The biggest surprise of the premiere came courtesy of comedian Drew Lynch, whose vocal nerves were damaged in a softball accident, resulting in a debilitating stutter. Fortunately, the accident didn't damage his spirit — or his sense of humor. (Seriously, when he said, "The guy I was wouldn't be friends with the guy I am now," did your heart not break into little pieces?)
Not since Charlie Brown has an awkward, emotionally stunted little fella with only two strands of hair captured our hearts so effortlessly. Oddly, the only judge not taken by li'l Ira was Mel B., who gave him the first "no" of the premiere. (I suppose her kiss sort of makes up for her sting of betrayal.)
Piff the Magic Dragon
Piff the Magic Dragon — the lesser-known brother of "Steve" — is essentially what you'd get if you crossed Ricky Gervais with a fire-breathing monster, only a lot funnier. His impressive magic tricks, combined with a devilishly dry sense of humor ("It was either this or Game of Thrones," he said), made him a favorite of the judges.
We don't have much to say about "Sexy Baby" — nor did the judges, who couldn't wait to buzz the disturbing creature off the stage — but we're pretty sure this picture says more than words ever could. We'll be sending you our therapy bills, Sexy Baby.
No photo could possibly do mixed-media dance crew Siro-A justice. Mark my words, this mind-blowing Japanese fivesome will be around for weeks to come, if not the winners of the entire competition; I'd watch the hell out of this act in Vegas.
A talented singer with a powerful message, Shelton auditioned with "That's Love," a song he wrote for the son he lost to cancer on his fifth birthday. It was beautiful, it was heartbreaking and by the end of the performance, there wasn't a dry eye in the auditorium. Devil's advocate, though: Would you see an entire Las Vegas show built around this concept? It'll be interesting to see how Shelton does in the competition moving forward.
As entertaining as "The Cuddler" was, did you really expect the judges to put her through to the next round? The act was good for a laugh — the sight of Howard Stern cuddling Nick Cannon was disturbing in the best way — but I can't say I agree with their decision. Hugging may be a skill, but it's not a talent.
Easily the most physically impressive act of the night, this European foursome combines two types of gymnastics for a one-of-a-kind act that the judges absolutely ate up. Heidi Klum's only complaint: "What about the pants?" (Come on, Heidi, they have to save something for the later rounds!)
Hypnosis acts can get old fast — even Howard Stern got so bored that he accidentally(?) learned on his buzzer — but the fact that Jones was able to trick notorious germaphobe Howie Mandel into shaking hands with his fellow judges is nothing short of mind-blowing. Regardless of how well Jones performs from here, he was absolutely responsible for the biggest moment of the premiere.
Elin and Noah
This pair of pint-sized, mean-mugging MC Hammer-inspired best friends already have their first post-victory purchase mapped out: “If we won the million dollars,” Noah explains, “we would get more than 20 bowls of chocolate ice cream.” But don’t you dare accuse the breakdancing duo of being a couple. That, Elin explains, would be “gross."
These "beautifully nerdy" harmonizers, and former high school football teammates, met while they were all sidelined with injuries. I don't see them necessarily going all the way — you really have to curb your enthusiasm in these early episodes — but their solid rendition of MKTO's "Classic" easily earned them a trip to the next round.