‘America’s Got Talent: The Champions’ recap: Who advanced to the finals in week one?

The Olympics of talent has officially begun!

America’s Got Talent: The Champions kicked off its month-long search to find the best act in the world on Monday night and judging from the premiere, fans are in for a wild ride.

Monday’s premiere saw ten acts take to the stage to fight for the chance to be crowned “ultimate champion” and be known as the best act in the world. From sword swallowing to side-splitting comedians, here is a recap of all the acts as well as the results.

Quickly, before we kick the recap off, we have to discuss Terry Crews’ hosting debut. The Brooklyn Nine-Nine star was welcomed to the show by executive producer and judge Simon Cowell and the fans loved him. He brings an energy to the show that is warm, welcoming, and fun. With Tyra Banks reportedly exiting the show, I hope Simon gives Terry the hosting gig permanently.

Bianca Ryan

The 24-year-old won America’s Got Talent all the way back in the show’s first season in 2006. Since winning the show when she was 11-years-old, she suffered from vocal paralysis and was told she may never sing again. However, she returned to the AGT stage on Monday and performed a powerful rendition of A Great Big World’s “Say Something” that earned a standing ovation from both the audience and judges.

Personally, I loved seeing a real OG act from the old days of the show. Bianca’s voice has matured and gotten better with time. I couldn’t think of a better way to start off the night.

The Clairvoyants

The mystical and mindblowing duo returned to the stage after being the runners-up in AGT season 11 and man, did they step up their game. Thommy had each judge secretly plan their dream date and Amelie correctly guessed each judge’s choice. Things got even more freaky when Thommy showed a video on the screen of Amelie making the prediction HOURS before the show even started.

There’s no doubt these two have worked to perfect their act from the time they became runners-up in season 11 and this proved it.

“You set the standard,” Cowell said. “This was way beyond anything we’ve seen before from you.”

Sara and Hero

The fan favorite dog act from Season 12 returned with the cutest bank robbery-themed routine. While the act was adorable, there was the sad fact that Hero may not have much time left to perform.

“He’s getting older, and this could possibly be one of his last performances,” Sara said in the video package before the performance.

The routine was funny, but it did feel a little repetitive from their past performances.

Uzeyer Novruzov

As someone who is afraid of heights, I try my best to stay away from ladders. Not this guy! Season 10’s Uzeyer Novruzov returned to the stage after last being seen falling from an extremely tall ladder. And he did the same exact trick as in Season 10 – but this time he was successful! He wowed the judges and the audience while giving us a heart attack in the process.

Novruzov’s act was thrilling and dangerous, redeeming him from his fall. I personally feel he did well enough to make it through.

Vicki Barbolak

If you’re thinking you just saw Vicki, you are correct! She was a finalist on the recently completed 13th season. She returned to her “trailer nasty” self as she joked about everything from the Kardashians’ butts to looking like a rescue dog.

As someone who loved Vicki all the way until the end of last season, she just did not do it for me tonight. She could have come up with much better material, and she should have. I was extremely disappointed with her set.

Alex Magala

The winner of Russia’s Got Talent 2014 made his debut on the American stage, making AGT his eighth stop on the Got Talent franchise. His dangerous and death-defying act has captivated audiences around the globe and he did just that once again.

The 29-year-old swallowed two different swords, one while flipping through the air. And he ended on a death-drop that was so scary the show went to commercial for dramatic effect. His performance was worthy of a place in the finals and it should have been given the golden buzzer, in my opinion.

Justice Crew

This dance crew won Australia’s Got Talent back in 2010, which set them on the course of stardom. The group has put out five top-10 singles and were looking to conquer the American version of the show.

They sang and danced to their original song, pumping up the crowd in the process. However, it looked as if their singing affected their dancing as it was not as strong as it should have been. Judge Mel B even pointed out their acrobatics weren’t up to par.

I agree with her. I’ve seen these guys on the Australian version of the show and they were ten times better. A big disappointment.

Susan Boyle

As someone who covers British television news and reality TV, I was happy to see Susan cross the Atlantic to compete on our version of the show. She was the runner-up on Britain’s Got Talent back in 2009, giving BGT worldwide headlines. Fun fact: seeing Susan on the British version is what got me into the British version of the show in the first place.

Boyle belted out The Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses” and earned a standing ovation from the audience and judges. But it was Mel B’s opinion which stood out the most.

“I just want to say what an absolute honor and pleasure it is to be sitting here and listening to you, your angelic voice. And I want to be the woman who gives you something you deserve,” she said. She then pushed her golden buzzer, sending the 57-year-old straight through to the finals.

Now I am probably in the minority here, but I don’t feel Susan’s performance was golden buzzer worthy or anything special. Then again, she is one of the biggest names in the Got Talent franchise. There is no way they’d fly her out and not have her make the finals. It was rather obvious.

Sofie Dossi

The contortionist/aerialist from Season 11 returned to the stage, and I had hoped she would knock it out of the park like she did when Reba McEntire gave her the golden buzzer a few years ago.

She performed an aerial routine to “Que Sera, Sera” which made her head spin (literally!) and probably the viewers at home too. However, I was left unimpressed with her performance and felt she could have done so much more than she did.

Preacher Lawson

The comedian from AGT’s 12th season closed the show and what a way to end the first night of competition. He performed a set that included topics ranging from being a vegan to dating a white woman as a black man. He finished his set and received the loudest ovation of the night from the crowd.

“You were great before, but tonight you were fantastic,” Cowell told him.

Lawson was so funny that I’ve watched his routine six times as of this writing. Seriously, he’s comedy gold. Mel B even mentioned that if she hadn’t already used her golden buzzer, she would have used it on him.

The Results

With Boyle already moving on to the finals, just one spot remained. Terry came back with the results and revealed that Bianca, Preacher, and Sofie had made the top three in the voting but only one could go through. Dossi came in third, leaving Bianca and Preacher as the top two. It was then revealed that Preacher Lawson was the second act to advance to the finals, joining Boyle.

The rest of the acts were sent home, but not so fast. At the end of five weeks, the judges will pick two wildcard acts to join the finals, completing the top 12. So there’s a chance we could see someone from this group again.

What did you make of the premiere? Did the right two acts go through? Be sure to tell us in the comments below!

America’s Got Talent: The Champions airs every Monday at 8/7c on NBC.

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