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‘America’s Got Talent’ Recap: Branden James Brings Down The House

Wed, July 24, 2013 12:38am EDT by 10 Comments
America's Got Talent Branden James
Courtesy of NBC

Yes! We finally made it to Radio City Music Hall! The best of the best performed amazing acts on the July 23 episode and got the first live show off to a great start.

America’s Got Talent found its way home to Radio City Music Hall on the July 23 (live!) episode. The competition is getting more intense, as it’s now up to viewers to vote for their favorites via phone, online or Twitter. rounded up our top five performances — and who we think should move on to the next round!

Top 5 Performances From July 23

5. Alexanderia the Great

This mom blew our minds with her death-defying stunts! For her first performance in Radio City Music Hall, Alexanderia was wrapped in 25 feet of chain, in a straitjacket, and locked underwater. What?! She had us on the edge of our seats as she finagled herself out of this stunt. Howie Mandel called the act “thrilling” and Howard Stern praised her by saying her hero Houdini would be proud.

4. Hype

This adorable dance crew, based out of Hawaii, is a refreshing treat from all the wild acts and emotional singers we frequently see on America’s Got Talent. Their new number was a fun, movie-themed performance to Frank Sinatra’s “I Won’t Dance.” Sinatra may not want to dance, but this trio sure can! The boys are just fun to watch. Even though the judges weren’t too keen on their performance, we loved it!

3. Kristef Brothers

Who knew a strength act would have so much glitter involved? The Kristef Brothers once again wowed us with their acrobatic wonder. Only this time, there was lots and lots of glitter thrown around! The guys added a little bit of humor with their outrageous girly costumes, but it didn’t take away from their insane balancing act. Howie was amazed and called it the “best act of the night.” Let’s put it this way: At one point, one of the Brothers was balancing himself with one hand — on the other’s head! It was crazy!

2. Collins Key

We seriously cannot get enough of this adorable magician. We keep wondering how he will top his last trick and he continues to stun us every week. This week, the judges had to tweet out answers to questions he asked, and then Collins retrieved a paper from a box where it was revealed he accurately predicted the judges’ answers! Howie got it right when he said, “Collins, you continue to dazzle us and are the new face of magic.” Howard loved him, too, but told him to stop crying so much. Mel B said, “Not only are you amazing but you’re a nice guy.” She also said the ladies think he is “hot.” That is one very accurate statement, Mel B.

1. Branden James

Seriously, anytime the Josh Groban song “You Raise Me Up” comes on, who doesn’t cry? And Branden completely stunned us with his rendition of the song. He received a standing ovation from Howie, Heid Klumi, Mel B and the entire audience — and rightly so. We agree with Mel B and Howard that Branden has “such grace when he sings” and “takes command of the stage like a pro.” Branden, we applaud your emotional performance tonight and we just know you’ll make it far in the competition. Radio City Music Hall is the perfect place for you!

HollywoodLifers, what was your favorite act of the night? Who do you think will be eliminated? Sound off in the comments below on what you thought about tonight’s episode!

WATCH: Branden James On ‘AGT,’ July 23
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— Avery Thompson

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