The battle for the brightest stars on “America’s Got Talent: All-Stars” rages on.
The top performers from the international “Got Talent” franchise continue to pitch into NBC’s super-competition (Monday, 8 EST/PST) with their sights set on the finale. Of the show’s judges — Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel — only Cowell had the ability to hit the Golden Buzzer on Monday, securing an acting spot in the finals. (Second place in the Finals would be decided by a panel of “superfans,” while eight other hopefuls would again be eliminated.)
Here’s how the evening went:
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Cowell surprises himself with his Golden Buzzer selection
Mike E. Winfield, a comedian from season 17 of “AGT”, returned to make the judges laugh. He joked about his stepson, whom he calls “stepman” because of their similar ages, staying out too late. “I drove around the corner to pick it up (at a party), got back three hours later,” Winfield said. His wife said, “Michael, have you been drinking?” I say to myself: “We have the same friends. Everyone was there. He is still there. I will look for him again.”
“You are that ray of sunshine and I love you,” Klum said. “You are hilarious.”
Cowell predicted that if Winfield had performed the night’s routine before, “it might have been a whole different story, because you came back funnier, more confident. I can even see in your eyes how much that means to you right now.”
“It means everything,” Winfield said. “It’s what I’ve always wanted. I wanted ‘AGT.’ I’ve been doing this for 20 years, and you go unnoticed, then you finally get a platform. There’s no time to take off or brake. I’m here to play.
Cowell, noticing the public’s adoration of stand-up comedy, gave it the Golden Buzzer. “You know what, Mike? I love, love, love people who compete,” Cowell said, “and I didn’t expect to do this, but I will.”
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Saxophonist Avery Dixon hits all the right notes
Saxophonist Avery Dixon, an “AGT” Season 17 contestant who won a Golden Buzzer from then-host Terry Crews, returned on Monday.
The young musician, who took up the saxophone again after being bullied over his voice, said he was competing for his mother: “I’m here to buy her this house and win it all.”
Dixon gave himself a fighting chance when he and his band performed Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” which brought a dancing Klum to his feet.
“That’s how you do it!” she said smiling.
Mandel complimented Dixon’s development. “You stepped it up,” Mandel said. “You’ve gone from amazing talent to amazing spectacle. You’re a spectacle!”
Bir Khalsa is an almost unassailable act for Cowell
Bir Khalsa, a group that performs dangerous stunts that first appeared in Season 14, showed they were ready for “All-Stars” with a spooky act that Cowell found difficult to watch.
For a moment, a blindfolded member of the four-person group picked up a sword and sliced coconut from another member’s neck. “I can not take it!” said an anxious Crews.
For another round, the blindfolded member smashed coconuts and watermelon, describing his collaborator’s body with a hammer. “I can’t watch,” Mandel said with his hands nervously placed on his head.
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As the hammer came close to hitting a watermelon through the band member’s head, Cowell covered his eyes. After a swing, Cowell, who had turned away from the stage, asked, “Is he alive?”
For the group’s latest feat, the blindfolded man cut an apple between the heads of two partners with a chainsaw.
“This is by far the craziest thing I’ve seen,” Mandel said.
“Already!” Klum agreed. “It was exhausting to watch! You guys are incredibly crazy, and it was wow – it was so entertaining. It was so good. I couldn’t look away.”
Cowell said the band would get their vote for the finale.
Who did the superfans choose?
Crews, extending the suspense of the jury selection, unveiled his Top 3 for the final. (Remember that they can only select one act to advance.)
As much as Bir Khalsa impressed the judges, the group was nowhere in sight. Crews revealed Dixon; Keren Montero, a singer who won “Dominicana’s Got Talent” in 2021; and “AGT” Season 16 mind reader Peter Antoniou, who Cowell said lacked showmanship, were the panel’s top picks.
But it was Dixon that fan votes pushed through to the next round.
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