Sofia Vergara joins ‘AGT’ for Season 15

New judge Sofia Vergara joins ‘AGT’ veterans Terry Crews, Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, and Howie Mandel for the fifteenth anniversary season. (Photo property of NBC)

By: Jacob Elyachar,

It is hard to believe that America’s Got Talent (AGT) is entering its fifteenth anniversary on television! Joining the AGT family this season is actress Sofia Vergara! The former Modern Family star will sit next to show stalwarts Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, and returning judge Heidi Klum on the panel. Tonight, which act began the long journey to join Terry Fator, Grace VanderWaal, Darci Lynne Farmer, Shin Lim, and Kodi Lee in the winner’s circle? Did host Terry Crews or any judges press the Golden Buzzer tonight? Read on to find out!

After the AGT family made their entrance, it was time to get down to business. The first act to face Sofia Vergara and the Pasadena Civic Center auditorium was pig act Pork Chop Revue. Their owners wanted to be the first pigs to perform on the Las Vegas strip. The pigs were well trained and actually can give the Olate Dogs and Alexa’s dogs a run for their money. They have colored me impressed! Howie, Heidi, and Simon gave them a standing ovation. Heidi and Sofia decided to join the Pork Chop Revue on stage, and Heidi kissed the largest pig, while Sofia touched it. They received the first unanimous “Yes” of Season 15! 

As Sofia Vergara interacted with the crowd, India’s Got Talent and Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions alums Bad Salsa walked onto the stage. I loved this routine from start to finish, and with every move, they made my jaw drop. I could see them give the Houghes a run for their competition. They received a unanimous standing ovation from the judges. Heidi loved their choreography, while Simon was impressed with their speed. Bad Salsa advanced to the next round. 

After the first unanimous four red Xs of the evening, Joey and Austin Edwards walked onto the stage. The Chicago natives represented the law enforcement unit, but music was their passion. This marked the first public debut of their group: Broken Roots. They covered Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive.” I loved their chemistry, and they quickly energized the Pasadena Civic Center audience. Howie was impressed by their camaraderie while Heidi loved their recent bromance. Sofia Vergara called the audition “perfect,” and Simon called Broken Roots-the definition of AGT. Broken Roots received all four “Yeses” to advance to the next round. 

27-year-old drummer Malik Dope Drummer loves his craft and is a veteran street performer. He revealed that he almost lost his life in a car accident, but Malik was given a second chance at life. Malik has incredible skills, and his showmanship added another level of excellence to his audition. Sofia Vergara and the gentlemen gave Malik a standing ovation, and the latter offered Simon-drum lessons for Eric. He received four “Yeses” from the judges.

Mind reader and magician Ryan Tricks decided to visit AGT. For Reality TV veterans, this magician appeared on Britain’s Got Talent. He wanted to test Simon and Howie’s friendship in front of the country. He brought out two decks of cards and a blindfold. Once Simon chose the blue deck, Matt gave Howie the red card deck. It turned out that Simon and Howie were in sync as they picked out the Five of Clubs.  I loved how Ryan was able to control Howie’s hands as well. The final experiment Ryan gave Simon a chocolate cookie and Howie correctly guessed that Simon had a cookie in his hand. Ryan receive four “Yeses” and a standing ovation from the judges.

One of the highlights of the evening was singer Archie Williams. He was wrongly sentenced to life in prison for a crime in prison. Thirty-seven years later, he was released from prison thanks to DNA tests that set him free. While he was in jail, he found peace through prayer and song. For his once-in-a-lifetime audition, he sang Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.” It was a haunting rendition, and Archie gave me chills. Archie received a standing ovation from Simon, Heidi, Howie, and Sofia Vergara. Fighting back the tears, Heidi stated that Archie moved her and called the performance “powerful.” Sofia proclaimed that the “37 years did not break” him. Archie received 3,500 “Yeses” from the judges and the Pasadena Civic Center. Archie’s audition is one of the reasons why I love this show!

After a series of bad auditions, Double Dragon (31-year-old twins Andrea and Irene Ramos) was petrified of being booed and receiving four “Xs” from the judges. The Voice Peru alums walked onto the stage. The duo sang “It’s Raining Men”, and their voices shook the Pasadena Civic Center to its core. I loved harmonies and the energy that they showcased in their performance. Sofia Vergara called them “Amazing” and the performance “full of energy.’ Howie called them “campy” and “funny.” They received cuatro “Si’s” and a surprise backstage visit from Simon. 

Impressionist Vincent Marcus walked onto the stage. (Author’s Note: I spotted Big Brother 20 winner and The Challenge: Total Madness star Kaycee Clark. I hoped that you enjoyed your time in the audience, Kaycee) The social media creator (and former Vine star) decided to show off his impressions through a hip-hop nursery rhyme. He perfectly showcased Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Pitbull, and Jay-Z. I loved his interpretations, and I think Vincent could be an early frontrunner to win Season 15. Vincent received a standing ovation from all four judges. Sofia Vergara commended Vincent for his selections, while Howie declared him a fantastic live performer. He won four “Yeses” from the judges.

Spain’s Got Talent alum Muy Moi Show decided to travel to AGT. First, he showcased some terrifying contortionism and played with fire. Next, he visited the judges at their desk and inserted a knife in his nose. Next, he asked Terry Crews to come down with a silver hammer, and Muy put his mouth onto the blade. After Terry hit concrete bricks on Muy, it turned out that he did not bleed. Sofia Vergara felt for Muy’s mother, while Heidi called the performance “scary.” Simon called it: “Everything!” and called him a natural entertainer. Muy received four “Yeses” and advanced to the next round. 

The Voices of Our City Choir was the final act of the Season 15 premiere. This San Diego-based choir is made up of homeless people, and through the money, they have raised, the choir has gotten members off of the street. The group performed an original song, “Listen to the Sounds of the Sidewalk.” The tune was composed during their songwriters’ workshop, and it is a powerful track. The choir received a standing ovation from the audience and the Golden Buzzer from Terry Crews. 

Next week, the Season 15 auditions continue! 

Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar