America’s Got Talent 2016 – Live Blog and Recap – Judge Cuts 2 (VIDEO)
Welcome to the live blog and recap for the America’s Got Talent 2016, “Judge Cuts 2”! Judges Howie Mandel, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell join host Nick Cannon on the biggest nationwide talent search of the summer!
The Judge Cuts continue, as the judges narrow down the remaining acts to the select few who will advance to the live shows. And they’ll be getting help from a celebrity fifth judge each week! Tonight, country music legend Reba McEntire joins the judges’ booth, and she’s got a Golden Buzzer! But which act will prove worthy of receiving it?
Keep it locked right here, as I’ll be updating with commentary, results, and videos as soon as they become available!
Let’s get this show on the road!
-We open wirh a montage of some of the contestants talking about their hopes and dreams. We then get an introduction to the judges, including guest judge Reba McEntire, who is not only beloved by the crowd, but by the contestants, particularly our first of the night…
KADIE LYNN ROBERSON opens the show!
-We get a quick recap of her backstory and how different her life would have been if her parents had not adopted her. Once onstage, she gushes to Reba about how much she loves her, in an adorable moment.
-Kadie Lynn sings Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart” and sounds positively outstanding. Her voice is just so much more mature than you would think for a 12-year-old. Seriously, I couldn’t have been more impressed with this tiny country crooner.
-Mel B thinks Kadie’s voice is distinct and recognizable, while Heidi can hardly believe she’s only 12. Reba praises Kadie for having stage presence she personally didn’t find until she was in her 20s. Simon feels Kadie is special, and boldly declares he’s going to fight for her at the end of the night.
VELLO VAHER is up next!
-The Estonian contortionist chats with some of the other contestants backstage while a confessional reveals his backstory. Not just that, we see wedding video of he and his wife, as we learn just how deeply in love they are with one another still. So unbelievably cute.
-Vello does some balancing and conortion on some beams before placing his legs behind his head and lifting himself up on ropes. He then grips a hook with his teeth and rides it down across a zipline. It’s insane! Once on the ground, he walks with his head nearly touching his own butt. Oh, and he does the belly waves, for good measure. I loved this. And Vello’s wife in the audience was just adorable. Poor thing looked like she had her heart in her throat the entire time.
-Mel B and Heidi are stunned by it, with Heidi loving the belly waves in particular. Simon was entertained, and he likes Vello, but he has a hard time deciding whether it was good or bad. Meanwhile, Reba is astonished and says she has trouble touching her own toes, much less doing what Vello does. Howie thinks what Vello does is amazing, and says he defies categorization. Backstage, Vello and his wife embrace, as she talks about how much she loves her husband.
-Back from break with five-man rap group House of Lewis, the leader of whom looks like Chris Sligh from American Idol Season 6, while everyone else looks like Sundance Head. Reba finds it depressing, while Simon isn’t in the mood for this at all. Nor is he in the mood for Zach Sherwin, who writes raps based on his own life experiences (so…like every rapper then?). But it’s a comedy routine, basically. The beat is kinda cool, and he raps it well. But the material bombs, and he gets an X from Simon. Maybe we’ll have luck with our next rapper…
SKYLAR KATZ is up next!
-Skylar is an 11-year-old rapper who earned four yeses during auditions. Her father notes that she has no vocal coaches or rap coaches whatsoever, this is just who she is. Skylar writes her own material because most rap songs are too obscene for an 11-year-old to cover. Awwwww.
-Skylar is REALLY good, and she gets the crowd on its feet. Granted, I don’t know what the market is like for 11-year-old rappers, but I could see her as a role model to other kids her age, with her hustle. I like her.
-The judges love her, particularly Simon, who thinks Skylar is the coolest 11-year-old in the world, and feels she was made for this competition. Granted, Mel B thinks Skylar could have let go even more, but she praises Skylar for working on her breath control versus her first audition. With only seven spots, I’m not sure if she’ll go through. But I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing it happen.
-Back from break with Erik Cavanaugh, who just might be the world’s most graceful plus-sized male. Simon says he isn’t the most fraceful dancer, but he definitely stepped it up.
SOFIE DOSSI is up next!
-Sofie talks about being a self-taught contortionist, and recalls learning how to shoot a bow with her feet by watching a girl do it online. Her father talks about how he bought her a bow-and-arrow so she could learn, shocking her mother when she came home, in a total “what the hell happened while I was gone?!” moment. Nick warns Sofie to be safe while the judges are informed by a production assistant that Sofie is next. The judges are understandably excited by this.
-Sofie starts out by dangling from a giant ring using only her neck strength to keep herself in place. She then descends from the ceiling upside down and lands with her hands on balancing pegs, striking a variety of stunning poses. And then, the finale: she shoots the bow-and-arrow with her feet…but this time, the arrow is on fire! And the target EXPLODES this time! The crowd goes wild! And understandably so.
-Simon asks Sofie if her dad made all the props, and she confirms that he did, and also that she’s self-taught. He tells Sofie she’s like something out of Game of Thrones. Howie thinks Sofie is amazing, and feels she could probably wrap herself up in an envelope and mail herself. Mel B thinks Sofie topped her already amazing audition, and wonders how the hell she did it. Reba, meanwhile, feels actions speak louder than words…
REBA MCENTIRE HITS HER GOLDEN BUZZER FOR SOFIE DOSSI!
-Reba says she hit her button because she’s never seen anything like what Sofie just did. Nick interviews Sofie backstage, and she’s too excited to even talk. I’m stoked for her. She totally deserved to go through. With that said, I have no idea how she tops this.
MOYA ANGELA is up next!
-Moya talks about her experience on Broadway, and how losing it all left her feeling hopeless. However, her grandmother’s support has meant everything to her, and has gotten her through the worst of times. Tragically, her grandmother passed away about a week ago. So Moya is not only doing this for herself, she’s doing it for her grandmother as well.
-Moya sings “Alone” by Heart, and while it’s one of the most overdone songs on any reality talent show, it’s still one of my favorite songs of all-time, so I can’t complain here. Especially considering how good Moya’s version is, as she imbues it with passion and soul. Mel B is totally vibing on this in her seat. It wasn’t perfect, as I found her to be straining a bit during some of the notes midway through the song. But I really like Moya, and I thought this was a knockout performance. Maybe overly theatrical, but I think there’s a place for that in the market, as evidenced by singers like Idina Menzel and the entire Hamilton soundtrack. All the judges are on their feet, save for Simon.
-Reba says the performance truly touched her heart and soul, while Mel B declares her to be a true powerhouse. Simon liked the performance, but was a bit disappointed in the song choice. Mel B feels like Simon wasn’t even in the same building as them, if he’s saying that mess. But I kind of agree with him, a little bit. I still like Moya though, and I’m rooting for her to go through.
-Back from break with Parker Garrison, a teenage ballet dancer who’s really impressive. Reba is amazed by his talent, and Simon gives him two big thumbs up. Dance group Youngster, comprised of dancers ranging in ages from 10-13, wow the judges with a complicated, well-choreographed dance routine. Simon praises them for their immaculate preparation, while Howie compares them to his favorite potato chip, calling them “crisp”. Twirler Cody Carter stuns by juggling flaming batons while dancing around the stage. And even saying that is underselling just how impressive this was, seriously. Simon declares kids are taking over the world.
KADAN BART ROCKETT is up next!
-Kadan’s sister isn’t here this time because she’s still recovering from being sawed in half. Turns out, he made her think he was going to turn her into a princess for the act, but ended up surprising her by sawing her in half. Kadan talks about how he was inspired by watching his magician father rehearse in their home. Kadan’s dad talks about how impressed he is by his son and his inventiveness, and hell, I would be too.
-A household set is placed onstage, and Kadan is dressed like he’s getting ready to head to the airport. He places a giant suitcase on a table…and starts bringing one girl after another outside of the suitcase. Throughout, Kadan is dressed in an oversized suit with a pair of Groucho Marx glasses. This plays into the ending, because when the girls from the suitcase start spinning him around again and again and again, they pull off his outfit to reveal…his sister?! And somehow, Kadan has magically appeared next to Simon at the judges’ table, where he blows an airhorn. Amazing! I’m intrigued to know how he did this, since we could plainly see at the start that it was Kadan in the suit, because he didn’t put on the Groucho glasses until midway through, meaning it wasn’t his sister in the outfit all along. Regardless of how he did it, I loved this.
-Mel B praises Kadan for being so entertaining, saying that he shocked her right when she was starting to get bored with the act. Heidi and Reba agree that Kadan has more stage presence than many performers twice his age, while Simon likens it all to a real-life Harry Potter. Howie loved it, but he notes that there are fewer spots remaining because Reba already hit her Golden Buzzer.
ADAM GRABOWSKI is up next!
-Adam is a stand-up comedian who has a bit of a hard time maintaining personal relationships since he’s always on the road. He notes he’s rarely been home in 2016, and his most stable relationship is with his car. But he wouldn’t have it any other way, because he doesn’t want this to end.
-Adam makes a joke about how guys occasionally hear their date make noises when they hear of a certain dessert. The segment just bombs from there, as Simon hits his buzzer, and it throws him off. He tries to get the crowd back on his side by getting them to make dessert-related pleasure sounds for him, but it doesn’t work at all. His fellow contestants cringe for him backstage, including Julia Scotti.
-Simon says he hit his buzzer because it just wasn’t funny, and the other judges just don’t get why he wasn’t funny this time, because he was really funny before. Adam asks Reba about her favorite desserts, but she can’t pin one down. He then tells her that this is why guys avoid commitment (drawing boos from the audience. Yeah, not a great line to say to a recent divorcee). Simon shuts him down by telling Adam it’s over. Backstage, Adam feels awful about all this.
JULIA SCOTTI is up next!
-We get Julia’s full backstory about how she was born Richard Scotti, but she never knew how to be a boy. So she learned how to be an actor. She did stand-up for 20 years, but eventually gave it up to settle down. After becoming Julia, she decided to take up comedy again, and here she is. It’s far more inspiring in video form, trust me.
-Julia has this great bit about her family loving food, which translates into an equally hilarious bit about having to lose weight because she doesn’t want her family to have to buy a plus-sized urn. I can’t do any of this justice, because Julia’s delivery is what really sells her material. I love her.
-Mel B says Julia simply makes her happy, and the other judges gush about how funny her material is, with Simon noting that she’s naughty, and he loves comics that make him feel slightly uncomfortable. Howie notes that tonight’s decision is going to be incredibly difficult. Well, maybe don’t group all the best acts in one group! Seriously though, I wonder how they decide who will be in which group once the final 80 acts have been narrowed down? Either way, I think Julia is a sure-thing for the live shows.
-Back from break with OneVoice, whom Simon loves. However, he then recalls how singer Jeremy asked one of his fellow singers to prom. After some good-natured prodding, ending with the girl flatly stating they didn’t kiss, Simon promises to stop embarrassing the poor guy.
RL BELL is up next!
-RL gives us his backstory about being a massage therapist with a bit of a history in competitive bodybuilding. He says he wasn’t sure what Simon was trying to say about liking sugar in his tea during the audition, wondering if Simon was trying to hit on him. He even tells Simon this once he’s onstage.
-RL sings “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye, and while I felt his audition was better, his vocal is still quite good here. In fact, his falsetto might be even stronger. I don’t know that I’d necessarily put him through to the next round, but I think he’s immensely entertaining.
-Reba really enjoyed it, while Howie felt there was no sugar in this guy’s tea. “From the very start of this performance, you were sweet and low!” Clever! Simon thinks RL is actually really fun and has a great voice, but the music talent is so strong this year that he’s not sure about his chances. But Mel B says RL is her cup of tea, and Heidi follows Mel’s endorsement by giving RL two thumbs up. As he departs the stage, RL flexes for the ladies, sending them blushing.
-Back from break with magician duo Cecile and Mighty. Cecile sings “I Need a Hero” while Mighty does a series of magic tricks and headstands. Simon is in no mood, and buzzes them. The crowd boos them a bit, and by the end, the judges seem thankful that it’s over. However, Simon tells Cecile and Mighty not to despair, since anything can happen during deliberations.
STEVEN BRUNDAGE is up next!
-Steven talks about how magic helped him overcome his awkwardness in his youth, and how it’s even helped him get out of a speeding ticket. How they managed to get that footage is beyond me, since you’d think the police department would have deleted it by now.
-Since he only used Simon last time, Steven wants to use the other judges. Steven asks Mel B to confirm that the Rubik’s Cube is mixed up on all sides. She does. He then surprises her by throwing the cube into the air and revealing all sides as being solved. He mixes it up again, and then, with a flick of his hand, it’s all solved once again. He then mixes the cube again and places it on Reba’s hand, telling her to guard the cube. Steven shuffles a deck of cards in front of Heidi and asks her to pick out a card,, so she says the Six of Diamonds. He takes the card and tears off a tiny piece of the corner. His plan is to make the corner piece appear under the cube in Reba’s hand. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. He feigns disappointment, but it’s all a part of the act, as he makes it appear INSIDE a piece of the Rubik’s Cube. Amazing!
-Simon says no one else can do what Steven does, and the only explanation is real magic. Reba confirms it was real magic, because she never took her hand off the cube. Howie is wowed by what he’s seen, but he doesn’t feel Steven’s charisma is big enough for the stage. He’s charming and has a certain performance ability, but fears his low-key style might hurt him if he makes it through. Mel B couldn’t disagree more, saying that the unassuming, casual nature of his personality is part of his charm.
-Back from break with The Amazing Sladek, who’s brought his brother, Broadway Jim, as his assistant. He doesn’t just want to do what he did before, however, and be that one danger act who just repeats himself with the same balancing as everyone else. So he’s changing the act, telling the judges that it’s based on Heidi’s constructive criticism about how they needed better outfits. So they’re wearing these ridiculous Laurel and Hardy outfits. They then do pratfalls on a trampoline and strip down into dresses as the crowd boos, laughs, boos again, and then goes quiet. Simon and Howie buzz them, while Heidi wonders what went wrong. The other judges all blame Heidi for ruining the act with her advice in the audition round.
DEADLY GAMES is up next!
-The husband and wife Alfredo and Anna Silva, the knife-throwing duo known as Deadly Games, are back, and they remind America how much they LOVE to live dangerously. However, Alfredo says it’s going to take all of his focus and skill to make sure nothing goes wrong. Otherwise, it could mean his wife’s life. And she and their daughter mean everything to him. He says he couldn’t even breathe without Anna. He’s nervous tonight because they had an accident during rehearsals when the Spinning Wheel of Death toppled over and nearly crushed Anna. He says he needs to be cold-blooded and not have fear, if this act is going to succeed. The crowd swoons when they kiss onstage before the act.
-They start out by popping balloons against a board. The crowd holds its breath as Anna holds a balloon between her teeth. Thankfully, nothing goes wrong. But then they go to the Spinning Wheel of Death, and the production has to edit a curse word that Anna mouths as she’s strapped in. Simon is terrified and looks away, turning his chair around completely. Aaaaand we cut to break, to heighten the drama! But back from break, as Alfredo maintains nerves of steel, and lands each of the knives without injuring Anna. Anna looks relieved, before remembering she’s a part of the act, and striking her “ta-da!” pose. I love it.
-Mel B talks about her terror throughout, and how she was screaming for basically the whole performance. Simon admits he could hardly watch, while Reba says she would have been out of there after the first knife left his hand.
-And now, for the moment of truth…
Result #1: Steven Brundage and Julia Scotti are up first…
STEVEN BRUNDAGE is eliminated from AMERICA’S GOT TALENT 2016!
JULIA SCOTTI advances to the live shows!
Result #2: Kadan Bart Rockett, Youngster and Parker Garrison are next…
YOUNGSTER and PARKER GARRISON are eliminated from AMERICA’S GOT TALENT 2016!
KADAN BART ROCKETT advances to the live shows!
Result #3: Deadly Games and The Amazing Sladek are next…
THE AMAZING SLADEK is eliminated from AMERICA’S GOT TALENT 2016!
DEADLY GAMES advances to the live shows!
Result #4: Cody Carter, Erik Cavanaugh and Vello Vaher are onstage…
CODY CARTER and ERIK CAVANAUGH are eliminated from AMERICA’S GOT TALENT 2016!
VELLO VAHER advances to the live shows!
Result #5: OneVoice, Zach Sherwin, Cecile & Mighty and House of Lewis are next…
ONEVOICE, ZACH SHERWIN, CECILE & MIGHTY and HOUSE OF LEWIS are all eliminated from AMERICA’S GOT TALENT 2016!
Result #6: RL Bell and Moya Angela are onstage…
R.L. BELL is eliminated from AMERICA’S GOT TALENT 2016!
MOYA ANGELA advances to the live shows!
Result #7: It all comes down to Kadie Lynn Roberson and Skylar Katz. Simon lets both girls know how hard this decision was, and that he truly believes they’ll both have a career after this.
SKYLAR KATZ is eliminated from AMERICA’S GOT TALENT 2016!
KADIE LYNN ROBERSON advances to the live shows!
So there you have it. Your next seven acts for the live shows at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood are…
Kadan Bart Rockett
Kadie Lynn Roberson
Kind of shocked Steven Brundage didn’t get through, judging from the reaction he got. And fulfilling some sort of act quota appears to me to be the only real reason Skylar would be cut. Then again, I can’t really think of who I’d have ditched to make room for her, so maybe they made the right choice after all. I would imagine if each judge gets a wildcard, Simon’s would be Skylar anyway.
But what did you think of tonight’s show? Did the right acts go through? Sound off in the comments!
Until next week, thanks for reading!