'America's Got Talent' season 12, episode 8 recap: Angelica Hale steals show, earns Golden Buzzer
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The first round of judges’ cuts delivered more exciting moments last night on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” The competition is insanely fierce and every act is giving their all. But, making cuts are brutal. Only seven out of 20 amazing acts survived the first set of eliminations. Chris Hardwick was the guest judge and he created an unforgettable Golden Buzzer moment when nine-year-old singer Angelica Hale slayed her rendition of Alicia Keys’ anthem “Girl on Fire.” He yelled, “You are the chosen one!” and golden confetti rained down on the pint-sized powerhouse.

Theatrical Doggie Dazzles

Simon Cowell has a huge soft spot for furry creatures and we won’t soon forget how he begged his reluctant fellow judges to pass Sara and Hero through after their sword-fighting audition. They really stepped it up. This time, Hero pulled off a museum heist. The props were neat and the routine was just too cute! Sara totally won over Howie and Heidi and Simon was thrilled!

The Masqueraders Make Musical Magic

Aspiring five-decades-and-counting R & B trio The Masqueraders delivered a cool, classic rendition of Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home to Me.” These guys smashed their performance again with such effortless grace. They continue to be a living testament to never give up on a dream and that’s what AGT is all about – making an unknown act’s dream finally come true. The judges loved them, the audience went wild and we really love them too!

You Lose Some, You Win Some

Comedians Eric Jennifer, Harrison Greenbaum and Dancing Pumpkin Man all fell a little short of their first auditions. Simon and Heidi slammed their red buzzers for Jennifer, whose “Make some noise!” hook was a little irritating. There is something oddly funny about Dancing Pumpkin Man and we sort of like his “costume change” that revealed his new, sparkly suit. However, we know at this stage of the game it’s going to take a lot more than sparkles to secure one of seven spots in the first Live Shows elimination.

Agile Acrobats

Father-son balancing duo Danylo and Oskar did a great job again this week. They had one slight bobble, though and that kind of thing is costly at this phase. Twin sister aerialists Lera and Nika Tomanova were also impressive with their twirling act high above the stage, hanging from a wire. We might argue they deserved a pass-through. But, there are just so many crazy-good acts this season, judges’ deliberations had to be so hard!

Darcy Callus, Carlos De Antonis and Just Jerk Nail It

Singing keyboardist Darcy Callus and opera singer Carlos De Antonis delivered chill-inducing vocals. It’s so hard and rather daunting for anyone to tackle Freddie Mercury’s “Somebody to Love.” Darcy knocked it out of the park and Mel B found him “sexy.” Carlos the lovable opera singer poured his heart into his performance and Simon praised his “likeability,” comparing him to a brown-eyed Labrador. While the comment was good-spirited and well-meaning, we knew it didn’t bode well for his future.

South Korean dance troupe Just Jerk was incredible! Their astonishing routine was like a master class in the art of dancing and synchronized motion. Everyone loved them and their act arguably has “Vegas” written all over it. They earned a well-deserved four-judge standing ovation.

Angelica Hale Does It Again, This Time Golden Buzzer-Style

Little nine-year-old ball-of-sunshine Angelica Hale arguably stole the show when she delivered Alicia Keys’ self-empowerment anthem “Girl on Fire” with fire and brilliance way beyond her years. Her tone, inflection and sassy performance nuances were just perfect. Color us amazed and thrilled with the rest of America, the AGT audience and judges. Chris Hardwick make the right call when he screamed “You are the chosen one” and smashed the Golden buzzer.

We think she should have earned the Golden Buzzer in the first round. She’s as sweet as she is talented and she has the makings of a true superstar. Howie Mandel notably maintained his position that he thinks she can win the whole thing. He may be right. This little girl who recovered from life-threatening illness at four-years-old, had us at her first note. We can’t wait to see where she goes from here. Angelica is on to the Live Shows, along with Sara and Hero, Just Jerk, magician Eric Jones, Singing Trump, escape artist Demian Aditya and The Masqueraders.

“America’s Got Talent” airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on NBC.