Judges Were More Critical and Wild Card Act Going to AMERICA’S GOT TALENT Season 18 Finale!September 20, 2023
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It was an “America’s Got Talent” (AGT) season 18 Finale for the ages. One that fans will never forget, and most wished they had possibly voted more. AGT judge and executive producer Simon Cowell said the whole two hours of Tuesday’s Final performance show for him was “a moment” and he thanked all the acts for doing an incredible job.
On Wednesday’s Finale show, there were many surprises, some good, some bad. The very expressive judges reacted much in the same way us viewers did at home. Many fans expressed their disapproval of the Finale Results. But, who’s voting? This was the main question we had. Also, as so eloquently questioned by judge Sofia Vergara as the results rolled in…”what’s going on?”
Though all the in-between parts to Wednesday’s AGT Finale were stellar! That was thanks to the talented finalists – Lavender Darcangelo, Murmuration, Adrian Stoica & Hurricane, Putri Ariani, Chibi Unity, 82nd Airborne Division Chorus, Ahren Belisle, Mzansi Youth Choir, Anna Deguzman, Avantgardey, and Ramadhani Brothers. Along with some amazing super-star guest performances who shared the AGT stage with these Finalists.
In total, there were five Golden Buzzer acts who made it to the Finale – Lavender, Putri Ariani, Chibi Unity, Mzansi Youth Choir, and Murmuration. So, the odds were in the favor of a Golden Buzzer act winning.
However, things took a different turn. SPOILER ALERT!! Dog act Adrian Stoica & Hurricane took home the win. The last time that a dog act won AGT was in 2012 when the Olate Dogs won, and went on to a very successful Las Vegas run.
TUESDAY’S AGT FINALS SHOW:
ADRIAN STOICA & HURRICANE (Dog Act)
Ten days after the Semi Finals, Hurricane’s mentor and sister passed away. Adrian was very emotional about it and they dedicated their performance to her. Adrian said their dream is to have a dog musical show. They included judge Sofia Vergara into their final act.
Howie said he’s never seen a dog show-up and do a man act. Sofia offered if they ever need her again to be part of their act, they know where to find her. Heidi called Hurricane the smartest dog she’s ever seen. Simon said he had just watched the movie “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” and Hurricane is better than any of those dogs.
MZANSI YOUTH CHOIR (Singers – Audience Golden Buzzer)
Heidi told them they bring “so much happiness and joy.” Sofia called them “perfect” and the perfect night! Simon said there are so many acts from different Countries competing as well as the American acts and that’s what makes this season so exciting. He told them that, that’s a final performance that they’re going to be really proud of. Howie said it wasn’t his favorite number that they’ve done and they are his favorite choir. That doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve to be there and be voted on.
AVANTGARDEY (Dance group – Wild Card)
Avantgardery got their spot in the Finals by winning Howie Mandel’s Wild Card vote. Howie called their Final performance their best performance yet and he loves their movements. He said it’s comedy, it scares him and they could be the opening to Wednesday. Sofia called them”so weird” and they’re funny and entertaining. Simon said he thought “it was sensational” and thought it was their best performance yet. “That was honestly absolutely brilliant.” Heidi said it was a “superb performance!”
LAVENDER DARCANGELO (Singer – Heidi’s Golden Buzzer)
Heidi told Lavender that she’s so proud of her and they found each other. Heidi also told Lavender that no matter what happens tomorrow (in the Finale), she will always have her. Simon compared the performance to being in a movie when someone has to make a big song. He said you could hear a pin drop which is a compliment and she “nailed it.” Howie said she just taught the world that happiness and success is a choice, no matter what the odds are. “Everyone in the world loves you.” Sofia said she hopes everyone tonight votes for her!
The inspiration for her performance, Lavender said when she was in high school, she didn’t feel loved or accepted. She now has two wonderful dads and a boyfriend who loves her.
CHIBI UNITY (Dance group – Group Golden Buzzer)
Simon said they are seeing people who are so young and talented and expressing themselves in such an incredible way. He called it the best performance so far. Heidi said so many things can go wrong, “and they don’t.” Sofia said it’s all about hard work, passion and fun. “It’s unique…it’s spectacular!” Howie felt the opposite and called it “mediocre.” He got “booed” and Sofia told Howie to “stop it!” Lol! Terry Crews ignored Howie’s comment and asked Chibi Unity how it felt to be in the Finals. They said, it’s the best feeling to be in the AGT Finals!!
82nd AIRBORNE DIVISION CHORUS (Singers)
Heidi thanked them for their service and for sharing their beautiful sound. She said they get better. Sofia agreed and called it their best performance. It looks like they’re “having so much fun.” Simon said what they do in their day job is they literally risk their life for his Country. What they just sang, that lyric made him feel so emotional. “That’s what I call a moment” and he said he changed his mind. This was his favorite performance. They responded that they let America know that they have our back at all times and for America to let them know they have their backs now and vote.
ANNA DEGUZMAN (Magician)
Anna performed a successful card trick that involved all the judges, the host, and the audience. Sofia said she believes in her magic. “I’m so proud that you’re here and the first woman that made it to the Finals.” Anna told her she wants to be Sofia when she grows up.
Simon said he has the Queen of Hearts (holding the card up) and asked her “how the hell did you do that…I mean that was unbelievable.” Howie told her “you are magical young lady” and her mother should be proud.” Heidi said she brought the “wow” to the Finale and she “packed a punch.” She said it is a lot of pressure being the only magician who made it to the Finals, but she knows she’s not alone because she has all the AGT fans on her side.
AHREN BELISLE (Comedian)
The only comedian to make it to the Finals this season, Ahren started his act by having to respond to an unexpected text message! After his performance, he got a standing ovation. Howie said he loves it when Ahren gets edgy. In regards to Ahren’s text, Howie asked who knows Ahren who doesn’t know he’s doing this tonight!?
Simon asked, so that really wasn’t part of the act? “Unbelievable you’re even better than I thought,” said Simon. He said that’s why he’s here. Heidi wished Ahren good luck. Sofia said he’s been such a delight and he’s so confident.
PUTRI ARIANI (Singer – Simon’s Golden Buzzer)
Singer Putri who is blind, said she can understand dark and light in other ways. Purtri sang “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” by Elton John.
Howie reacted, “and boy do you deserve this!” Howie said “if this was just a singing competition, I think you just won it hands down.” Heidi reacted “It was such a moving performance, and you could not have done it better. Beautiful.” Putri told everyone “we are able, we are capable and we are equal.”
RAMADHANI BROTHERS (Balancing)
The Ramadhani Brothers decided to turn their act up a notch by placing a barbell between their heads while balancing and going up and down stairs. Afterwards, they got a much deserved standing ovation! Heidi told them they truly are a million dollar act and if not for Lavender (her Golden Buzzer act), they should “win this whole thing.”
Sofia told them it has been a treat to have them there. Every time, it’s exciting, sexy, crazy…everything! Simon said just when he thought he knew who was going to win the show, now everything has changed and they are a million dollar act. Howie said he was balancing on that dumb bell. Not his brother, but the actual dumb bell. The Ramadhani said “this is our dream coming true,” and they thanked everyone.
Simon reacted to Mumuration’s Final performance, in the future when we are referring to perfection, we are going to be saying Murmuration. Howie said it’s more than a performance, it’s unity. We are one and we can make art and we can make peace. He said “You are number one, you should win.” Heidi said their last performance was her favorite. Sofia told them that they should win.
WEDNESDAY’S FINALE SHOW:
Special guest Diane Warren performed with Lavender. Jason Derulo performed his new single “Hands on Me” and a mashup of tunes with AGT finalists – Anna Deguzman and Murmuration. Viewers were also treated to “30 Seconds to Mars” who performed with the Ramadhani Brothers and Chibi Unity. Former “The X Factor” contestant. Leona Lewis, was also on the AGT stage singing with Putri Ariani.
Howie said he thinks that Murmuration and Jason are both “super-stars.” Simon thanked Jason Derulo for collaborating with new talent. “You don’t have to do this and it means so much to us and these acts.”
The most hilarious prank was by comedian Ahren that he played on the AGT judges and Simon himself using Simon’s A.I. voice ipad making multiple phone calls to them with outrageous commands using Simon’s voice. The Mission was aborted when Simon picked up the phone while sitting with returning judge Mel B.
Jon Batiste performed his new song “Worship” with Mzansi Youth Choir. Putri Ariani performed with Leona Lewis who also competed on a competition show (The X Factor). Terry Crews asked her about it and what words of wisdom would she share with Putri? Leona replied that Putri is incredible and an “absolute gift to the world.” Enjoy every single second and don’t listen to anything that Simon has to say.
Next, the new AGT spin-off was announced. It’s called “AGT Fantasy League” which will feature the best AGT acts. But, a special twist is that for the first time, the judges will also compete against each other. Sofia won’t be joining. She said “I have other things to do!” Her replacement is a former AGT judge Mel B.! Sofia will be back on AGT next season.
A trip down memory lane of Mel B’s antics during her time previously on the show. In an interview with Simon and Mel B., Simon said it’s good to have a judge with “not that much talent.” Then he told Mel B. that he meant it in a good way! She wasn’t having it and threw a cup of water onto Simon!
The next segment had the judges showing appreciation for their host Terry Crews by playing a montage video of him interacting with contestants. After that, the audience chanted “Terry, Terry, Terry.”
The Ramadhani Brothers opened their mind-blowing head balancing act to Jared Leto’s band “30 Seconds to Mars,” also joined by Chibi Unity.
Last year’s AGT winner the Mayyas performed a phoenix rising from the ashes routine. They wished the winner all the best. Sofia said she was so proud and they are the only group in the world that are this good and said their act is like nothing she’s ever seen!
It was announced that in addition to a spot in the AGT Las Vegas Live Show, and $1 million, the winner this season will also receive an EV9 electric SUV from the show’s sponsor Kia.
Lavender Darcangelo was called forward with the Ramadhani Brothers. Out of the two acts, the one who was in the Top 5 was the Ramadhani Brothers.
Chibi Unity and Putri Ariani were the next two acts called forward. The act who took the second spot in the Top 5 was Putri Ariani! No one was surprised.
The next two acts were Ahren Belisle and Adrian Stoica & Hurricane. The act who moved into the Top 5 was Adrian Stoica & Hurricane.
82 Airborne Division Chorus was called forward with magician Anna Duguzman. The act who got the fourth spot was Ana Deguzman. Sofia was in complete shock!
The next acts were: Murmuration, Mzansi Youth Choir, and Avantgardey. The act who got the last and fifth spot was Murmuration. However, before Mzansi Youth Choir exited the stage, Terry Crews had the exciting news that they were invited by Cold Play to open for them tomorrow night to a sold out stadium!
THE TOP 5:
The act announced as being in fifth place was the Ramadhani Brothers. Heidi told them that they have always been incredible, and gave a heart-felt parting message. Sofia could be heard saying in the background, “what’s going on?!!”
When Purtri Ariani was announced as taking fourth place, it was a major upset. Sofia and Simon were both seen being visibly in shock. The audience was also heard whimpering and booing. Simon reacted that it’s a competition, and many people he’s worked with who didn’t win have gone on to do amazing things. He told Putri that he believes the same will be true for her.
The next act announced as taking the third spot in the competition was Murmuration! When the camera showed the judges, Howie was in shock with his hands covering his mouth. Howie reacted that they were amazing this season. Heidi agreed and said she loves them.
The final two acts left were between Anna Deguzman and Adrian Stoica & Hurricane. After showing some clips of both of their journeys on the show, the winner was announced. It was Adrian Stoica & Hurricane!