In a rare occurrence for America’s Got Talent, the NBC competition returned on Tuesday with the exact same line-up of judges that it left us with last season.
Fortunately, the Season 16 premiere still mixed things up by opening the show with an insanely meta dog act. Not only did The Canine Stars give us dog versions of each judge (including Bow-wowie Mandel and Simon Howl), but the group also managed to unlock one of my more disturbing childhood memories of those creepy Sesame Street sketches — you know, the ones where the dogs had human bodies and did people stuff?
Anyway, Mandel declared it “the best animal act I have ever seen on this show by far,” and I’m too terrified to disagree. Watch:
But was it the best audition of the night? Not according to Mandel, who later used the season’s first Golden Buzzer on the Northwell Nurse Choir, a musical assemblage of literal angels who blessed our ears with a touching rendition of “Lean on Me.” Plus, there was beat boxing! Click here to watch.
Other acts moving forward in Season 16 include…
* Peter Rosalita, a 10-year-old singer from the Philippines who blew the roof off of the auditorium with a bombastic performance of Celine Dion’s “All By Myself.” Watch:
* Aidan Bryant, 16, a self-taught aerial performer (mostly by watching Pink concert videos on YouTube) who defied both gravity and a lack of experience by dazzling the judges with an incredible display of artistry and athleticism. Click here to watch.
* Mr. Cherry and Chikki, the former of whom vowed to finally earn his father’s acceptance by breaking a world record… for the most walnuts cracked with his butt in under a minute. Click here to watch.
* Keith Apicary, 35, a real-life Napoleon Dynamite whose “I’m not a dancer, I just like to dance” vibe confused — but ultimately delighted — the judges, who deemed him better than ballet. Click here to watch.
* Gerald Kelly and Hunter Kelly, a competitive father-son comedy duo whose nerves almost got the better of both of them. Click here to watch.
* 1achord, a newly assembled musical trio of “church babies” from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro who transformed a Coldplay classic into a full-on gospel experience. Click here to watch.
* Dustin Tavella, the season’s first magician, who blew the judges’ minds while also tugging at their heartstrings with an act themed to the birth of his son. Click here to watch.
* Sethward, who risked his life (and what was left of his dignity) trying to prove that he’s a real peacock by nearly falling to his death on the AGT stage.
Which of Tuesday’s acts would have gotten your personal Golden Buzzer? Vote for your favorite below, then drop a comment with your full review of the premiere.