The return of NBC’s mega talent competition show “America’s Got Talent” wrapped it’s 17th season of filming contestant auditions this week. During this final week, there was one major noticeable difference on the set. It was the absence of one of the judges from the judging panel.
The judges include: executive producer Simon Cowell, super model Heidi Klum, actress Sofia Vergara, and comedian Howie Mandel. It was Howie that was missing . Simon mentioned to the audience that Howie was “sick.” He did not say what from. But, it’s was later confirmed by producers of “America’s Got Talent” that Mandel has Covid. The press was alerted that “one of the judges has Covid.”
Hollywood Junket attended a taping which went along as planned without fourth judge, Howie Mandel. His permanent seat is on the opposite end from Simon on the other side of the judges table. It was mentioned how the live audience is typically called “the fifth judge.” However, on that day the audience was called “the fourth judge” in Howie’s place.
With one judge missing, the contestants needed only two votes to go through to the next round rather than three when there are typically four judges.
Host Terry Crews was very much not missing. Before the show taping that day, Crews participated in a fun show opening filming with half of the audience members as he played the flute.
“America’s Got Talent” season 17 premieres to an estimated 22 million viewers on Tuesday, May 31st.
A capella group “May Tree” auditioned by sounding various TV shows’ theme music that included: The Simpsons, Bobby’s World, Modern Family, Cheers, and The Flintstones.
Host Terry Crews asked Simon what he thinks of the acts so far this season. Simon responded that this season there’s “more surprises, things they haven’t seen before,” like Heidi Klum’s Golden Buzzer act, and Terry Crew’s Golden Buzzer act.
A group of young dancers took to the stage. They named themselves after their high school mascot, “Bulldogs.” Their act was a spoof of a news channel that was reporting on their act being on AGT. Four of the dancers were dressed like the judges and danced at their own judges table. Their Howie Mande impersonator gave them a Golden Buzzer. Most of the dancers are still in high school along with some dancers who are returning alums.
Simon reacted by telling them that they have some “really strong” dance acts, and they were “not the best dancers.” Heidi said they were creative and original.
The next act was another group. But, this time a choir, called “Players Choir” which is mostly made-up of retired NFL football players. Their downfall was them singing against a really bad music track. After their audition finished, Sofia told them “the track was horrible.” Simon told them “don’t use that track again. The track is fired!” He then asked them to sing without the track.
Their voices were incredibly strong and proved that they sounded better without the track. Heidi said Simon knows what he’s doing because he knows how to bring out the best in people (performances). Simon said he loves acts like this because they are competitive and they really want to win. The “Players Choir” also does charity work with St Judes, and the Cancer Society.
An 18-year-old ventriloquist gave his best shot on the AGT stage to try and prove that he is just as good as past ventriloquist AGT winner Darcy Lynn, who also inspired him. Simon asked if he was as good as Darcy. Nicolas answered “we’ll see.” His routine was of him skipping school and him talking to his puppet Chris who ratted him out by calling Nicolas’ father on the phone. Sofia said she had trouble following the story. Heidi said he packed a lot of voices into the 90 seconds act. Simon was going to vote “no,” until Nicolas showed how funny he is outside of doing his act.
Solo singer Wynn was next. He auditioned with an original song. Wynn told the judges that he recently lost his twin brother. During the 2020 pandemic, he was laid off from his hospitality job. That forced him to do music full time. Simon said Wynn has a unique voice and it was a great tribute he gave to his brother. Heidi asked Simon , “how do we make this a hit?” Sofia said she also lost a brother. But, it must be so tragic to lose a twin because of their special bond. Simon asked if Wynn was ready for what was about to happen. The audience thought Simon was talking about the Golden Buzzer. But then he said, “three yes votes!”
Singer Matt Copley auditioned with his band. He told the judges his backstory of starting music at the age of seven in musical theater where his mom was the teacher. He earned a BFA in music. Then decided that Broadway wasn’t his thing. Matt said his current band covers Broadway musicals as Pop/Rock. Matt said they wanted to come onto AGT because of the exposure that they can get from the show which is more than on the social media app TikTok.
They sang “Greatest Showman.” They were also cursed with bad sound on the stage. After the audition, Simon asked Matt to sing without the track in order to hear Matt’s vocals. Simon said he liked him better with the band. Sofia and Heidi said that the music isn’t their thing. Simon said he’s always flattered when bands try-out for AGT.
Learn more about the acts competing on “America’s Got Talent” season 17 when the show premieres on Tuesday, May 31st on NBC network.