Auditions 5 Live Blog (Video)
America’s Got Talent Season 17 auditions continue with Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara on the jury. Terry Crews hosts. Learn about the new artists vying for the $1 million prize and a headlining show in Las Vegas.
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The episode opens with a Kia commercial featuring the judges. Simon steals a car, the judges arrive late, and Sofia stumbles on the way to the table.
Nicolas Ribs – Magician
NBC dropped that audition early. Check it here. Nicolas is French and takes his daughter to translate for him. He practices close-up magic on a light table. In his unique act, Nicolas transforms the images on the table, including playing cards, into three-dimensional objects, seamlessly. The act ends with a patriotic fanfare that gets the crowd to their feet.
Heidi calls it cool. Howie exclaims, “I’ve never seen better magic, I’ve never seen more unique magic.” Simon also calls it “unique”. He wants to see auditions he’s never seen before. 4 yes
Keegan the cycling comedian
Keegan Buckingham is a Chicago-based comedian whose comedy revolves around bikes, cycling, and biking puns. He explains that he’s been doing stand up for 10 years and has something unique to bring, which is bike-only jokes. The audience starts booing immediately. The judges push their X’s pretty quickly. NOPE.
Mr Pants – Comedian
Ryan Dee, who also creates giant sculptures including one of the infamous poop emoji, wears a costume consisting of wide pants. Simon immediately rolls his eyes when Mr. Pants takes the stage. He does a similar act to Keegan, except pants. However, he is so confident and charming that the crowd loves it. The jokes are bad, but delivered in a fun way.
Howie thinks he’s hysterical “You didn’t slack off.” Har. Heidi can’t wait for him to come back “and really pull his pants down.” Har. Har. Sofia calls it “incredible”. Simon calls it “stupidly funny” and adds, “people are going to remember you.” 4 yes
Mia Morris – Drummer/Songwriter
Mia is a 17-year-old multi-instrumentalist musician based in Nashville. In her number, Mia performs an original song while “looping” through all the instruments. It begins with a bass line. Then grab a guitar and add an electric riff. She plays drums live and sings. His style is pop punk, which has recently come back into fashion. She is obviously talented. But the song is really short. Mia has been uploading viral videos to Youtube since she was a teenager.
Howie calls her “a star…I loved what you did”. Heidi loved it. Sofia calls it cool. Simon thought it was a bit of a mess but “it should be…I enjoyed it so much”. He appreciates his originality.
William Roelants – Comedy musician
William, originally from Vancouver, Canada, plays blues and country music while incorporating comedy. On AGT, however, his act is to pop balloons on a track of “1812 Overture.” It’s very stupid. Of course, he is immediately buzzed by Simon. Somehow he hurts himself and bleeds – NOPE
Chiko – Acrobat
Chiko the acrobat competed on Spain has talent Season 7. He doesn’t speak English well – Sofia offers to help him. He is from Cuba, but now lives in Spain, translates Sofia. Chico performs a dangerous hand balance trick from great heights. He builds a scaffold almost as high as the Xs. And he continues to build the structure higher. His assistant throws a metal pike and Chico misses. He tries again and adds knives. Hand balancing is pedestrian. The act is all about height and sharp objects.
Howie calls it “really scary”. Heidi wants to see more. Chico explains that his brother is the guy who assists him. – 4 yes.
Abbie and Ellie Smith – Sibling Singing Duo
The two are twin daughters of Angie Smith, a Christian author and Todd Smith, lead singer of the popular Christian band Selah. They are not very good. Simon stops them “That was a bit heavy…we won’t remember you.” At least he didn’t ring them! They were quite terrible – NOPE
Marcus Terell – Singer
AGT returnee Marcus was a Season 4 quarter-finalist in 2009. His act is very sex appeal and he performs with a team of dancers. Check out his performance in the 2009 quarter-finals HERE. During the Las Vegas round, the judges forced Marcus to find more “talented” background dancers in order to move on. He still does the same lame schtick from years ago, only more outrageous.
Simon quickly buzzes him and Howie follows. Simon explains that he liked it when he came on stage (who knows, that part is deleted). The crowd boos. Marcus politely thanks him for his comments – NOPE
Connor Johnson – Acoustic Singer
Connor, from Waikiki, is an acoustic pop singer who walks the streets. He’s also a surfer! His mother, an Nursing Sister, is in the audience cheering him on. He has a very nice tone and a beautiful falsetto voice. Not really a guitarist though. Simon stops him: “It was a bit boring. The audience boos. Connor performs another song. It is also a ballad and not very different from the first one, in fact. The melody is perhaps a little more convincing. He kinda reminds me of American Idol Francois Martin. It’s that same heart thing on his sleeve.
Sofia liked the second song more. “Your voice is beautiful.” Heidi calls it “easy to watch”. She thinks the girls will love it. Howie believes he will have a successful career. Simon says he needs to get out of his comfort zone a bit if there’s a next time. 4 yes.
MPLUSPLUS – Technical dancers / Stage technicians
The Tokyo-based dance team incorporates lights and other technologies into dance routines. The band’s director has been working on their stage technology for 12 years. The crew dances while seemingly wielding ribbons of light. It’s colorful and dramatic. A little routine, did it really take 12 years to create?
Simon calls it “very Vegas very quirky”. Sofia says “I was in a trance.” Heidi forgot where she was for a minute. “Your dance was on point.” Howie loved it – 4 yes
The Dremeka Choir – Heavy Metal Choir
Backstage with Terry, the group performs like a normal choir. But in reality, the Montreal-based band claims to be the world’s first and only choir made up of heavy metal singers. When they start singing, it’s literally growl-metal. It’s not very nice for non-metallic heads. But it’s different! Simon should appreciate that. They end with an “interesting” metal version of Britney’s “Toxic”.
Simon laughs. Heidi buzzes them. The crowd gives them a standing ovation. Simon calls it “fantastically creepy”. I’m all for going to the dark side. Sofia calls it “creative, spectacular”. Heidi didn’t like it, she didn’t see the appeal. 3 yes, Heidi says no
Lily Meola – Singer/Composer – Heidi’s Golden Buzzer
Lily is a touring musician, born and raised in Maui, now based in California. She describes her sound as dreampop and folk. She became known at the age of 20 after performing a duet with willie nelson. She sings an original song “Daydream”, which she wrote when her life was “really beautiful”. Life was good, she had a contract with a label. His future looked bright. But then his life changed. She lost her mother to cancer and while taking care of her, Lily lost her recording contract. She cries talking about herself. As a songwriter, she is a good storyteller, vocally she sings with a beautiful lyrical tone. If she doesn’t succeed as a performer, she might survive as a songwriter.
Heidi wipes away tears. Howie can “feel the emotion…you are the butterfly on the way”. Sofia says “I think your mom was watching you tonight.” The record deal didn’t produce any music, she says. Simon admires her perseverance. Heidi is speechless. “I see a light around you.” She is so moved that…Heidi hits her golden buzzer. This means Lilly will go straight to live broadcasts.
Jordan Conley – Actor
Jordan is a comedian from Garden Grove, California. He is entertaining as soon as he takes the stage. His comic hero is Kevin Hart. He reads jokes from his viral video HERE, which talks about his father wanting him to join the military. It’s weird that he uses old material. But he is funny!
Sofia likes her energy. Simon calls her “naturally funny” and “super talented”. Heidi calls it “fast”. She said, “That was all funny.” Howie likes that there is no separation between who he is and his act. He likes that. 4 yes
Voice Impressionist Merissa Beddows
AGT watched Merissa’s audition. Watch it HERE. The 23-year-old is studying opera singing at the Curtis Institute of Music, a conservatory located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. However, she runs a popular Tik Tok account filled with perfect vocal impressions of iconic pop singers. old AGT Jackie Evancho inspired her to sing. A stagehand hands Heidi a large dice with Merissa’s favorite impressions written on each side. Merissa begins “Over the Rainbow” in her own voice. Heidi screams names and Merissa delivers impressions on Ariana Grande, Stevie Nicks, Celine DionDisney’s Snow White and, hilariously, the voice of the iPhone, Siri.
Howie compliments her singing and impressions. Heidi liked to be part of her act. Sofia calls the whole act “perfect”. Simon didn’t like the cube, but he liked his impressions very much. 4 yes.
On a personal note, and not mentioned in the clip, Merissa started a GoFundMe last month to raise money for his sick mother who needs long-term care.
Siegfried and Joy – Magicians
The duo are Berlin-based magicians who practice illusion-based magic. They played an act in Vegas called “Las Vegas in Berlin”. They appeared in the Romanian talent show iUmor. The routine mixes comedy into their act. Hilarious they make a confused Jordan Conley appear out of nowhere. The jokey name should be a tip, right? Simon looks bored, but Howie seems to love it. It’s a fun act!
Heidi is proud to be German. They bring him a gift. “I love this!” Howie springs. “Comedy becomes queen.” One of them replies deadpan: “We are magicians. Sofia wants to be part of their number. Simon did not understand. The crowd boos. “I thought the whole thing was a bit silly,” he says. – 3 yes, Simon says no