(LOS ANGELES) — The Judge Cuts kicked off on Tuesday’s edition of America’s Got Talent, with seven of the 20 acts that made it through the auditions advancing to the Live Rounds.
Singer Ronnee Martin, comedy juggling duo The Passing Zone, tween comedian Lori Mae Hernandez, magician Hara, family band Edgar and a capella quartet Linkin’ Bridge all advanced. Pro football player and part-time magician Jon Dorenbos was sent straight to the Live Rounds via “the Golden Buzzer,” which is also back for this round.
Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Mel B were back behind the judges’ table to offer their opinions and decide which acts would advance. Helping them this week was R&B star Ne-Yo.
Here’s a rundown of some of Tuesday’s highlights:
First up was Hara, a magician from a small village in Japan. With his hands shackled together, he attempted to escape from a basket. Adding to the drama, two rows of knives, hung over him, held up by a rope that was lit on fire. After the knives hit the box, it was opened to reveal that he had disappeared. Hara turned up right in front of the judges’ table. Howie noted he “peed a little bit.” Ne-Yo said he could see the magician in Vegas.
Edgar is the name of the family band consisting of Nikki Leonti-Edgar and her daughter Jaslyn, who she had as a teenager, and Ryan, who married Nikki and adopted Jas. They lent their tight family harmonies to The Beatles’ “Let It Be.” They were a hit with the judges, including Howie, who said, “[L]ove the package, I love that you love each other, I love your look, I love your sound, I love your song choices.” Ne-Yo particularly loved the trio’s camaraderie and chemistry.
Lori Mae Hernandez, a 13-year-old comedian, amused the judges with a series of “tween” jokes. She drew a standing ovation from the audience and praise from Simon, who complimented her confidence and timing. Mel B predicted a great future for Lori in the competition and vowed to fight for her.
Philadelphia Eagles football player and part-time magician Jon Dorenbos had Ne-Yo pick a card, but not show it to him. He then attempted to draw a picture of the card, but was incorrect. Jon altered the picture to make it a full deck of cards and made Ne-Yo’s card pop up from the picture. That was enough to make the singer hit his Golden Buzzer, sending Dorenbos straight through to the live rounds.
Tuesday’s stunt from comedy juggling duo John Wee and Owen Morse – a.k.a. The Passing Zone – involved flying knives, Mel B swinging on a pendulum and Howie sitting atop a dunk tank. They managed not to hit Mel. Howie didn’t fare as well, ending up soaking wet.
Ronnee Martin, 62, sang Dusty Springfield’s “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.” Ne-Yo noted that people in the music business place a lot of emphasis on age, but declared, “Talent and the right song supersedes all of that.” Mel B wanted to see her “more and more and more.” Added Simon, “It seems like the world missed you,” but predicted it would “catch up.”
A cappella quartet Linkin’ Bridge displayed their amazing harmonies and beat-boxing skills on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird.” Declared Simon, “When I was thinking about…coming on this show…I was trying to think of what…we were looking for. And then I just realized what it was. It was you.”
The Judge Cuts continue with Reba McEntire as the guest judge, when America’s Got Talent returns Wednesday at 8 p.m. Eastern time on NBC.
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