The only thing more surprising than the superb final performance of Tuesday’s episode of America has talent was what happened next.
Victory Brinker, a precocious young singer, had the judges wrapped around her finger even before she sang a note, thanks to her sassy critique of Simon Cowell’s questionable fashion sense. (“You need some color!”) And then she sang… opera! With a voice far beyond his years, Brinker rocked the judges in a daze before melting their faces with a powerful finish. The performance was so amazing that she literally summoned a bird.
After asking Terry Crews to join the judges for a panel reunion, Simon Cowell told Brinker: “We’re not going to give you a yes today.” (Signal a flurry of well-deserved boos from the audience.) “We’re going to do something else that we’ve never, ever done on the show before. We are all going to give you something special.
Much to Brinker’s surprise and delight, the four judges – Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara – joined Crews to slam the Golden Buzzer in unison, awarding the first group buzzer in America has talent the story.
Other acts progress after week 6, in particular …
* Whirlpool act, which celebrated its 30th anniversary by giving the judges a performance of jumps, wheels and batons to the tune of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now”. Additional points for costume change mid-show. (Watch your back, Lea Kyle! There’s a new, fast-changing artist in the neighborhood – and this one can spinning.) Click here to watch.
* Madilyn Bailey, who performed an original song with lyrics made up entirely of hateful comments people left on her YouTube channel. It was funny, eye-catching and stimulating all at the same time. Oh, and she has a killer voice. This part is also quite important. Watch:
* Chapkidz, a 12 to 18-year-old dance group who have been promised a trip to Universal Studios if they win the million dollar prize. (Dream big!) This well-oiled machine delivered a smooth, energetic and hypnotic performance that got all the judges on their feet. Click here to watch.
* Darrell thorne, a Brooklyn-based artist you may already know, depending on how much time you’ve spent on TikTok. The healthcare worker-turned-comedian delivered a hilarious lip-syncing duet of ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’, delighting all the judges – except for Simon Cowell, whose mood changed completely when he realized that Thorne wasn’t actually signing. (Frankly, I can’t believe he didn’t realize it from the start.)
* Joshua Jacobs, a true showman who can do unimaginable things with a tight fitting. The whole act was fun, but I still can’t believe Howie Mandel let him put that filthy slinky on his spotless head – he was a germaphobe long before this whole pandemic thing.
* Roy and Judith, a quirky dance duo: he is 62 years old… and she is 96! (In her defense, she “hasn’t been 96 for a very long time.”) Either way, Roy rocked his dance partner like a rag doll and I don’t think I breathed the whole time.
* Donovan, a Broadway hopeful who turned the story around by performing a classic Phantom of the Opera – but not one sung by the titular kidnapper. No, this full-fledged male soprano gave us a wonderful rendition of “Think of Me” that kept the judges doing just that for quite a while. Click here to watch.
* Matt mauser, a retired teacher whose wife died in the same helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant. His interpretation of “Against All Odds” by Phil Collins, which he could not even finish without breaking, was dedicated to him. Watch:
* Cam Bertrand, a comedian who thrilled the judges with a routine about the dangers of having a baby face, the delight of Hot Pockets, and the unspoken darkness of wine and bourbon. Click here to watch.
* Carver Breeze, a young dancer who overcame her shyness when her adoptive parents enrolled her in dance lessons. And based on Carver’s impressive and emotional modern dance routine on Kelly Clarkson’s “Piece by Piece,” I’d say these lessons were worth it. (True speech: when Ruelle started playing after his dance, I really thought Carver was getting this Golden Buzzer.) Click here to watch.
* Thanks to a flashing edit and you missed it, we briefly met Vertical flow, a team of muscled pole interpreters; MJ, a Canadian hula-hooper; and Fatal Woman, a female pop-and-lock dance troupe.
* Gigi Deluxe and Devon, a mother-daughter act of danger from New Orleans. Against all reason – and certainly against the advice of Devon’s father, an emergency doctor – Gigi used her daughter as a human target, narrowly missing her with a flurry of arrows. Click here to watch.
* Guapacharros, a group of singing, dancing and undressing gentlemen from Mexico City and Guadalajara. Judging by the screams from the audience – not to mention some feelings Mandel will have to ponder in private – this act seems tailor-made for the Las Vegas Strip. Watch:
Your opinion on this week’s capital H historical episode? Vote for your favorite auditions below, then leave a comment with your full review for week 6.