“America’s Got Talent” aired the second week of season 13 auditions last night (June 5) on NBC. A diverse array of acts followed last week's dazzling season premiere and tried to impress AGT judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howie Mandel. Three musical acts stood out among the great, not-so-good, and eccentric hopefuls who cast their bid for the $1 million “America’s Got Talent” top prize: A vibrant husband-and-wife singing duo, a 42-year-old mother fighting for a dream and a father of six whose passionate vocal performance earned the second Golden Buzzer of the season.
A Painful Start Ends with Promise
By now, it seems like the AGT judges have seen just about every kind of “bizarre” hidden talent there could possibly be. Yumbo Dump kicked things off by making sounds (e.g. “UFOs flying) with their bellies. Mel B understandably hit her "X" – this “skill” seems more like a laugh-prompter at a kids’ birthday party than a Las Vegas act. However, the other judges felt inclined to pass them to the next round.
Next, two different married couples shared heartwarming backstories about meeting and falling in love. The first couple, Shawn and Lindsay, centered a stand-up comedy routine around taking digs at themselves and the dead response from the audience was cringe-worthy. They didn't make the cut.
After a rough start, Carissa and Michael, who call themselves Us the Duo, provided a welcome musical reprieve. They took a risk in performing an original song which they used as vows at their wedding. Carissa sang and played percussion, while Michael harmonized and played guitar. "No Matter Where You Are" was bright and up-tempo. Their harmonies were tight, they engaged the audience and they looked like they were having fun. Howie called their performance “coffee house," however, and didn’t really connect with the song. Simon gave them an “easy” yes and Heidi and Mel followed suit to put them through to the next round.
Farm Fun, Tumbling Tricks and Chasing a Dream
Children have done really well on “America’s Got Talent” for the past few seasons. Season 11 winner Grace VanderWaal’s musical star is quickly rising. She’s released an album, won several awards and is touring with Imagine Dragons this year. Season 12 champ Darci Lynne Farmer has performed her singing ventriloquism in Vegas, on the Pentatonix Christmas special and at venues around the country. Both girls were 12 when they took home the AGT title and prize. Lilly Walker, 11, impressed all four judges with her spot-on animal impressions and her infectious giggle. We’re thrilled she went through to the next round and are anxious to see what she does next time.
The Rossi brothers amazed and alarmed everyone with their jaw-dropping tumbling act in which one brother would twirl in the air and land perfectly on the other’s feet. They spun, twirled and demonstrated breathtaking balancing skills – and then one of them fell and it almost appeared they were both hurt. They got up and insisted on doing it again – and “stuck the landing” the next time. It was a heart-pounding audition and they earned a well-deserved pass to the next round.
Christina Wells is a mom in her 40s who was passed over for a singing opportunity as a teen due to her size. She struggled with that disappointment and her insecurities prevented her from trying again to forge a music career. So, she auditioned for AGT to finally chase her dream. Her voice was stunning. She received a four-judge standing “O” at the end of her song and the judges dubbed her an “inspiration.” She has raw, natural talent and we can’t wait to see her in the next round.
Dominican Dance Troupe, Dazzling Light Act, and Golden Buzzer Dad
Dominican Republic dance troupe Da RepubliK wowed the judges with a high-energy, theatrically-choreographed dance routine. They entered AGT to shoot for the “American dream” after growing up on the streets. All four judges loved them and put them through to the next round.
Light artist Mochi used synchronized movements using a diabolo and swirling images on an LED screen to wow the crowd. We’ve seen a lot of stunning light artists on AGT, but nothing quite like this. Mochi earned a unanimous vote to advance.
Michael Ketterer, pediatric mental health nurse and father of one biological daughter and five boys adopted out of the foster system, closed the night with a beautiful rendition of “To Love Somebody." The beloved Bee Gees song was a perfect anthem to underscore the love Michael felt for his wife and kids, who were watching his audition at the side of the stage. His passion overshadowed a small showing of nerves in his performance. Howie called him a “star” and Simon was so moved and impressed he smashed the Golden Buzzer, sending the shocked dad straight through to the live shows. It was a beautiful way to end the night.
“America’s Got Talent” airs on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on NBC. Stay tuned to AXS for AGT news and updates.