“America’s Got Talent” aired the final round of season 13 auditions last night (July 10) on NBC. The last batch of hopefuls hit the stage with power, passion and perseverance. Only the best of the best advanced to the next round, with several acts bringing never-before-seen feats to the AGT stage. Fifteen-year-old vocal wunderkind Makayla Phillips wowed the crowd and closed out the auditions with a powerful and inspirational rendition of Demi Lovato’s anthem “Warrior” which prompted veteran judge Heidi Klum to smash her Golden Buzzer and declare to the crowd, “I think I just found the winner!”
A Scientific Disagreement and an Unexpected Rap Song
When an act introduces themselves as “Hamster Wheel” we can’t help but wonder what we’re going to see. On the AGT stage, three grown men dressed in hamster suits running on a giant wheel wouldn’t have been out of the question! But, it turns out these guys are science geeks and clocked over 300 hours building their machine which triggered all sorts of things to happen by a cell phone-to-cell phone call from Simon Cowell to AGT host Tyra Banks. The chain reaction progression was fascinating to Simon and Howie Mandel. But, Heidi disagreed, finding it boring and Mel B quavered on the fence before finally sending them through with a third “Yes.”
Next up, a bright, charismatic 13-year-old boy named Patches revealed in his backstory he’s earned a patch for a myriad of clubs and activities through the years including, chess club, fishing, drama and more. He strode confidently onto the stage dressed in a snappy suit. When he said he was going to perform an original song he wrote, no one expected the super cool rap and his own brand of swagger he delivered. He was thrilled he received a unanimous vote to the next round.
Daring Duo and Amazing Choir
Father-and-daughter Sergey and Sasha performed a dangerous balancing act the show has never seen. Sasha balanced upside down on a round disc on her dad’s head. She even twirled a baton in her feet in that position, while he climbed a ladder up one side and down the other. It was incredible! They received a wildly popular four “yeses” to the next round.
There’s something about the collective voices in a choir that can inspire and uplift listeners and Simon Cowell was visibly moved by the 160-member Angel City Chorale’s rendition of Toto’s signature hit “Africa.” The song choice was unexpected and the group took the performance to the next level by starting with rain and thunder sound effects and engaging the audience to make the sounds with them. We’re thrilled they made it through to the next round and wonder what they will do next …
Stand Up Surprise, Spanish Delight and a Singing Dog
Stand up comedian Oliver Graves had a sort of dark, Alice Cooper look with his heavy black eye makeup and wig. His deadpan humor caused Howie and the audience to break into laughter throughout his audition and the audience leaped to their feet and roared in applause when he finished. Graves moved to tears by the unexpectedly positive response with Howie saying, “Enjoy your free time right now because you’re going to be a busy man.” Simon was particularly nice with his heartfelt observation that the rest of the stand-up comedians all blurred together, “Apart from you.” We can’t wait to hear what Oliver does next.
The number of talented kids crossing the “America’s Got Talent” stage continues to amaze and delight the audience and viewers this season. Last night, 12-year-old singer Angelito Garcia stunned Simon and Mel B with his Spanish language “El Triste” cover. It was absolutely incredible! Howie, however, drew a negative reaction from the crowd when he said he felt like the song was too old for Angelito. Simon felt he was one of the best singers they had seen thus far in the season and he’s sailing through to the next round.
Most of us have probably seen or heard a dog howl before. But nothing could prepare us for the shock and awe a pooch named Oscar delivered when he howled “on key” while his owner Pam played the piano. Simon candidly said he’s been wanting to find a singing dog on the show and he thinks they found one in Oscar. He’s woofing on to the next round!
Country Crooner, Dance Teams and Golden Buzzer Girl
We’re so glad Simon stopped country singer Hunter Price during his Karaoke-style Bryan Adams cover and asked for an original song. He blew everyone away with a heartfelt ballad called “Left Behind.” He said he wanted to be like Taylor Swift. Everyone knows what an incredible songwriter she is and Price put down a really solid effort with his original track. He’s on to the next round.
A variety of dance teams showcased amazing choreography and perfectly-synced moves. Some of the best included young girls called Pancakes, a high school team dressed as Wizard of Oz characters and a male dance crew called Blue Tokyo who all danced through to the next round.
Demi Lovato is one of the biggest pop stars on the planet and she’s known for her emotive, powerhouse vocals. Tackling one of her songs in a pressure-filled contest like AGT is a daunting task but 15-year-old singer Makayla Phillips just smashed it. The song felt like her own and her vibrant personality lit up the room. The audience went wild with applause and Heidi Klum was so impressed she smashed her Golden Buzzer. She even went so far as to shout “I think I just found the winner!”
Howie made a similar announcement with season 11 champ Grace VanderWaal and he was right. We’ll see if the same happens for Heidi and Makayla this year.
“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.