'America's Got Talent': Ghosts, Martial Artists and Acrobats Leave Judges Stunned in 3rd Quarterfinals
By Zach Seemayer
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America's Got Talent returns to TV on Tuesday for the third quarterfinals night of season 16! ET is following along throughout the two-hour episode to break down all the best, biggest and most surprising moments from the night!
Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Sofia Vergara and Heidi Klum will be judging and voting on the cream of the crop contestants who made it past their brutal cuts as the remaining hopefuls give it their all in hopes of keeping their AGT dreams alive.
During last Wednesday's second elimination night, the judges pared down the competition, selecting seven acts to move forward to the semifinals, and sending five acts packing. The Golden Buzzer-winning Northwell Nurse Choir sailed through, along with mystical mentalist Peter Antoniou, 9-year-old opera singer Victory Brinker, 16-year-old self-taught aerialist Aidan Bryant and comedian Josh Blue. Meanwhile, Broadway-aspiring songstress Tory Vagasy won the audience save vote, as did singing group Korean Soul.
Tonight, the fun kicks off at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC, and you can follow along with ET for a look at all the acts who gave it their best shot during the third live quarterfinals round of America's Got Talent.
The World Taekwondo Demonstration Team Earns Another Victory
This group of martial artists earned the Golden Buzzer from Terry Crews, and when they came to the Dolby Theater, they came with the intention of blowing peoples' minds.
The group make controlled chaos look like fighting ballet, and it's every bit as stunning as their audition.
Across the board, the judges are amazed by the group and heap tons of praise. Simon goes so far as to predict they will make it all the way to having their own show in Vegas!
Klek Entos Conjures a Ghost
Klek Entos is a horror magician. Everything about his act is about fear and spookiness.
Simon doesn't like it from nearly off the bat, and buzzes him before the act begins.
The performance involves Terry and Sofia on stage in what appears to be a hotel set. The act is a long story about a hotel fire that killed a bunch of people.
As Klek tells the story, he keeps his hand over a candle flame and it continues to burn his hand as he does a complex mentalist act.
While the act ends up paying off big, Simon says he felt it took too long to ramp up and isn't impressed.
Howie disagrees and says it's like a great horror movie.
Sofia says she didn't enjoy it but largely because she was super scared, but that it was "great" when it got going.
Storm Large Takes On '80s Hit With Incredible Twist
Storm Large earned the audience vote for a chance to perform in the live rounds, and decided to hit the stage with a reimagined take of a-ha's "Take On Me."
She comes out in a stunning red evening dress -- looking like "Jessica Rabbit" as Heidi says -- and delivers a truly unique take on the classic tune.
For reasons that are baffling, Sofia and Simon feel she didn't bring the same energy and rawness to this performance as she did to the audition.
Heidi disagrees and Howie feels her talent is evident and undeniable.
Chapkidz Bring the Heat
It seems the show saved all the best acts for the second half of the episode!
Chapkidz are a dance group who stunned with their audition and then managed to amp up the talent and showmanship even more tonight.
The huge crew performance is stunning, and the judges are blown away by the act. It earns another standing ovation and Howie calls it sensational.
"This stage can make you or break you. Tonight it made you," Simon says, before telling the dancers they were the best act of the night "by a mile."
Rialcris Wows With Acrobatics and Shirtlessness
This Columbian trio of handsome, shirtless acrobats puts on a wild display of physical talent and skill.
Needless to say, there is a lot for the judges to love.
"It started good but then it kept getting better and better and better," Sofia marvels. "And then the shirts came off!"
"OK, it looks like we have a competition now!" Simon says. "That was an amazing, amazing performance. Production was incredible. The amount of work you put into that, it was really, really difficult. This is a Vegas act!"
Brooke Simpson Gets Simon to Smile (Finally)
Brooke Simpson has done the impossible: she made Simon happy after a night of a lot of lukewarm reactions and criticism.
The incredibly talented songstress belted out a cover of Billie Eilish's "Lost Cause," and it earned a standing ovation from all the judges.
"I think this was the best performance of the night so far," Simon marvels. "Because I really felt this was you. And I really felt your hunger. And it felt like everything was your choice and that you'd come into the Dolby theater to give yourself a real shot of getting yourself hopefully into the semifinals, maybe into the final. It was a great performance."
Needless to say, everyone else agreed. It would be truly baffling if Brooke Simpson didn't get to move on.
Michael Winslow Makes His Iconic Noises
The Police Academy star is already famous for his incredible talent, known as the man of 10,000 noises, which he makes with his mouth like an impressionist of machines.
His act is hard to explain, or rather it's hard to describe. He stands on stage and sets up scenes, and then makes the noises that would exist in that situation, and the sounds are spot on.
It's undeniably impressive, but it's hard to judge how the audience feels about an act as unusual and unable to categorize as his.
The judges all seem to like the act -- especially Howie, who has been friends with Michael for years -- but Simon says he feels the act wasn't better than his audition.
It's hard to gauge how people will feel about this act, and if he'll get the votes he needs to stay in the competition.
Keith Apicary Dances With Danger
Keith Apicary got four yes votes during the audition round for his wild and unexpectedly wacky dancing.
Tonight, it seems Simon may regret it, as he almost immediately buzzes Keith and seems generally unenthused.
He starts things off with a fake danger act with his head in a guillotine, but it's all part of a bit joke, and then he just dances like no one (instead of a million people) were watching.
"You're funny. You're really funny. And it's just goofy," Howie says, praising his comedy.
Sofia and Heidi also think it was a lot of fun. But Simon isn't sold at all, calling the act simply "terrible."
The Curtis Family C-Notes Embrace Their Retro Vibe
The Curtis Family C-Notes are an undeniably talented family band who brought a lot of fun, funky energy to their performance of "Love Train."
They embrace the look with bellbottoms and retro 'dos and some really great energy.
However, Howie and Simon are underwhelmed by the act, with Howie saying they sound like a '70s coverband, and Simon suggests the kids, and not the parents, should pick the songs next time around.
Heidi, however, loves it and Sofia says she hopes they get voted through. Overall, there wasn't nearly as much love for the "Love Train."
Lea Kyle Doesn't Fail to Amaze
Lea Kyle might be the greatest quick change artist of the modern day.
After getting the Golden Buzzer from Heidi in the auditions, she comes back tonight to the Dolby Theater and brought her A-game.
Heidi says she loves it, and Sofia backs that up.
Simon, however, says he was underwhelmed and thought her audition was better. Howie strongly voices his disagreement.
As did the rest of the theater, because Simon is wrong and Lea Kyle is legitimately magic.
Anika Brings Real Vocal Gravitas
Anika didn't win over Simon during her audition, but tonight's performance of Bishop Briggs' "River," was a fascinating showcase for his Janis Joplin-like vocal quality.
The performance is energetic and moving and gets Heidi and Sofia on their feet and cheering when she's done.
"I'm going to repeat what I said last time -- I love this lane. I love hard core, female rock and roll," Howie shares.
"It was a million times better than your first performance," Simon says with a smile. It seems like he's coming around to her style.
Unicircle Flow Has a Hiccup
When you get to the quarterfinals, unfortunately, you need to be flawless -- no matter how incredible you are otherwise.
Within the first moments of Unicircle Flow's mindblowing unicycle dance routine, one performer fell off her unicycle. She was able to recover quickly, the judges definitely took note.
However, the rest of the astounding performance seems to make up for the "foibles" -- as Howie calls it -- and the act ends up earning a four-judge standing ovation.
"It's mesmerizing. It's surprising. I don't think this show has ever had something like this," Sofia says. "Yes, you did have a little problem, but it doesn't matter it was spectacular!"
"I think the fact that someone fell over may be even more exciting because it shows, as you said, how difficult this act was," Simon adds. "You've given yourselves a real shot."
A Third Chance for Fun
After last week's performances, this week we've got another 12 acts who are set to hit the stage and give it their all.
Hopefully, they've worked out whatever possible kinks they could between then and now, and maybe tonight's live acts won't feel as needlessly overproduced? Only time will tell!
Check out the video below to hear more from the judges about this season's live quarterfinals rounds, and check out one of the most memorable performances from last week!