The only thing more surprising than the stunning final performance on Tuesday’s episode of America’s Got Talent was what happened next.
Victory Brinker, a precocious young singer, had the judges wrapped around her finger before she even sang a note, thanks to her sassy critique of Simon Cowell’s questionable fashion sense. (“You need some color!”) And then she sang… opera! With a voice far beyond her years, Brinker lulled the judges into a stupor before melting their faces with a powerful finish. The performance was so incredible, it literally summoned a bird.
After asking Terry Crews to join the judges for a group huddle, Simon Cowell told Brinker, “We’re not going to give you a yes today.” (Cue a flurry of well-deserved boos from the audience.) “We’re going to do something else we’ve never, ever, ever done on the show before. We’re all going to give you something special.”
Much to Brinker’s surprise and delight, all four judges — Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara — joined Crews in slamming the Golden Buzzer in unison, awarding the first group buzzer in America’s Got Talent history.
Other acts moving forward after Week 6, include…
* Twirl Act, who celebrated his 30th birthday by treating the judges to a leaping, cartwheeling, baton-twirling performance set to the tune of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now.” Extra points for the mid-show costume change. (Watch your back, Lea Kyle! There’s a new quick-change artist on the block — and this one can twirl.) Click here to watch.
* Madilyn Bailey, who performed an original song with lyrics entirely made of hate comments people have left on her YouTube channel. It was equal parts funny, catchy and empowering. Oh, and she’s got a killer voice. That part is pretty important, too. Watch:
* Chapkidz, a dance group of 12 to 18-year-olds who were promised a trip to Universal Studios if they win the $1 million prize. (Dream big!) This well-oiled machine delivered a fluid, energetic and hypnotic performance that had all of the judges on their feet. Click here to watch.
* Darrell Thorne, a Brooklyn-based performer with whom you may already be familiar, depending on how much time you spent on TikTok. The healthcare worker-turned-comedian delivered a hilarious lip sync duet of “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” delighting all of the judges — save for Simon Cowell, whose entire mood changed when he realized that Thorne wasn’t actually signing. (Frankly, I can’t believe he didn’t realize that from the start.)
* Joshua Jacobs, a true showman who can do unimaginable things with a slinky. The whole act was fun, but I still can’t believe Howie Mandel let him put that dirty slinky on his pristine head — he’s been a germaphobe long before this whole pandemic thing.
* Roy and Judith, a dancing duo with a twist: He’s 62… and she’s 96! (In her defense, she “hasn’t been 96 for very long.”) Anyway, Roy swung his dance partner around like a rag doll and I don’t think I breathed the entire time.
* Donovan, a Broadway hopeful who flipped the script by performing a Phantom of the Opera classic — but not one sung by the titular kidnapper. No, this full-on male soprano gave us a gorgeous rendition of “Think of Me” that ensured the judges will be doing just that for quite a while. Click here to watch.
* Matt Mauser, a retired schoolteacher whose wife died in the same helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant. His performance of Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds,” which he couldn’t even finish without breaking down, was dedicated to her. Watch:
* Cam Bertrand, a comedian who delighted the judges with a routine about the perils of having a baby face, the deliciousness of Hot Pockets, and the unspoken darkness of wine and bourbon. Click here to watch.
* Breez Carver, a young dancer who overcame her shyness when her adoptive parents signed her up for dance classes. And based on Carver’s impressive, emotional modern dance routine set to Kelly Clarkson’s “Piece by Piece,” I’d say those lessons were well worth it. (Real talk: When Ruelle started playing after her dance, I really thought Carver was getting that Golden Buzzer.) Click here to watch.
* Through a blink-and-you-missed-it montage, we briefly met Vertical Flow, a team of muscular pole performers; MJ, a Canadian hula hooper; and Femme Fatale, a female pop-and-lock dance troupe.
* Gigi Deluxe and Devon, a mother-daughter danger act from New Orleans. Against all reason — and certainly against the advice of Devon’s father, an ER doctor — Gigi used her daughter as a human target, narrowly missing her with a flurry of arrows. Click here to watch.
* Guapacharros, a singing, dancing, stripping group of gentlemen from Mexico City and Guadalajara. Judging by the audience’s screams — not to mention some feelings that Mandel will need to reflect on in private — this act feels tailor made for the Las Vegas… strip. Watch:
Your thoughts on this week’s capital-H historic episode? Vote for your favorite auditions below, then drop a comment with your full review of Week 6.