Peter Kramer/NBC(NEW YORK) -- America’s Got Talent continued its “Judge Cuts” on Tuesday. Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howie Mandel continued the four-week process of picking 36 acts for the live performance shows. This week, actor/comedian Marlon Wayans -- invited by Howie -- joined the regular panel and got to use the "Golden Buzzer" for his favorite act, sending them to Radio City Music Hall without any consultation from the AGT judges.
Only seven out of the 20 acts that performed on Tuesday’s show were allowed to move on to the next round. They were ventriloquist Paul Zerdin, mentalist Oz Pearlman, contortionist Vita Radionova, bluegrass act Mountain Faith Band, boy band Triple Threat, dance troupe Animation Crew and singerBenton Blount.
Former AGT judge Piers Morgan returns as next week’s guest judge.
Here’s a rundown of some of Tuesday’s highlights:
Nerdy boy band Triple Threat, three guys from Arkansas, mixed singing and rap on the Ariana Grande hit “Problem,” featuring Iggy Azalea. Mel thought they were “likeable” and wanted them to do well in the competition. Marlon was impressed by how “seasoned” they were. Howard noted they had the talent, but not the looks, which, unfortunately, is a factor for a boy band. The trio responded by noting that since their first appearance on AGT, they’ve had a lot of girls reaching out to them on Twitter. In spite of Stern’s reservations, the act moves on.
Animation Crew was a group of men who pretended to be a robot band, showing off some impressive robotic dance moves. Heidi noted they “really stand out” from the other dance acts in the competition. Mel B loved the troupe’s originality. Howard noted they were “entertaining in robot form,” but he was disappointed that they “broke character” during the performance. They advance to the next round.
Ventriloquist Paul Zerdin amused the judges by pulling out a baby puppet he introduced as his son, whom he couldn’t find a sitter for. In his routine, Zerdin tried unsuccessfully to read the baby a bedtime story. Howie noted AGT is a family show and Paul is a family act. Heidi called the comedian’s material “clever,” adding Zerdin made her feel like there were really two people on stage. Howard declared the ventriloquist was “a cartoon come to life” and a “major contender.” After noting that Zerdin made him “feel joy” and wanted everybody to feel that, Wayans pushed his Golden Buzzer, moving Paul straight through to Radio City Music Hall.
Mentalist Oz Pearlman pulled out a book with the names of 60 female celebrities and asked Heidi to read them off. He then gave the book to Howard and asked him to look at a name, then toss the book away. He handed another book with male stars to Howie and asked him to do the same. Then Oz asked Howie to focus on the movie star and a movie. He correctly guessed Tom Cruise is the star and Top Gun is the movie. He then cut up a piece of paper and not only guesses that Stern’s pick is Oprah Winfrey, but opened up the paper to reveal a cutout of Winfrey’s face. Howie declared he was “flabbergasted” and that Oz “delivered.” Wayans added that the act was “incredible.” The act left Klum “speechless.” Pearlman advances to the next round of competition.
Mountain Faith Band brought the house down with its bluegrass version of The Darkness’ “I Believe in a Thing Called Love.” Mel B noted they made everybody happy, but left the band’s lead singer in tears. “This is my dream,” the girl replied. Stern, while admitting the band was good, warned that their music was “not contemporary,” which could hurt them in the competition. Howie countered that the panel wasn’t there to judge the genre of the music, but the talent, which they had. The group moves on to the live rounds.
Vita Radionova wowed the panel with her mix of hand balancing, contortions, dance and acrobatics. Howie noted Vita “moved beautifully” and was “beautifully talented.” Wayans exclaimed, “You don’t have bones.” Heidi noted Radionova had the girls -- as well as the guys -- wrapped around her finger. Howard called the performer “hypnotizing and captivating.” Vita moves on to the next round.
Stay-at-home dad Benton Blount sang Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” which Stern called a good, solid audition. Klum declared the performance was “a little rough around the edges and I like it.” Wayans said that if the song was on the radio, he’d buy it. Mel B noted she was impressed at the beginning, but asked herself halfway through if it “was enough.” Mandel, noting how tough it is for a singer to hold people’s attention with just a guitar as backup was difficult, but Blount “pulled it off.” He advances to the next round.
It was the end of the line for other acts, including hand balancer Oleksiy Mogylnyy, who worked with a headless mannequin. Stern said the act was “either the most brilliant joke in the world” or Oleksiy was really in love with that "thing.” Klum thought the doll took away from what he could do and made the act “weird.” Mel B, however, thought it was more “funny” than weird. He was sent home.
Also leaving the competition was singer/songwriter Johnny Shelton, 26, who dove into music after his son died of cancer at just five years old. His version of Miranda Lambert’s “The House That Built Me” impressed the judges, but didn’t stand up against the other singers in the competition.
Pretty Big Movement, a group of plus-sized ladies, danced to Jessie J’s “Bang Bang.” Stern hit his buzzer, noting they didn’t bring a routine that was “special” or “distinguished" them. Klum agreed. Marlon, however, thought it was “entertaining.” Mel noted she loved the group’s “message,” and hoped to see them make it through to the next round. Unfortunately, they were sent packing.
America’s Got Talent airs again on Wednesday with a special episode celebrating the show's 10th anniversary. AGT returns live next Tuesday at 8 p.m. Eastern time on NBC.
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