'America's Got Talent' season 12, episode 9 recap: Chase Goehring snags Golden buzzer, more singers survive cuts
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The second round of Judge Cuts aired last night on “America’s Got Talent” on NBC. DJ Khaled joined, Heidi Klum, Mel B, Howie Mandel and Simon Cowell to select seven acts to send to the live shows. Tennessee native singer-songwriter Chase Goehring wowed the panel again with another original song. DJ was so impressed he smashed the Golden Buzzer, sending Goehring straight through to the Live Shows. Six more deserving acts followed him after escaping elimination.

Sizzling Start

Sammulous kicked things off by showing Simon he took his “cabaret” critique from his first performance to heart. He stepped it up disco style with a dynamic rendition of “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real” and all of the judges responded well. Comedian Steven Scott made DJ Khaled laugh with a plea to bring answering machines back and the Quiddlers also upped the ante by coming out as the AGT judges, dancing and doing tricks to Spice Girls hit “Wannabe.”

All these acts were great! But, with only seven spots in the live shows, it seemed like they might not have brought enough “wow” factor to advance.

Double Disappointment

Sibling dance duo Junior and Emily caught everyone’s attention with their amazing audition. However, this week, their routine seemed shorter and less dazzling to Simon and Mel B. We would agree. But, DJ Khaled was still impressed because their moves were so technically difficult. He’s right, too, but we wished we could have seen more.

An early jaw-dropping act unexpectedly fizzled when Jokgu the piano-playing chicken and sister Aichan failed to perform their piano duel on command. Unfortunately, they got red buzzers across the panel and DJ, who never saw Jokgu’s first audition, was ultimately confused. We’re admittedly bummed about this! The chickens probably don’t deserve a million-dollar contract. But, Jokgu’s first audition made “performing animal” history. We would have loved to see more!

A-Plus A Capella

Tennessee’s own Chase Goehring dropped another amazing performance with his original song, “A Capella.” He continues to exude an Ed Sheeran/Jason Mraz vibe. But, he also clearly rides in his own lane. His songwriting skills are A+. We could see him on a label right now, selling out shows. During an AXS interview, he admitted being compared to Sheeran and Mraz is a huge honor.

DJ Khaled obviously saw what others are seeing in this talented young artist. The renowned producer dubbed his lyrics “real and authentic” and said, “This show and this stage is going to make you into a superstar!” then he smashed the Golden Buzzer to send Goehring straight through to the Live Shows. During their post-button hug, Khaled said, “We gotta work together. We gotta do something together.”

Goehring could go a long way in the competition. But, with or without a win, he delivers the goods to snag a record deal and we hope he gets one!

Singing Triple Threat

The number of talented singers on AGT this season is mind-blowing. Puddles Pity Party, Evie Clair and Yolie Mayor all threw down their gauntlets again last night with stunning performances.

Puddles smashed “All By Myself.” Clowning around aside, he’s got an incredible voice. Dressing up makes him different in a crowded, competitive field. However, we think he doesn’t really need the costume. His vocals obviously speak for themselves.

Likewise, 13-year-old Evie Clair had our hearts at her first audition, with a tear-inducing performance of "Arms" by Christina Perri. She even earned a shout out from Perri! This week, she became emotional while explaining her dad hasn’t been responding to treatment in his cancer battle. They are trying to make the most of their time together. Our hearts go out to her and her entire family. She’s incredibly brave to push through and perform during this kind of traumatic family situation.

Like Puddles, Evie's vocals speak for themselves. She has a unique tone and she knows how what songs to sing to play to her strengths. She did a fantastic job singing Macy Gray’s “I Try.” She deserved every ounce of praise and applause she received. Mel B was visibly moved and tearfully told her, “You just sing with such heart and soul. It actually made me think of my dad, who’s not here with me anymore. It just really, really moved me and it really, really touched me. So, thank you for that.”

Finally, Yolie Mayor returned to blow the roof off with her spectacular rendition of Rihanna’s “Love on the Brain.” She’s an incredible singer and earned a well-deserved standing ovation after her performance. DJ Khaled tried to press his Golden Buzzer again to no avail then said, “You don’t even need this button.”

We’re thrilled Mayor and Clair made the final cut, along with Puddles, twin brothers Mirror Image, Junior and Emily and mind-blowing mentalist Colin Cloud.

AGT judge Howie Mandel is performing live at Bellco Theatre in Denver on Sept. 9. Click here for tickets. Stay tuned to AXS for more AGT coverage.

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