The final round of auditions for “America’s Got Talent: All-Stars” were in the hands of the superfans because there was no Golden Buzzer available. When it came to sending one final act to the finals, the panel of voters had complete control.
Their task was difficult, as they had to distinguish between past winners such as poet Brandon Leake (2020), singer/musician Kodi Lee (2019), and comedian Josh Blue, a 2021 finalist. The return of Sethward, a variety act who has appeared on the competition series more than any other contestant, was also a surprise for the evening, which Simon Cowell despised.
Here’s how the night went down:
Kodi Lee, a performance worthy of a Golden Buzzer for Cowell
When the Season 14 winner was revealed, the audience rose to their feet and began chanting his name. Lee, who is blind and autistic, told judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, and Howie Mandel that he came to compete “to win again, hell yeah!”
The judges were moved by Lee’s soulful rendition of “Biblical” by Calum Scott. “There is no other word for what you do (other than amazing,” Mandel said.
Klum was also taken aback. “When I hear you sing, my heart doubles in size,” she said.
After Lee left the stage, Cowell marvelled at Lee’s talent in front of the other judges. “He’s in a different league (than) everyone else,” said Cowell. “I wish I had a Golden Buzzer for him.”
Brandon Leake uses words to impress: ‘You are brilliant.’
Mandel’s Golden Buzzer returned in Season 15 eager to perform in front of a live audience, as he competed during the pandemic.
Leake delivered his poem, about a lesson learned from an interaction with a homeless person, with zeal that impressed all of the judges.
“I never in my wildest dreams would’ve thought someone with an act like yours could win ‘AGT,’ ” admitted Cowell, “but you won it because of obviously what you say, but also it’s the way you deliver everything. You are brilliant, beyond brilliant!”
Mandel concurred. “You’re doing exactly what you want to do, which is to move people.”
Comedian Mandel lauds Josh Blue as “the cure.”
Blue returned to the “AGT” stage, armed with self-deprecating jokes that included references to his cerebral palsy. The comedian, who finished third in Season 16, stated that “making people laugh is my life.”
On Monday, he joked about how simple it is to become a parent.
“I can’t even make a birdhouse on purpose, (but) I accidentally made two people.”
Blue claimed that when his children were babies, he had “people approaching me, as if to say, ‘Hey, didn’t anyone tell you not to shake a baby?’ ‘Well, I’m just holding him,’ I think.”
His routine had both the judges and the audience on their feet.
“You get all the laughs,” Klum explained. “And I adore you because you have such a sweet personality. What isn’t there to like about you?”
Mandel told Blue, referring to the adage that laughter is the best medicine: “You are the remedy. You are the remedy. You provided us with what we needed the most.”
Sethward has Cowell saying “no more.”
But this week’s show delivered more than just warm and fuzzy feelings. Sethward steps forward. The comedian appeared on four seasons of “AGT” as a giraffe, walrus, and peacock. He was dressed as a goat for “All-Stars” on Monday.
“Who invited you to be on this show?” a visibly irritated Cowell inquired.
Things got tense when Sethward approached the judge’s table and started munching on a tangerine. “He’s spitting on me,” said Cowell.
The audience’s boos didn’t stop Sethward from shrieking out a song in “goat language.”
“That’s it,” Cowell said as he stood up from his seat. “No longer. This is not a performance.”
Cowell couldn’t take it any longer and hit Klum and Mandel’s buzzers to give the act Xs. Cowell objected when Klum suggested Sethward could win the superfan vote. “They’re not going to vote,” he predicted. “He shouldn’t be here at all.”
The results of the super-fan vote have been revealed…
Fortunately for Cowell, Sethward did not make the top three acts of the evening. The panel’s favourite acts were Leake, Lee, and Blue. The panel decided to advance Lee to the finals. Blue came in third, followed by Leake.