America's Got Talent Goes Virtual for Final Round of Season 15 Auditions

America's Got Talent

Tuesday’s episode of America’s Got Talent brought the Season 15 auditions to a close, though it took a bit of flexibility — and a strong wifi connection — to reach the finish line.

The two-hour event began normally — the new normal, anyway — with a string of acts auditioning for the judges’ panel, sans the usual audience. (Darn you, coronavirus!)

And it was good news for most of the contestants, including my personal favorite, Sheldon Riley. The Sydney, Australia native blew the judges away with a powerful performance of Billie Eilish’s “idontwannabeyouanymore.”

Check out Riley’s audition in full below:

That’s when things took a turn. “After nine days of auditions, the filming on America’s Got Talent has been suspended,” host Terry Crews announced in a voiceover midway through the broadcast. “But that didn’t stop acts from pursuing their dreams and sharing their talent with the nation. Video submissions reopened and the contestants auditioned for the judges right from their homes.”

And just like that, Howie Mandel, Sofia Vergara, Heidi Klum and Cowell — the latter of whom were dressed in near-identical pajamas, though Cowell’s was cut far lower than Klum’s — evaluated the season’s remaining hopefuls from their homes, barking dogs and sleeping husbands be darned.

Those final acts included a graphic designer who serenaded his dog, only for the dog to join him in a duet; an elderly man with a passion for dance (anyone else get flashbacks to those old Six Flags commercials?) and a questionable internet connection; an eight-year-old dog trainer; a mentalist who freaked out the judges with his remote trickery; and an opera singer… on horseback. Truly, something for everyone.

Next week’s AGT (July 21) is a best-of special, giving viewers an opportunity to relive the season’s most memorable auditions, which will be followed by the Judge Cuts episode on July 28. As previously reported, the Judge Cuts were filmed last month in an outdoor setup in Simi Valley that was designed to resemble a drive-in movie theater. The judges will watch the acts perform in-person, seated a responsible distance from one another.

Your thoughts on AGT‘s at-home auditions? Drop a comment with your favorite acts below.