'America's Got Talent': Howie Mandel Jumps Up on the Judges' Table to Give Golden Buzzer to Inspiring Singer
By Zach Seemayer
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America's Got Talentreturned Tuesday night, and ET followed along throughout the two-hour episode to break down all the best, biggest and most surprising moments from the second night of the Season 14 Audition Rounds.
The show's two new judges, Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough, were seated behind the desk for their second night as a slew of new acts risk life and limb -- and sometimes dignity -- for a shot at moving on to the next round of competition or maybe the coveted Golden Buzzer.
Returning judges Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel will be joined by the newcomers who, just last week, were wowed by a young singer-songwriter, a daredevil, a stand-up comedian, a mindblowing magician, among others. Last week's Golden Buzzer -- awarded by Union -- went to a blind, autistic piano virtuoso who delivered one of the most breathtaking performances in recent memory. We'll see if tonight's episode raises the bar even higher.
Watch along with ET for a look at all the acts who gave it their all in the big season premiere.
The World Is Going to Know His Name
After finishing the original song -- which included the lyric "after tonight, the world is going to know my name -- Joseph can't keep his emotions in check as he breaks down in tears.
Simon compliments his amazing energy and charisma, and the pure joy and excitement radiating from the young singer is incredibly contagious.
Howie can't even control himself, getting up onto the judges table to help leave the "footprint" Joseph mentioned before the performance, hitting the Golden Buzzer and making his dream come true.
And, as promised, Terry came out onto stage to lift him up under the shower of golden confetti.
Jospeh Allen Is Setting Out to Change the World
This 21-year-old singer-songwriter is a self-taught musical powerhouse who sets the stage for his (almost inevitable) Golden Buzzer win when he tells Terry that, if he gets said honor, the host has to come out into the stage and lift him in the air.
Given the fact that he's the last act of the night, there's a good chance Terry will be using his strength pretty soon.
Before performing, Allen is asked why he's partaking in AGT, and his answer is amazing, telling the judges, "I want to see how much a footprint I can leave on Earth before I leave."
His voice is incredible, and the fact that he's singing an original song he wrote specifically for AGT, makes it all the more mind-blowing.
This guy's definite star, and the Golden Buzzer looks even more inevitable now.
Simon Is Creeped Out
"Ye are a ghoul," Simon says, summarizing what everyone else is thinking.
"We should vote because I kind of want you to get out of here and take your chair with you," Howie adds, which was also a pretty decent summary of what everyone is thinking.
He ends up getting the "Yes" votes needed to move on, but not before Howie angrily demands that the chair get taken off the stage. It'll be interesting to see what kind of "spirit" Nicolas summons for his follow-up act.
'AGT' Goes Full Horror Movie
Nicolas Wallace apparently contacts "the other side" and it's really weird and creepy. It's like that haunted magician girl from last season, but without the magic skill and apparently more ghosts.
Bringing a rocking chair he claims is haunted onto the stage, Nicolas tells the judges that he "dabbles in the strange and unusual," and he's not wrong.
Nicolas isn't even a few moments into his story about this cursed rocking chair and Simon is already freaking out. When Nicolas asks Gabrielle to join him on stage, the other judges literally sigh with relief.
Nicolas also brings a creepy doll into the equation and some unsettling record playing the voice of an old man making moaning noises. Honestly, it's insane that Gabrielle is still in that stupid chair.
Its hard to tell if the bit is supposed to be about ghosts or voodoo or general weirdness, but this guy oozes entertaining discomfort.
Light Balance Creator Returns With Pint-Sized Recreation
The man who brought the epic LED dance group Light Balance returns to AGT with Light Balance Kids -- and they might be better than the full-sized version.
Basing their performance off imagery from Iron Man and dancing to Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust," they check off a lot of boxes by virtue of hitting notes everyone already loves, but they do it with their own brilliant flair and style.
Light Balance got the Golden Buzzer the first time they performed, and then came back for AGT: Champions, but Light Balance Kids is somehow even more fun.
The judges can't believe how talented and skillful they all are, and when the entire group is shown to be made up only of kids, it floors the judges entirely. They obviously get four "Yes" votes (although no Golden Buzzer) and are moving on.
Will this be Light Balance's year to win?
Ryan Turns a Disability Into Comedy Brilliance
Ryan turns his physical uniqueness into comedy in a way that truly touches your heart, and seems like it's really one of the reasons America's Got Talent was created for.
"I have a disability. I think the technical term for it is 'being very handsome,'" Ryan says as he explains how he got into comedy in the first place, and then explains that he wants to inspire other people who look like him.
His set is also great, playing off expectations of his disability for some incredible jokes that won over the judges instantly.
He gets a wholly deserved standing ovation for his set, and the judges couldn't be more supportive, with Simon calling him "amazing" and Howie already predicting that he will make it to the finals.
Every judge gives a strong and emphatic "Yes" vote, sending Ryan to the next round, and hopefully changing his life forever.
63-Year-Old Singer Adaline Bates Fights for Her Dream
The story of a singer who has decided to reclaim her dream at the age of 63 is inspirational, and it's nice to see AGT appreciate and respect performers of all kind.
Howie jokingly tells Adaline to "break a leg" (seeing that one of her legs in a cast) before she leaves the stage and returns in an outfit that is split down the middle between a suit and a dress, and she shows off her incredible vocal range by singing "Unforgettable" as both Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole.
It's hard to explain, but this performance is amazing. As Julianne says, the performance is both hilarious and impressive and the unexpected oddness and uniqueness of the act impresses all the judges into giving "Yes" votes across the board.
G-Force Bring Girl Power
While the girls of G-Force might want to rethink the group name (to avoid confusion with the 2009 action gerbil movie of the same name), they have all the charisma and dance skills you could hope for in a five-person group of pre-teen performers who want to make people smile and have a fun time.
All the judges across the board appreciate their message and their energy, and they get all "Yes" votes, which bring on the waterworks in a big way.
Fear and Appreciation
"I thought there was going to be death," Gabrielle says, still sounding traumatized.
All the judges have a lot of praise, but also a lot of discomfort. However, they all vote "yes."
In the realm of danger acts, this one beats last week's Human Fuse by a full country mile.
Danger Acts Brings Real Danger
Two danger artists -- one of whom is 7-foot-6-inches tall -- bring real fear to the AGT stage with an audition that might be one of the most cringeworthy in years.
One man is blindfolded (and, it seems, really truly blindfolded, even with salt poured into his eyes) and then he picks up a sledgehammer to smash coconuts and watermelons placed in an outline around his enormous partner.
This is straight-up nightmare fuel. It's like a scene from Hostile that somehow ends with no one getting killed, but not for lack of apparent trying.
The scariest part isn't when he correctly smashes a coconut just inches from his friend's body, it's when he misses and randomly hits the floor, proving he really can't see at all.
When that final hammers down on the watermelon just above the man's head, it's impossible not to imagine it's his skull exploding, and everyone is deeply disturbed.
Terry Gets in on the Fun
After the three acrobatic brothers move on to the next round, they bring out Terry and he shows off his famous strength (and pec-flexing skills) by serving as a platform for one of the brothers to lift himself up in the air. We knew he was friendly and buff, but Terry could explore a future in an acrobatic act if he wanted to as well!
Three Handsome Acrobats Prove Their Talent
If you want to win over the audience at America's Got Talent, you've either got to be be super talented or incredibly hot. These three brothers happen to be both, and that makes them a force to be reckoned with.
Standing shirtless on a platform, the Messoudi Brothers use each other's impossibly toned bodies to balance in mid-air and it's just unbelievable.
Julianne and Gabrielle are on their feet cheering before the act was halfway over, and all four judges are giving a standing ovation by the end.
As expected, they will be moving on to the next round after overwhelming praise for their act.
Terry Is the Best
Terry Crews is setting the standard for reality competition series hosts. He's just the nicest, friendliest and most charismatic host in a long time, and it's great he's on the show full-time now.
High-Kick Team Brings a Lot of Dancers to the Stage
A lot of fuss was made about Gabrielle being in Bring It On before this amazing high-kick group, the Emerald Belles, came on stage to perform an amazing routine set to "New Order" by Blue Monday, but that doesn't seem like a fair set-up for the mind-blowing performance they put on.
Before the dance, Simon asks incredulously if they really think they can win, because apparently he forgot that the Rockettes have existed for like 200 years. Needless to say, they shut him up quickly.
Julianne and Gabrielle praise the team for their performance, and Simon changes his tune, saying that the Rockettes are the standard for high-kick and that "Someone new needs to take their place."
While Howie votes "No" because he feels they aren't as good as the Rockettes (which is an insane standard) they still get three "Yes" votes and are moving on.
Benny Wows Everyone
Midway through the song, audience members are already standing and cheering, and the judges' praise is equally effusive.
"For some reason you remind me of the very first time I auditioned Harry Styles," Simon says, giving him probably the only feedback he'll actually remember.
Needless to say, he gets four "Yes" votes and is brought to tears, particularly by Simon's positive feedback. This kid is going to be a real contender this season.
Benicio Bryant Belts Out Brandi Carlile
In the package for Benicio, they show a teenage girl absolutely nailing "Take Me Home, Country Roads" and Simon slamming it for being "too safe." So they are building Simon up to be the mean guy for this young singer's performance.
Odds are, that means Simon will love it more than anyone. when we learn that he was inspired by his dad -- Simon is a soft touch for any story about parents and children.
However, as soon as he starts to sing his soulful cover of Brandi Carlile's "The Joke," it's clear that he's got the talent to take him a long way.
Simon looks transfixed, and rightly so.
Jonathan the Toilet Seat Dancer
There's a lot going on with Jonathan's act. He's got contortionist elements, a whole lot of comedy and some bizarrely awkward Napoleon Dynamite vibes that really weirdly work for him.
From shoving himself through the rim of a toilet seat to forcing himself through a tennis racquet and then eventually quasi-stripping on stage, he's certainly entertaining.
"I'm not sure anyone of use just know what happened, but I know we all want to see more," Gabrielle said.
When asked how he discovered his talent, he simply said, "I was a weird kid."
Even though it was weird, it hit a lot of the right comedy beats and he earned four "Yes" votes, much to his awkward delight.
Here We Go!
And we're starting tonight off with a contortionist who crawls out of a closed suitcase like something out of a nightmare.
This is such a great show!
For more on the show's two new judges -- and new host Terry Crews, who previously hosted the special season of America's Got Talent: The Champions -- check out the video below.