It might become mandatory to have a box of Kleenex close at hand while watching “America’s Got Talent” this season. The third round of auditions aired last night on NBC and the wide variety of hopefuls brought laughter, astonishment, and tears. The most memorable acts of the night include two inspirational singers, a set of identical twin magicians and an adorable pack of crowd-pleasing poodles.
High-Flying, Dancing Delight
Oscar Hernandez kicked off the night with a totally unexpected, but totally delightful dance routine to Nicki Minaj’s smash hit “Anaconda.” The judges were equal-parts amazed and excited about Oscar’s tight choreography and spot on rhythm. He sailed on through to the next round.
Next up, high-flying couple Elena and Sasha defied gravity as Sasha balanced a pole on his forehead while Elena balanced on top of it, twirling hoops and doing handstands. It was truly amazing and the kind of scary-dangerous we cringe at while watching, but ultimately love to see!
Limbo artist Shemika Charles came next and we might still be shaking our heads at how she was able to pass her body under the entire width of a truck, inching along the stage to the beat of the music. Charles hails from a limbo family, and holds two Guinness World Records in the art. If she looks familiar, it’s because she recently appeared on “The Ellen Show” doing her act as well.
Ketchi Grabs Our Hearts
Part of “America’s Got Talent’s” widespread appeal is that talented, totally unknown artists have a chance to make a dream come true. There have been several incredible and inspiring acts across AGT’s history. Last week’s nine-year-old singing dynamo, Angelica Hale, is a great example. At four, she defied the odds and survived a terrifying medical ordeal and now she uses her incredible vocal gift to inspire others.
Last night, another brave contender graced the stage with incredible poise. She was one of only two survivors of a terrible plane crash. She sustained multiple burns all over her body and has had over 100 grueling surgeries since the accident. She was just a teenager then. She used music as an escape from her terrible trials and now, at 27, she stood center stage and moved the entire audience and all four judges with her brilliant rendition of Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud.”
Once again, it was impossible not to cry, watching this brave woman shoot for her dreams with such raw, unbridled passion. Howie Mandel was spot on when he said, “You are beautiful” and we agree with Simon when he said he loves how the show gives people a platform who wouldn’t otherwise get one. We’re rooting for Kechi and we’re certain her story is inspiring people all over the country. Her performance was easily one of the best, most memorable of the night.
Now You See Them, Now You Don’t and Air Force a Capella
Identical twin magicians Tony and Jordan arguably brought one of the most mind-blowing magic acts the competition has ever seen. “People” and “objects” were flying in and out of a huge movie screen faster than the blink of an eye. We have no idea how they did what they did – and producing not one, but two blonde girls at the end was an excellent finishing touch! We can’t wait to see more!
Howie Mandel was too harsh and off base calling Air Force Academy a Capella group In the Stairwell “boring.” They were far from boring! Their harmonies were right on and fresh. The performance, perhaps, was a little too long. But, overall, we’re glad to see them move on to the next round.
Oodles of Prancing Poodles
Talented pooches are really stepping it up this season and the Pompeyo Family Dogs totally crushed it! Who knew a dog could do a handstand in the palm of someone’s hand? And jumprope, with a person! This act, hands down, gets the Cuteness Award of the night!
Golden Buzzer Glory
Christian Guardino had us at his humble “Yes sir.” He may be 16 on paper, but, this bright young man is an old soul, who sings way beyond his years! His story of losing and regaining his sight at such a young age was so moving. Like Angelica Hale, we didn’t expect to hear that voice booming from the shy teen, who battled nerves to chat with Simon before he sang.
A show of hands, please, from everyone else who sobbed when Howie asked him for his one wish, which prompted his Golden Buzzer smash and the golden confetti to rain down. It was absolutely the best moment of the night. Sniff, sniff!
“America’s Got Talent” airs on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on NBC.