The ‘AGT: Season 16’ Finals Begin!

Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, Simon Cowell, and Sofia Vergara celebrate AGT’s YouTube accomplishment. (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

By: Jacob Elyachar,

This is it!

After hundreds of auditions, 11 show-stopping music moments, six Golden Buzzers, three quarterfinal rounds, two semifinal rounds, and an America’s Wildcard round, America’s Got Talent (AGT): Season 16 is ending.  

The ten remaining acts faced off to join Bianca Ryan, Terry Fator, Mat Franco, Darci Lynne, Shin Lim, Kodi Lee, and Brandon Leake in the AGT winners’ circle. Which acts rose to the occasion? Did any of the judges (Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, Howie Mandel, and Heidi Klum) hit their buzzers tonight? Read on to find out!

After Terry Crews made his entrance and introduced the judges (including encouraging words from Simon) it was time to get down to business. Sofia Vergara’s Golden Buzzer, Jimmie Herrod, had the challenge to open the AGT: Season 16 finale. He received one of the second to last Sonic Saves of the season.  Tonight, he sang Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” for his $1 million performance. Jimmie gave me chills and I really hope that he releases an album after the show. A+

After a quick look back of the season, Heidi Klum’s Golden Buzzer act Lea Kyle was the next act to return to the AGT stage. The quick-change artist is one of the last magic performers standing and could make history as the first quick-change artist to win on Wednesday night. I thought it was a superb routine from start to finish. 

Earlier this season, Victory Brinker made history as AGT’s first group Golden Buzzer act. However, she needed the support of the judges to advance to the Season 16 finale. Tonight, the 9-year-old decided to visit “O Mio Babbino Caro.” This song has so much history to ‘AGT.’ Barbara Padilla, Jackie Evancho, and Andrew De Leon changed their lives with this song. Tonight, Victory joins this great company, and hopefully, she will have a bright future ahead of her. A- 

No matter what happens tonight, I am so proud of Gina Brillon! The Bronx comedian has made me smile since her very first audition. Gina is the first female comedian since Vicki Barbolak to make it to the AGT  finale. In her act, Gina revealed that it was her fourth anniversary this month, and ready to fight with her husband. This was a superb set, and I cannot wait to see what Gina does next. B+/A- 

I love Terry Crews’ Golden Buzzer act – World Taekwondo Demonstration Team! This group has blown me away from their first audition. I was relieved when the judges saved them during the Season 16 semifinals. Tonight, they surprised the audience by making their entrance from the Judges’ Desk. I was so impressed with their precision and choreography. This performance was perfection! A+ 

Aerialist Aidan Bryant is this season’s true dark horse. He emerged as a true potential winner with his semifinals performance. Tonight, the Prince George, Virginia native, raised the gauntlet that Alan Silva threw down during Season 15 and elevated the aerial act to a new level of excellence. No matter what happens tonight or Wednesday, I could see Aidan command an audience’s attention around the world. 

Brooke Simpson has been one of the best performers that AGT: Season 16 has produced. Tonight, she sang Bishop Briggs’ “White Flag” and knocked it out of the park! The vocals were outstanding, and she blew the Dolby Theatre’s roof off! A- 

Dustin Tavella has been one of my favorite acts since his first audition. For his final performance, he revealed that tomorrow would be his parents’ thirty-seventh anniversary. He asked the Dolby Theatre audience to throw their answers to the judges’ table. Following the mayhem, Dustin wanted all four judges to select a paper ball. Terry joined Dustin on stage, and he picked Simon’s paper ball. The paper in the balloon matched Simon’s selection. Dustin delivered a stunning performance, and I pray that someone will allow him to pursue his talent in Vegas after the show. A+  

Denver, Colorado native Josh Blue has made America laugh with his AGT performances. I admire his perseverance as he continued to entertain the audience over again. Josh continued to deliver great jokes, and I cannot wait to see what he does after the show is over! B+ 

Howie Mandel’s Golden Buzzer act, Northwell Health Nurses’ Choir, was the last act to perform in the AGT: Season 16 finale. I am very impressed with these nurses and how they were able to make it to the finals. While they were not my cup of tea this season, they delivered a sturdy cover of Rachel Platten’s “Stand By You.” B

Tomorrow night, the AGT: Season 16 winner will be crowned!!!!

Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar