Good just isn’t good enough on “America’s Got Talent: All-Stars.”
NBC’s Super-Competition (Mondays at 8 a.m. EST/PST) brings together former champions and fierce competitors for an 8-week battle in which 60 artists from around the world compete to be crowned among the best.
In Monday’s premiere, 10 up-and-coming acts — including Season 2 champion ventriloquist Terry Fator; the second winner of “Canada’s Got Talent”, singer Jeanick Fournier; and acrobat Alan Silva, an “AGT” finalist for Season 15—performed for judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, and Howie Mandel, the only evaluator able to send an act to the finale via the Golden Buzzer that episode. Second place in the final would be voted on by a panel of “superfans”. The other eight acts would be eliminated.
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Light Balance Kids provided a bright spot in the two-hour opener. The group of (mostly) young dancers wear lights while performing as the stage lights are lowered. Since the group first competed on “AGT” in 2019, their home in Kyiv, Ukraine has come under attack from Russia.
A member of the group said that some went to the competition alone because “some of our relatives, like my father, are still at war in Ukraine. He is fighting for our country for independence and freedom.” She remembers waking up at 4 a.m. when “my family grabbed me and we (ran) to the subway station because there were bombs and rockets everywhere.”
Another dancer added that the group was happy to return “to show the world that light always wins”.
Season 14 Golden Buzzer recipients Light Balance Kids got Klum moving with their upbeat choreography on “Move Your Feet.” Their performance earned them a standing ovation from the audience.
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“It was such a fun party, and it should be longer!” Klum exclaimed.
Cowell was equally impressed. “It was your best performance you’ve ever done,” he said. “Really. A mile away.” Reflecting on what the band went through, Cowell added, “If anything defines an All-Star, it really is that performance.”
“There’s such an incredible message here,” Mandel agreed. “Where you come from, at this point, is arguably the darkest place in the world, and you travel the world to bring us light. And if there’s anything I can do, anything on behalf of America, on behalf of ‘AGT: All-Stars’, to bring even more light to you than you have brought to us, I’d like to do that for you.”
And with that, he hit the Golden Buzzer, raining confetti down on the dancers. Then Mandel joined them on stage. “You’re amazing!” he said. “You are my favorite number of all time! I love you!”
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Mandel’s use of the Golden Buzzer meant there was only one spot left for a competing act since Monday’s show in the final. Show host Terry Crews revealed the Fans’ Top 3 panel: the Bello Sisters, an incredibly flexible trio who danced to a slowed-down rendition of “I Ran” from A Flock of Seagulls; singer Caly Bevier, who sang an original song; and Fator, who dazzled the judges with two puppets singing “Rocket Man.”
Cowell said he would have voted for Fator all the way to the finals if he could have, and Klum expressed hope the fans would push him as well. Fator is a safe bet, at least for Las Vegas. After winning his season, he was offered a five-year residency in Vegas for $100 million.
But the superfans had another act in mind. They selected acrobats Bello Sisters, season 15 finalists, to advance to the finals.
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“Wow!” said a shocked Cowell.
“I would never guess that,” Mandel told Cowell.
“You just beat the best of the best,” Cowell told the sister act. “Congratulations.”