AGT

America’s Got Talent 2016 – Live Blog and Recap – Live Show 3 (VIDEO)

Welcome to the live blog and recap for the America’s Got Talent 2016, “Live Show 3”! Judges Howie Mandel, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell join host Nick Cannon on the biggest nationwide talent search of the summer!

AGT is finally back after a two-week hiatus due to the Rio Olympics! It’s the final show of the quarterfinal round, as we have some Golden Buzzer recipients on tap, and a variety of acts including singers, magicians, acrobats, comedians and contortionists. They are:

Alla and Daniel Novikov, Ballroom Dancer Duo
Blake Vogt, Magician
Brian Justin Crum, Singer
Edgar, Family Band
Grace VanderWaal, Singer/Ukulelist
Julia Scotti, Stand-up Comedienne
Kadan Bart Rockett, Magician
Linkin Bridge, Vocal Group
Malevo, Malambo Group
Ronee Martin, Singer
The Passing Zone, Comedy Juggler Duo
Vello Vaher, Acrobat/Contortionist

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!

America's Got Talent - Season 11

Credit: Trae Patton/NBC

RECAP

-So after introductions, we get a nice reminder from Mel B about how important it is to vote to save your act, no matter how safe you think they are. That should go without saying by now, but sometimes, you’ve just got to remind people how important actually voting is.

VELLO VAHER opens the show!

-The contortionist talks about how badly he wants to achieve fame in the United States. I like Vello, even if I’m still kind of puzzled by how he was put through. The man has talent, but I’m just not sure how far an act like his can go.

-A giant pirate ship is onstage, and it’s a really cool look, with Vello dressed as a pirate. He does some cool contortion poses before contorting himself into a ball and lifting himself along a series of hooks, in a sort of monkey bar act. Simon buzzes this, as expected, but I actually think there’s a fair amount of danger here, since Vello obviously isn’t wearing a harness, and that wasn’t exactly a short fall had he lost his strength. He finishes by using a mouth grip to swing — by his teeth! — across to a set of ropes to crawl his way down. It was a far more impressive act that either of his previous two auditions, so I’m not sure why this was the one that pushed Simon into hitting his buzzer.

-Simon likes Vello, but feels that without the pirate ship set, it was basically like watching a sack on a conveyor belt. He thinks of Vello wants to be a bigger fish in the pond, he needs to bring a better act. Howie defends Vello and his originality. He loves what Vello does, but admits he hardly has any idea what Vello does. Vello says he just wants to be original, and the girls assure him that he is. Mel B admits that the things he does with his body are kind of nuts, but she really digs it. Heidi agrees, and the segment ends with both ladies telling Simon, who is attempting to interrupt, to shut up. After the performance, Vello talks about his act, and Heidi calls out Simon by saying he can’t even touch his toes.

RONEE MARTIN is up next!

-Ronee talks about wanting to get into the music business, but admitting that it didn’t work out. Then, she wanted to get married and have kids, but that just didn’t happen either (“Like singing,” she says, in a heartbreaking moment). So she went back to her 9-to-5 job. But now, at age 62, she’s giving it one last shot to achieve her dream and then have a comfortable life with tomato soup on cold days. Man, that video package made me want to see her win, even though she’s FAR from the best act here. Then again, I’m super-easily manipulated.

-Ronee sings a gospel-style version of “Lean On Me” by Bill Withers. Her vocal is kind of weak to start. Not “weak” as in poor, but “weak” as in strained. It was actually a bit harder to hear her on some notes. But her voice picks up strength along with the tempo, and she ends up delivering some truly beautiful, clear notes that I thought tied the performance together nicely. By the end, all the judges but Simon are on their feet.

-Mel B hopes she looks as good at 62 (“You do!” Simon says), and she gushes Ronee for her beautiful voice, saying she doesn’t oversing and it’s just natural. Heidi is similarly glowing in her praise. Simon jokes that it’s a first to hear a contestant say it’s all about tomato soup. He says it’s all down to America now, since she’s done everything she can to advance. He hopes America supports her. Howie agrees, pleading with America to make her a star.

KADAN BART ROCKETT is up next!

-The video package is super-cute, detailing not only how Kadan wanted to be just like his magician father, but also how close he is with his sister, Brooklyn. That said, I really don’t buy that story about Kadan telling his sister he was going to turn her into a princess in their audition, only to saw her in half. That seems like the kind of trick you can’t just spring on somebody, if it’s going to work.

-Kadan has Brooklyn hand out some handcuffs, and then Kadan has the judges place the cuffs on him. Brooklyn places the keys in a toolbox, which also has bolt cutters and a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, in case she gets hungry. So Kadan is hooked by the cuffs onto a ring inside a cloth-covered frame. Brooklyn then reveals the sign “Brooklyn’s revenge”, and it features a bunch of electric saws on a track next to the frame. Brooklyn launches the saws, which slowly move towards where Kadan is. I’m really not doing justice to how cool this is. Luckily, he not only escaped in time, he’s magically appeared by the judges, after climbing out of the toolbox somehow! AWESOME act. And now, Simon is eating the sandwich!

-Heidi hopes her kids don’t get any ideas at all, but she loves this act, and chats with Kadan about how he’d split the million dollars if he won. Simon compares Kadan to a real-life Harry Potter, while Howie admits he’d be voting if he were a viewer at home (wait, why can’t you vote, Howie? Who’s going to know?). Mel B is similarly effusive with her praise, as this looks like the kind of act that really could go all the way to the finals. They’re just that good, in my opinion.

LINKIN BRIDGE is up next!

-The guys talk about growing up in the dangerous side of Louisville, with Montre talking about receiving a call from his sister, telling him that his cousin had been killed. The men are determined to realize their dream. “This is our chance to show the world that even out of dark, broken places can come something valuable, like a bridge.” That’s a really beautiful sentiment, actually. I like these guys, and while I didn’t like their audition as much as I thought I did on rewatch, these guys can definitely sing their butts off. They have a lot to offer, so I’m interested to hear how this goes.

-The harmonies sound a bit off to start, but their version of “Always On My Mind” by Willie Nelson picks up steam as it rolls on. Their voices blend well at the bridge, and it goes without saying that their individual solos are tremendous. I liked the hell out of this, and I think these guys could be this season’s CraigLewisBand or Sons of Serendip, the soul act that advances and inspires along the way. Howie gives the guys a standing ovation at the end.

-Simon says he likes these guys and notes that they inspire him. However, he didn’t love the song until it got to Big Rome’s part in the song. He declares that if he were at home, he’d vote for them. Howie says song choice is subjective, and tells the guys, from his heart, that they’re beautiful. Mel B loves how their voices blend together, and gushes about their talent. Nick asks them about the unique song choice, and they state it was a song they simply felt.

-After the commercial break, Nick announces that Michael Phelps will be here for tomorrow night’s results show. Ah well, better him than Ryan Lochte.

ALLA AND DANIEL NOVIKOV are up next!

-Daniel talks about living with his mom, dad and siblings, and how close his family is, while his mother talks about what a great son he is. Daniel’s father, Alex, says he’s been dancing with his wife for years, and Alla admits that it didn’t take long for Daniel to ask her to teach him how to dance. Their friendship has only grown from there, and it’s something they’re both immensely happy to have.

-Set to “Cake By the Ocean” by DNCE, the duo dances in a Cuban backdrop set that looks really cool, and I seriously dig this act. Daniel has serious moves, and Alla can definitely get down, herself. But then Howie BUZZES them! WHAT THE HELL, man?! I don’t get it.

-Nick asks Howie why he buzzed them, and Howie looks legit pissed when he says the talent is too good this season to deliver a performance like that. He adds that this is the third time they’ve repeated their routine, and he considers this their third strike. Mel seems legitimately angry that Howie buzzed them, and she tells him he’s being way too harsh. “That wasn’t buzz-worthy, come on!” Simon even buzzes Howie as the crowd boos him! Mel admits it wasn’t as great as their last act, but she still likes them. Simon wants to be constructive, and tells Daniel he should fire his mother if they make it to the next round, since it’s just not working as a duo act. I disagree, but to each his own.

BLAKE VOGT is up next!

-I really like Blake! Unfortunately, it took me embarrassingly long to remember who he was. His pre-performance video has a lot to do with allergies, and I can definitely empathize with the guy, on that score. Taking everything into consideration, and recalling his previous performances, he’s probably my second favorite magician this season after Jon Dorenbos. I hope he does well. And if he advances, I’m sure I’ll remember him this time.

-Blake gives Diamond an egg, and Howie a deck of playing cars. Blake then picks a woman out of the audience and has her name a bird. She picks a bluejay. He then has Howie and Mel B narrow down the amount of cards in a deck by picking certain qualities (such as numbers or characters, and the type of royalty). Heidi picks the Queen of Diamonds. Blake asks Howie to check the empty box with the deck of cards…nothing is in the box, but Blake says it would have been cool though. (Can magicians please stop doing that fake-out “It would have been cool though!” bit. It feels like the fourth time we’ve seen it this season) Blake has Simon crack the egg open, and the folded-up Queen of Diamonds card falls out. Blake then releases a sign overhead onstage that reads BLUEJAY!

-Mel B is confused in the best possible way, while Simon is legitimately befuddled how a playing card can fit inside a real egg. Howie likes Blake a lot, and feels few magicians have ever gotten as much out of allergies before.

EDGAR is up next!

-The video package is the most idyllic video package in the history of ever. It’s just so cute, watching them play frisbee in the sunshine, and talk about how much they love each other, and get all emotional in the process, with Nikki talking about how close she is with Jaslyn, and Jaslyn talking about how Ryan didn’t have to be a father to her, he wanted to be. It’s enough that this family is talented, but this type of story certainly doesn’t hurt. And by “story”, I mean they’re just a regular family. I love that.

-They sing “You’ve Got a Friend” by James Taylor, and it’s one of my favorite songs. I love their voices and how beautifully they blend together. Granted, I’m not crazy about the arrangement, but I think this is a tremendous act, one of the best music acts this season, in my opinion. Nikki sounded like a million bucks, in particular. By the end, all four judges are on their feet.

-Heidi loves this act, and Simon agrees. He thought that was perfect, and says he wishes he could bottle that performance up and call it his happiness. Howie thinks the music acts have really stepped up this season now that Simon is here, and they’re proof of why. Mel B loved everything about them, of course. And I don’t blame her. Nick interviews the daughter afterwards, and she tearfully calls this the happiest moment of her life. Awwww.

JULIA SCOTTI is up next!

-Julia talks about living in a community for Americans of a certain age, and she talks about what a great moment her audition was for her. She details how she was born a boy, but just didn’t feel right. She wants to take this shot at achieving her dream, and I’m definitely rooting for her. She’s easily the best comic this season, in my opinion.

-Julia’s routine talks about being single, and compares herself to the one-eyed cat in every ASPCA commercial. “Poor thing can’t even meow! But somehow his name is Lucky!” (That got a legitimate laugh out of me) She then talks about why she doesn’t miss sleeping with people, since spooning isn’t really her thing. “My perfect relationship is someone who lives a thousand miles away from me, who I can see once a year, and…you know what? I need to date a prisoner. A prisoner in Minnesota with no possibility of parole. And I go out once a year for our anniversary. … Because I don’t want him to show up at my house one day saying, ‘Hey baby, I’m out! Let’s SPOON!'” I swear, I’m not doing justice to Julia’s delivery here. She’s great.

-Simon feels Julia is naughty, and what he loves about her is that she seems always one step away from saying something naughty. Howie praises Julia for owning it, saying she doesn’t even tell jokes, she just tells great stories. He thinks she could be great on a sitcom. Mel B thinks Julia is her cup of tea. She just loves her, and hopes America votes for her. “I’m rooting for you! I really am!” she says. Nick asks how she feels, and Julia thought everything went fabulously. I agree.

BRIAN JUSTIN CRUM is up next!

-Kind of surprised he’s not closing the show, but also not really, because when else would Grace VanDerWaal go? Anyway, Brian talks about how he wished he could tell his younger self that there’s life after high school, that there’s life after being bullied. In his last performance, he wanted to show people what it was like to not belong, and what he went through. But now, this song is his chance to really show people what he can do. “This is it,” he declares.

-Brian sings “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins, and all throughout the first verse, I’m convinced this is just the wrong song for him. But it quickly picks up as his powerful, crystal clear tone comes through. I do worry that he might split the vote with some of the other singers that have gone tonight though. At this rate, the majority of the spots will either be taken up by singers, or the vote split will lead to a real talent going home way too early. Between Brian, Ronee, Linkin Bridge, Brian and Grace later, it’s going to be tough to narrow this field down. By the end of Brian’s soaring, towering vocal, the four judges are on their feet.

-Simon tells Brian he has the ability to take any song and turn it into his version. He remembers telling Brian to be himself because he’s an amazing artist, and he thinks that performance is proof. “It must be the most incredible feeling now, to have that sort of experience. I think you’re a great person, an amazing singer, and I hope you make it to the semifinals,” he says. Heidi declares that to be her favorite performance of the night, and she hopes America votes for him. Mel B says Brian simply gets hotter and hotter. She then says that he gets better every time, and gushes over what an amazingly talented singer he is. Howie simply says one word: “Epic”.

MALEVO is up next!

-Malevo means “outlaw”, like a gunslinger. These Argentinian dancers are very passionate about what they do, and their leader talks about how the ladies go wild particularly for the two heart throbs of the group. The leader breaks down in tears when recalling receiving the Golden Buzzer. Dance, for them, has been an escape from growing up in dangerous neighborhoods in Argentina. “This is our chance, and we’ve got to take it,” he says.

-I didn’t see it before, but I totally see Simon’s comparison with Riverdance, as these guys start off with something straight out of the Michael Flatley playbook. But they incorporate drums, a giant kendo stick, and chains, which they whip around like nunchaku. It’s totally badass, and the crowd is audibly hot for virtually the ENTIRE performance! The judges, naturally, give this a standing ovation. We could be looking at a real threat to go all the way.

-Mel B screams, and admits she can hardly contain herself. Heidi could watch these guys all day long, and she could also totally see this as a show in Vegas. Simon calls the act outstanding, and brings up the Riverdance comparison again, and adds that he could see them headlining Vegas in two years. The leader of Malevo comes down from the stage and hugs Simon, and this causes a huge group hug with all the judges, in a downright adorable moment.

THE PASSING ZONE is up next!

-The Passing Zone is comprised of two guys who want to be the world’s most famous jugglers. I could have sworn these guys were cut, and that they’re a wildcard act, but my memory is already slipping. Either way, I’m glad to have them, if only for the variety.

-The smartest thing these guys did was take Simon’s advice by incorporating Heidi, Howie and Mel B into the act, dressing them up in astronaut outfits (and harnesses suspended from the ceiling) and naming them the Jugglenauts. Of course, what’s smart about it is that it prevents any of those judges from buzzing them. And it leaves us with one judge at the table who’s so amused by this that he’d never buzz it. Seriously, Mel B is screaming as they “juggle” the swinging judges, and Howie looks like he’s about to throw up. Only Heidi appears to be having a good time. Hell, I’m hardly having a good time, if only because these guys basically do nothing except swing the judges around. I guess there’s some talent involved in making sure the judges don’t knock into each other. I guess I just didn’t get it.

-Simon enjoyed it, but says if they go through, he wants there to be more chance of death. Heidi had a blast, and wants to do it again, although she apologizes to Howie for touching something she shouldn’t have touched. Howie is still suspended from the ceiling, and struggles to get down. Mel B admits it was terrifying for her, since she doesn’t like not being in control. But the guys assure her she looked good, at least. The guys want to incorporate Simon into their next act, but Simon is having none of it. And I don’t blame him. This was cute, but I think it’d be a bit of a miracle if they made it through. Maybe the goodwill from their previous performances will carry over. Or maybe America really does love stuff like this. But, again, this wasn’t for me.

GRACE VANDERWAAL closes the show!

-Grace is supported by her entire school, and she talks about how she’s been writing songs for as long as she can remember, with the first one being about her door. Her song tonight is about her older sister, since they’re pretty close. In an adorable moment before the performance, we see that she’s kept one of the pieces of confetti from the Golden Buzzer for her locker at school. I love Grace!

-OH MY GOD, I LOVE THIS SONG! Seriously, it isn’t just that Grace’s voice is amazing, it’s that she’s actually a really, really good songwriter. I’m legit jealous of how good she is. Just the character and tone in her voice, I can’t believe she’s as young as she is. I’m positively SPELLBOUND by this kid. Best performance of the night, and easily the best of the season, in my opinion. She’s among the few acts to receive a Golden Buzzer during auditions, and then deliver in the live shows. Naturally, the judges give Grace a standing ovation.

-Simon admits he noticed some flaws in the performance, but thinks the flaws are what make her perfect, because she’s so charming and so real. He predicts that they’ll all remember, in the years to come, that they all saw Grace sing live for the first time. Heidi thinks Grace is just so talented, and feels they saved the best for last. “You’re one in a million,” she says. Mel B wants Grace to know just how good she is, because she’s amazing. Howie says Grace is his Golden Buzzer in life. He predicts she’ll be bigger than Taylor Swift, and will be the biggest star to ever come out of this show. I don’t know about all that, but I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing her become a big deal. She’s already a big deal to me.

WATCH AND DISCUSS: 12-Year-Old Grace VanderWaal Sings to Sister On America’s Got Talent (VIDEO)

-And that’s a wrap on tonight’s show! Videos are still to come whenever the AGT YouTube page gets around to posting them! Until then, let us know what you thought of tonight’s show in the comments!

Until tomorrow, thanks for reading!

GOODNIGHT

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