Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, and Sofia Vergara return to the seventeenth season of “America’s Got Talent.” Terry Crews has also returned as the host of the show. Variety of acts, including contestants of all generations, audition for a chance at winning a $1 million reward in the season premiere. The Golden Buzzer is back in America’s Got Talent Season 17 Episode 1, giving one lucky talent the opportunity to compete for America’s vote on the live broadcasts.
Season 17 of America’s Got Talent got off to a fast start (of the drums). The NBC reality competition series provided an explosive premiere, with a powerful opening performance from a Chicago drumline, a girl’s pop trio founded by JoJo Siwa, and an amazing musical moment to round out the hour. And while one of the performances received four no votes from the judges, the corny song became an underappreciated gem for the audience, prompting three of the judges (all except Vergara) to shift their votes to yes.
Let’s go through each audition of the premier night.
The Pack Drumline
The Pack Drumline, from Chicago, was the first act of the hour, and they did not hold back. They’ve come to represent their city, their families, and themselves. They’re more than drums; they’re also dancers. The performers’ enthusiasm was irresistible as they performed music and danced for the audience. The group began as an initiative to promote at-risk teenagers, and as they grew, they stayed together. The tone of the evening was set by their performance. They got through with four yes votes.
“Candy Hearts,” an original song by the pop group, was performed. Siwa, a mainstream entertainment icon, and her mom, Jessalynn Siwa, who were clapping from backstage, founded the group. Every kid in the audience was on their feet as the females demonstrated their singing, rapping, and performing skills. They got through with four yes votes.
Lee Collinson is a 21-year-old Englishman. His dream is to only make music and quit his ordinary job as a fencer. The British vocalist wowed the audience with his version of Dermot Kennedy’s “Better Days.” The judge FaceTimed his mom to let her see how he was progressing in the competition based on the judges’ votes. Lee advances to the next round after receiving four yes votes from the judges.
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Yo-yo performers aren’t typically a smash on AGT. Takada changed that. The Japanese artist stunned the judges more than any yo-yo act before him by including outstanding dance into his routine. The judges awarded him yo’s and no’s rather than yeses, and no’s. Fortunately, he received four large yo’s.
Ben Lapidus is a vocalist who has been performing since he was fourteen years old. He performed a song that he wrote himself. Simon, Sofia, Howie, and Heidi all pressed the X button. Simon described it as “disgusting,” adding that he disliked the song. Sofia has no idea what’s going on. Even if she hit the X, the crowd loved it, as did Terry and Heidi. Ben even performs a second encore. “Parmesan” is the title of the song.
Simon said he wanted to kill him because he couldn’t get the word “parmesan” out of his head; he removes the X and responds yes, as does Heidi. If Howie says no, Sofia has the final say. He gets a yes from her. The audience is thrilled. Sofia Vergara informs the other judges that they are insane, that what they did was insane.
Celia is a 36-year-old Spaniard who traveled in to perform on America’s Got Talent Season 17 Episode 1. The opera performer was attracted by the artform after seeing ventriloquists on AGT. She taught herself what she needed to know in two years and became an expert. Instead of using puppets, she used her vocal abilities in association with the radio while doing basic housework like flossing, cleaning her teeth, and making a phone call. She impressed the judges with her creativity and advanced to the following round with ease. She advances to the next round with four yes votes. Terry reminds her that she has a chance to follow in the footsteps of AGT champion Terry Fator.
The 21-year-old composer’s final standout performance drew the entire audience to its feet and brought many to tears. Avery Dixon is a saxophonist from Atlanta, Georgia, who is 21 years old. He claims that he was bullied at school and was referred to as a “hammerhead.” He wanted to commit suicide because he was in a very dark place. The saxophone pulled him away from it all. He claims that he tries to rehearse, but that because he is loud, people call the police on him. Simon informs him that he is free to be as loud as he wants. The judges and audience both gave him a standing ovation.
All four judges praised him, with Cowell remarking that it was like witnessing a singer perform. There was, however, no need to vote. Crews were so affected by Dixon’s performance that they sent him straight to the live events, marking Season 17’s first golden buzzer event.
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