AGT 5th Judge: NFL Choir, Incredible Ventriloquist, Deaf Comedian, and Amazing Celebrity Prank

After this week’s round of auditions on “America’s Got Talent,” we’re starting to wonder if it’ll be possible to save the best for last — because some of these acts were incredible!

From the incredible young singer who scored Simon Cowell’s Golden Buzzer to another young singer who left our jaws on the floor in shock and disbelief, the acts in this third round did not come to play.

There was an acrobatic troupe from the Philippines who brought stunts we’ve neer seen before, a ventriloquist following in the footsteps of everyone from Terry Fator to Darci Lynne — and surpassing all of them in some ways with his stellar take on the art.

And then there were those moving stories, like the deaf woman who learned that comedy was a language that bonds us all, the Uikranian who shared a love story like no other, and a choir of NFL Players who use their secret talent for good around the world already.

Seriously, this was a night filled with feel-good, emotional moments and performances we’ll remember for a long time. And then there was one of the most epic and incredible pranks we’ve seen yet on this show that had us raging and then roaring our approval as things went from boring and terrible to exciting and terrifying in seconds!

For some of tonight’s auditions, Howie Mandel was out sick, so if there are only three “Results,” that would be why. We do try to pay a little bit of attention to what we’re doing.

Fair warning, since I’m safe at home, I’m probably going to be a little harsher than my colleagues Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara, and Simon Cowell. But I might be nicer, too. Maybe.

And just for fun, I’m gonna rank them from worst to first to see how my favorites do and then we can see how you did — i.e., if you agreed with me.

(performance artists) Before the final — and absolutely earned — “X” fell the rag dolls gave us a very lackluster and terrible interpretive dance performance to “Toxic” that had nothing to do with the song, had no personality and was shocking dull considering it takes place in a pink bedroom with two women dressed as rag dolls. It’s impressive that it was so terrible. Whent he judges comments started, the rag dolls started throwing down right on the stage, and it certainly looked real. Suddenly this was like something right out of the WWE, with eventually security coming out to take care of it and one of the women attacking her. As faux fighting goes, this was far better — as well it should be, because it was the Bella sisters all along. Not a bad prank, as we didn’t recognize them, either, until they started wrestling.

Results: X, X, X, X

[[Okay, now for the real ranked performances]]

(contortionist) A very strange and slow act, it seems pretty limited as to where it can go from here. We applauded the creativity of having Oleksandr come out in a body bag and act as if he’s a corpse, but they could have gone a little further with that narrative. What we saw was a brief moment where his shoulders could contort and then two drawn-out sequences where his hips flexed a legitimately incredible amount. But that’s about it. This is not a million-dollar act. It’s an impressive stunt and ability, but just one. They also got a big audience response after Oleksandr revealed he’s Ukrainian.

Results: Y, Y, Y, X [rescinded, Y]

(knife throwers) Honestly, this didn’t look as dangerous through most of it as it otherwise could have been. We’ve certainly seen more deadly accurate knife throwing on spinning platforms with someone strapped to it. These were throwing a clear berth from one another, and there was nothing rapid about what either of them was doing. Even the upside down element was largely a repeat of their opening “duel.” The slowly spinning platform just wasn’t enough danger, nor was the slowly spinning woman with large discs they could easily aim at. Yes, something could go wrong, but this felt very very safe for this kind of act.

They definitely proved their confidence when they were willing to do the act with Simon Cowell standing between them. That part was probably more thrilling than anything else they did — and probably a big thrill for Simon, who loves this kind of thing.

Results: Y, Y, Y, Y

(choir) A choir of NFL players formed amazingly enough back in 2004 when Patti LaBelle passed the mic around at a gospel event and discovered that there are quite a few players with a hidden talent on these football teams. We loved the story of the group, performing now for charity, and we loved their harmony parts, but we weren’t as enamored with all of the soloists. They were all good, but nobody really had a standout moment that left us breathless — and we’ve seen a lot of choirs that bring those powerful moments. As such, while it was enjoyable and we love everything they stand for, the actual performance left us a bit wanting. Their strength is definitely when they sing together, as proved when Simon had them sing the chorus a cappella.

Results: Y, Y, Y

(comedian) Born as the only deaf person in a family that does not sign, Hayden said she’s always struggled with communication. So she found her outlet in comedy. The only criticism we would have, as her material was very strong, was that her delivery was a little slower than we would have liked. Either that, or the whole set was just a bit too short. We’d have liked to spend a little more time understanding her world with her unique point of view. She did a great job of incorporating her deafness into the routine, making it that much more special and memorable. This was a good first audition, but she needs to punch up the number of jokes in the future, we believe.

Results: Y, Y, Y

(singer) We only got a few moments with James, and in a segment about people coming from other countries to compete (he’s from the Philippines), but what we did hear was a beautifully rich and full operatic voice. He’s clearly extremely talented at what he does — and it’s impressive that such a big voice is coming out of a relatively diminutive body.

Results: [probably Yes]

(dancer) A lyrical dancer, Max has great connection with the sentiment and emotion of his music. There’s a beautiful marriage between his artistry and James Arthur’s backing track that’s palpable and mesmerizing. He didn’t have as smooth a moment coming out of his forward flip but other than that we appreciated his transitions, his lines and the strength at which he hit his marks and moments. There were also some very cool visual moments he incorporated, giving the whole thing a very fresh and youthful feeling. You can see those ten years of training in this 18 year old dancer.

Results: Y, Y, Y, Y

(singer) Who expects screaming metal from a 10-year-old little girl? Well, that’s basically what we got as she performed “Holy Roller” from Spiritbox. This tiny little girl from across the pond actually slayed this type of vocal style, and looked so innocent while doing it. The visual and aural dissonance was so wild, you could see it on each of the judges’ faces. With Howie out sick, Harper’s dad got to sit in Howie’s seat to watch, and he was just beaming throughout. This was definitely one of the most memorable auditions we’ve ever seen!

Results: Y, Y, Y

(impressionists) This would have been a total blast had they just stuck to the various characters they were going to sing as, but we also got impressions of the original artists for each song, including Elton John, Train and Nickleback. And every impression was spot-on from the artists themselves to sillier impressions like Spongebob and Donald Duck. They even nailed Simon Cowell. All in all, it was an audition we couldn’t take our ears off of, and we wouldn’t it to continue on and on. Even without the gimmicks, the musical talent is through the roof (as evidenced by Ben Platt at the end), so there are layers upon layers to what these guys bring.

Results: Y, Y, Y, Y

(dancers) We’ve seen a lot of these “dance” troupes that are far more about acrobatics than dance, but this one featured some stunts and tricks and flips we’ve not seen before. These boys were flying high, they were doing intricate moves where one guy would flip over another guy (or two) who were also flipping. The margin for error was so slim it was probably pretty close to zero, and they didn’t miss a mark. Like we said, we’ve seen a lot of acts like this and they’re definite crowd pleasers, but they can get repetitive and a little boring for us. This one had enough fresh elements and danger to it, we found ourselves riveted.

Results: Y, Y, Y

(singer) This 13-year-old singer came out with grace and poise beyond her years to the point it was shocking to discover just how young she was. And then she took on an extremely challenging Billie Eilish song — and just smashed it. At the same time, she didn’t sound like a copycat singer. She was definitely bringing her own artistry to a stellar vocal performance that showed a lot of power and vocal variance throughout her range. Even a simple run became something special with her mastery of her gift. At any age, this would be an extremely strong audition. But at her tender age, it was one better.

Results: [Simon’s Golden Buzzer]

(ventriloquist) We always wonder how a ventriloquist can outdo what’s come before, but Jack managed some impressive new stunts, and some excellent puppetry work with Foster, his disturbed rabbit-looking friend. From Foster doing ventriloquism, to throwing his voice to the two of them switching voices, Jack definitely proved he has mastered this unique artform. “AGT” has been very friendly to ventriloquists over the years, and with the quality of his talent, the sharpness of his writing and how very funny he is as a performer, we could see him going very, very far.

Results: Y, Y, Y, Y

“America’s Got Talent” continues Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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