• Wed. Oct 5th, 2022

America’s Got Talent 2022 Premiere Recap Live Blog (Video)

ByStephanie M. Akbar

Jun 1, 2022

America’s Got Talent returns to NBC tonight for Season 17 with Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara on the jury. Terry Crews hosts. Learn about the new artists vying for the $1 million prize and a headlining show in Las Vegas.

America’s Got Talent 2022 MEGA Nominees List (Photos, Videos)

The show opens with a weird take on Raiders of the Lost Ark…or something. A young Simon sees his future, and he doesn’t like it… HE LOVES IT! Oy. Next, it’s a look at the season 17 acts that are BIGGER AND BETTER THAN EVAH! Once the judges are seated, Simon turns to the crowd to say hello. Remember last season’s fake covid audience? Moments of pleasure.

The Pack Drumline – Chicago Drumline

The funky-looking band hails from Chicago, Illinois, and they’re here to represent. The group started in 2014 as an after-school program for people at risk. The chef is very very happy to meet Simon. The group incorporates hip hop movements and music into their drumming. They are amateurs and unpolished, but have a lot of heart. Sofia calls them an “incredible show”. Heidi calls her “sexy”. She loved choreography. Howie feels their hearts. “Your hearts are beating all over this room…I love you.” Simon describes it as original and dynamic. “That’s what this show is about.” – 4 yes

XOMG Pop – Singing group discovered by JoJo Siwa and mom

As the girls take the stage to perform, JoJo Siwa, who founded the group with her mother, is backstage cheering them on. Synergy: The group is a product of the E! contest show, Siwas Dance Pop Revolution. NBC and E! share the same parent company, Universal. Currently, however, JoJo is a judge at the FOX Dance Competition, So you think you can dance. The costumes are very very colorful, and the girls are very energetic. “We are delighted to play FOR YOU!” one says. They sing an original song “Candy Hearts”. It’s very Kidz Bop with choreography, “girl power” with a side of Saturday morning cartoons. I need to go see a dentist.

Howie thinks they need to tour. “That’s all and more,” says Heidi. “Every little girl in America is going to go crazy when she sees you.” Simon trots the old “I didn’t like that… I loved that.” He calls them a little mini explosion. – 4 yes

Mervant Vera – Rap Magician

Mervant, 33, is from Philadelphia. He’s been watching AGT on TV for years and dreams of having a show in Vegas. His grandmother was very supportive and carried him through the tough times. It starts with a deck of cards. As he distributes them, he begins to rap. As he pulls out a card, he sings about them and also shouts at the judges and Terry. There’s not a ton of magic here. But rap is fun? “It was a first for me, says Sophia. “I had a great time watching you,” Heidi said. Simon says it’s amazing. Simon wished he had auditioned before. Howie calls it one of the best acts of magic he has seen. So okay. 4 yes

Lee Collinson- Singer

Lee is from England. He hopes to quit his job, erect fences. This is his first trip to America. He sings “Better Days” by Dermot Kennedy. The song is personal, as he lost someone in the COVID lockdown. He doesn’t play an instrument. The verse is very “talking” but on the chorus it shows a very nice tenor and tone with decent range and good phrasing. He seemed very nervous at first. Simon is up first. Howie says he “raised the roof” off the house. “You succeeded,” said Heidi. Sofia thinks he has a nice personality and a nice voice. Simon thinks he’s charming, humble and likeable. “You don’t even know how good you are.” They call his mother in England. – 4 yes

David Litchman – Pepino the mini-horse

Pepino is adorable as he waves his little hoof towards the judges. But from the start, he does not do what his coach asks him to do. “I think he’s a bit shy because he’s interested in Heidi.” There’s a chair next to a picture of Heidi, so she’s part of the lot. It takes some coaxing, but he eventually sits down, but not for long. There is a basketball net that is never used. Pepino is obviously scared of lights, noise and crowds. Sad – NOPE

Burning Joe – Fire Law

He introduces himself as a singer. His cover of “Eternal Flame” stinks, so Simon buzzes it. But as he sings, his singing becomes literal, igniting until his entire back is aflame. He takes a fork with marshmallows to roast them. It gets more buzz. When it is totally on fire, Heidi begins to panic. Stagehands come in to douse Joe with fire extinguishers. Simon calls it “bad barbecue”. And says it gives him an idea for a new show “when you’re not very good we just set you on fire”. Wasn’t that AGT: Extreme? badabump. NOPE

April, Sarah and her friends

It’s goat yoga, y’all. Fun Fact: April and Sarah competed on Season 30 of The Amazing Race and finished in eighth place. The goats are very cute, but like the horse number, the scene is very chaotic. Goats don’t play. After saying NO, Heidi and Sofia run away with the cutest little goats. NOPE

Jack Grady – Magician

Jack is very nervous about meeting Simon. He has such high hopes, but after reciting a poem about changing a glass bottle and sticking it up his ass, Heidi hums him furiously. Jack looks so disappointed. “It’s a long trip from Ohio to LA to last 30 seconds,” says Simon. NOPE.

Ben Lapidus – Singer-songwriter

The Doylestown, Pennsylvania native found a ukulele in his guitar as a kid. His father died suddenly when he was six years old. He used songwriting to work on his feelings. He performs an original song on the guitar. Right now, he’s designing podcasts. He sings on the parmesan. I guess he’s an actor. He wants more parmesan. “Why are they so stingy.” Complain about Italian restaurants. The judges are not impressed. The buzzers go off. But Ben is not discouraged. He continues to sing. The crowd boos. “I don’t like parmesan, I don’t like your song,” Simon said. The crowd begins to chant “PARMESAN”. They booed first. Ben starts singing again and now the crowd is with him, rocking and singing. Now Simon is laughing. The judges remove their Xs, except for Howie. This track was SO SET UP come on – 3 yes, Howie says no

Celia Munoz – Ventriloquist

Celia was previewed earlier, and her act is very unique. She was the golden ringer act and eventual winner of Spain’s Got Talent in 2021. The 36-year-old singer is a trained opera singer who switched to ventriloquism. Terry Fator, winner of season 2, then Darci Lynne inspired her in her new profession. What’s different about her act is that she doesn’t use a puppet. Celia casts her voice over a radio and a telephone. She sings, talks, sings some more, switching seamlessly and quickly to different voices. She is sitting in front of a vanity mirror flossing, brushing her teeth and applying makeup. The phone rings and she has a conversation. It seems so real.

“Cheer!” Sofia shouts. “It was so unlike anything we’ve ever seen.” Heidi calls the absence a refreshing “strange puppet.” “You just turned the dial to eleven,” Howie said. Simon calls it the “best original ventriloquism” the show has ever seen. – 4 yes

Veranica and her amazing friends – Dog Act

The trainer is originally from Florida and lives on a farm with a ton of animals. She is only 12 years old. So far his animals seem well trained and not nervous. His dogs are small and large poodles that do the usual dog tricks. She is jumping rope with one of the little poodles. The big dog helps him with the jump rope. So cute! Dancing poodles! THE DOGGOS EVEN MAKE A QUICK CHANGE. OK. that’s great. Simon is delighted. He loves puppets. Sofia calls it “incredible”. Howie calls it “dazzling… you surprised us”. Heidi calls her “adorable”. Simon says “They’re so smart!” 4 yes

Mike E Winfield – Comedian

He’s been telling jokes for 15 years. He is married and has a family. It begins with jokes about “older mothers”. He confesses that he married an older woman. “It’s cool to be a parent to a kid close to your age. I call him stepdad. So ok. He’s moderately fun. Step Mike and Step Man. He goes to terrible day jobs.” Why don’t they see you when you hate your job?” Judges and audience give him a standing ovation. “They love you!” says Sofia. Howie calls it memorable and authentic. Heidi calls it “fantastic and “his face is so cute”. Simon thinks he has star quality. – 4 yes

Shu Takada – Yoyo Performer

The Yoyo helped him become a more outgoing person. AGT is his biggest dream! He came from Japan to audition. He wants to have his own show. Simon already expects his act to be boring. His act is very energetic and it helps that he puts his whole body into it. He doesn’t just do Yoyo tricks. It incorporates split jumps, backflips and more. His smile is contagious! Simon says, “We didn’t expect that!” Howie says, “You made the Yoyo cool, fun, you’re a dancer.” Sofia calls him a “cool guy”. Simon loves his personality. “I love acts like this.” They all say YO. – 4 yes

Avery Dixon – Saxophonist – Terry Crews Golden Buzzer

The Atlanta native’s mother signed him up. Avery still doesn’t believe in himself. He learned the saxophone in elementary school after kids started bullying him for his raspy voice and looks. The children called him “hammer head”. The 21-year-old has knots on his head after being born premature at 1lb 8oz. Due to prematurity, her vocal cords do not close completely. It got so bad that he thought about suicide. Learning music saved him. Also, where he lives with his family, neighbors call the cops when he tries to train. He is very nervous at first. He plays “Try a Little Tenderness” and indeed it is accomplished and very moving. He cries to the cheers of the crowd.

Howie says, “You’re supposed to be here. You will change the world. Heidi thinks he is playing with his heart. Avery begins to sob. Sofia says, “America is going to fall in love with you.” Simon calls his bullies “idiots”. Terry is very moved, he rushes « THERE IS NO NEED TO VOTE! it crushes the Golden Buzzer. He says, “You tell every bully that you have a big brother named Terry Crews… who has your back.”

A gold buzzer means the recipient will go straight to live broadcasts. All four judges and Terry receive a Golden Buzzer. Last season, the show also made a group buzzer.

The best acts of the night were Celia Munoz, Veranica and her amazing friends, Shu Takada Yoyo guy. Avery Dixon is a solid musician, but the man that the Golden Buzzer segment was above, even by AGT standards.

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