of the night. While Mel B commented on his strength, control and grace, Howard summarized Andrey’s as “perfection.” Howie also added that he could win this season!

Collins Key set the bar pretty high last season for magicians. Hopefully, Smoothini could make it to the Live Shows at Radio City Music Hall. The former marine traded his uniform for bar magic. His tricks were impeccable as he made salt and liquid appear and disappear and pulled out superb card tricks left and right! After the judges gave him a standing ovation, Heidi thought it was a “real treat” to watch and Howard declared his act…”The best thing he seen all day!” Smoothini advanced to the next round.

The final performer of the night was 23-years-old Justin Rhodes! His road to the AGT stage was not easy; he floundered in New York City due to the alcohol and drugs scene. Justin wanted to redeem himself in the eyes of his father, who is having a hard time moving around, as he is getting older. He performed Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” that showed so much emotion in his vocals and made his dad very proud. Justin reminded me so much of Eli Mattson, Andrew De Leon and Branden James. All three men faced career and family hardships…but grew as performers on the show! I cannot wait to see where Justin’s AGT journey takes him.


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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar