“America’s Got Talent” is two weeks away from crowing a winner.
The first five finalists were revealed during Wednesday’s results show, following “the best live show of the season so far by a mile,” according to Simon Cowell.
Although Cowell said there was a “very, very clear winner” following Tuesday’s performances, two Golden Buzzer acts that earned the best reviews of the night shockingly found themselves in danger of elimination.
Sofía Vergara’s jaw dropped to the floor: “What happened?” Cowell’s eye’s widened in a moment of disbelief: “We didn’t vote.” Howie Mandel gasped at the realization that “two Golden Buzzers” are in need of a save from America.
Here’s what happened:
The fans’ picks
The three acts that received the most votes automatically advanced. That means they are only one performance away from winning $1 million and a headlining show in Las Vegas.
Comedian Gina Brillon was the first act to move forward. “This is the year of comedy,” Mandel deemed. Brillon broke down in tears on stage: “You have no idea what this means.”
Aerialist Aidan Bryant, who taught himself how to fly two years ago on YouTube after watching a Pink concert, joined her in the safe zone. “Right now, you are genuinely the one to beat,” Cowell said. Heidi Klum said the 16-year-old’s “story is amazing.”
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Magician Dustin Tavella also advanced. “Thank you guys so much, I feel kind of bad,” he said after advancing over 10-year-old Peter Rosalita. Klum replied she was “not surprised” Tavella made it to the finale. Mandel called him “one of the best magicians” he’s ever seen.
Singer Jimmie Herrod (Vergara’s Golden Buzzer), voicetramentalist Michael Winslow and World Taekwondo Demonstration Team (Terry Crews’ Golden Buzzer) finished in the middle of the pack and were on the brink of elimination.
Last night, Mandel said Herrod was “by far the best singer in this competition.” Cowell called World Taekwondo Demonstration Team his “favorite act.” Vergara said she was “mesmerized” by Winslow, but it was not enough to inspire America to pick up the phone to vote.
“Tough competition last night,” Cowell said. “I’m not going to lie, I’m surprised. But America controls the vote now.”
The three acts went head-to-head in a live voting round for the “Dunkin’ Save,” where fans had the opportunity to rescue one performer. Whoever received the most votes in a 30-minute flash round would move on.
In the end, viewers saved Herrod. “Hallelujah,” he exclaimed. Vergara said she was “going to throw up” over the anticipation: “You deserve to be here. I don’t know what happened to America.
But the results weren’t over just yet. The judges had the chance to save either World Taekwondo Demonstration Team or Winslow. Crews called it the judge’s “biggest decision of the season so far.”
“Both of these acts are worthy of Las Vegas,” Klum said before voting for World Taekwondo Demonstration Team to stay. Vergara made a “difficult” choice and picked the World Taekwondo Demonstration Team. Cowell also selected the martial arts group to advance. Mandel didn’t even need to vote.
For six other acts, however, their dreams came crashing down after being eliminated.
The five acts with the fewest votes – Tory Vagasy (singer); Beyond Belief Dance Company (wild card); Korean Soul (vocal quartet); Madilyn Bailey (singer); and Peter Rosalita (singer) – said their goodbyes.
Winslow was also sent packing.
“America’s Got Talent” will return Sept. 7 for the second half of the semifinals (NBC, 8 EDT/PDT).
Next week’s performers include four golden buzzer winners – Léa Kyle (quick change artist), Victory Brinker (opera singer); Northwell Nurse Choir – along with Brooke Simpson (singer); Rialcris (acrobatic group); ChapKidz (dance group); Peter Antoniou (mentalist); Josh Blue (comedian); 1aChord (vocal trio); Kabir Singh (comedian); and UniCircle Flow (unicycle dance group).