The first round of the ‘AGT’ semi-finals featured some incredible performances from Kodi Lee, the Messoudi Brothers, and more. However, there were some acts that fell flat.
It’s time for the AGT semi-finals and the competition is more intense than ever. This week, 11 acts will perform and 5 will move on to the season 14 finals. Will & Grace star Sean Hayes is serving as a guest judge for the first week of semi-finals. The first act to perform is the Ndlovu Youth Choir. They slay with an electrifying rendition of Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love.” Howie Mandel calls the performance “beautiful” and Simon Cowell says it was in a “way higher league than anything you’ve done previously.”
Next up is country cutie Ansley Burns. She decides to sing Carrie Underwood’s “Cry Pretty” and it’s a pretty big risk. There’s a bit of a flub during the performance but she recovers nicely. “You are a ray of sunshine in this sometimes gloomy world,” Julianne Hough tells Ansley. She adds that the song may have “overpowered” her but she’s “proud of her.”
The Messoudi Brothers decide to take the next performance to a whole new level. The trio steps out shirtless to Ginuwine’s “Pony” for what seems like a Magic Mike-inspired performance. They bring Julianne up to the stage and incorporate her into the first part of the act. They transition into the next part of the act, which features one of the brothers doing a handstand while holding onto his brothers’ arms. They also stand one on top of the other, with one brother standing on one hand at the top. Everyone gives them a standing ovation. “That was fantastic,” Julianne raves.
Tyler Butler-Figueroa begins his performance in the audience and that really gets the crowd going. He wows with an electric rendition of Ariana Grande and Zedd’s “Break Free.” He’s so precise and puts his own twist on the hit song. When the performance is over, the crowd is chanting Tyler’s name. Simon commends him on his showmanship this week. Gabrielle gushes, “You are a brilliant young man.” When host Terry Crews asks Tyler what his advice is to young people like him out there, Tyler says, “Follow your dreams and never give up.”
Voice extraordinaire Greg Morton shows off another set of impressions for the semi-finals that include Shaggy and Scooby-Doo. “Personally, I thought tonight was a mess,” Simon admits. On the other hand, Sean calls Greg “absolutely amazing.”
Next up is the one and only Kodi Lee. He performs a stunning rendition of Calum Scott’s “You Are The Reason.” The crowd is chanting Kodi’s name at the end. Gabrielle is near tears. “We are all so grateful to be in your orbit,” she says. Simon says Kodi is “probably one of the most special, talented contestants… my breath was taken away during that.” Sean admits that he had tears in his eyes like Gabrielle.
Jackie Fabulous comes back with another set of hilarious jokes. All the judges are feeling her vibe — except Simon. Robert Finley hits the stage with a guitar this time. He performs yet another awesome song for the semi-finals. “You really, really, stand out. I loved it,” Sean says. However, Simon says it “wasn’t quite the moment I needed.” Eric Chien goes for a bold routine but it falls just a little flat. Julianne admits she was “confused” by what she watched and Simon expected something bigger. Howie does note that he thinks Eric is one of the “best close-up magicians I’ve ever seen in my life.”
The Light Balance Kids decide to take on Marvel superheroes for their semi-finals performance. Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Iron Man, and more are present during their show-stopping routine. Simon believes that their “brilliant” performance will get them into the finals. Howie thinks this group is the most suited for a Vegas residency.
The final performance of the night is from Benicio Bryant. The 14-year-old decides to perform an original song for the semi-finals. It’s a huge risk but it pays off big time. He completely owns the stage. “That was pretty outstanding,” Simon raves. Howie thinks Benicio is the “biggest star” of season 14 and compares him to Troye Sivan and Harry Styles! Now that’s high praise!