‘America’s Got Talent’ Season 14 premiere recap: New judges, a new host, and one emotional audition

America’s Got Talent returned for its 14th season on Tuesday night and it brought two new judges, a new host, and a golden buzzer-worthy audition that has the entire country talking.

In case you missed it, here are some of the best and worst acts from the Season 14 premiere.

The Best

Kodi Lee

The 22-year-old from California was easily one of the top acts of night, and most definitely the most emotional. Kodi is both autistic and blind but that doesn’t stop him from being an outstanding piano player and singer. His performance not only surprised the judges but had judge Julianne Hough in tears.

Gabrielle Union was so moved by his performance that she hit her golden buzzer, sending Kodi straight into the live shows later this summer. In my 14 seasons of watching AGT, this was one of the few times I was nearly brought to tears by a performance. Kodi is the real deal.

Eric Chien

The 26-year-old magician from Texas was a standout act, despite being one of the first acts of the show. His act uses many of the same tricks that Season 13 winner Shin Lim did but the way Eric presented it was much more unique.

Despite his act standing out in the audition round, I feel his act is too close to Lim’s and will likely draw comparisons from fans. He needs to establish how he is different or he may not make it past the next round.


I normally don’t like these type of acts, but this guy brought the house down. He performed “She’s A Lady” and was so talented yet funny at the same time. His ‘exits’ only to return had me laughing a lot as I watched.

Obviously, he won’t get past the next round in my opinion but it was a very rare gem to find this early on.

The Worst


The worst of the night was easily ‘Monkey’, who was a dancer. He was not impressive at all and ended up showing his backside, leaving the judges hitting their buzzers and host Terry Crews confused as to what he saw.

Episode Notes:

  • The new judges seemed to lack chemistry but then again, it is only one episode. Julianne Hough seems to be fitting in quite nicely and may be one of my favorite judges ever already.
  • Terry Crews is going to be a great host, possibly right up there with Nick Cannon.
  • The premiere debuted 9.7 million viewers, making it the lowest-rated premiere ever. It won the night for NBC and due to severe weather in some states, I’d be surprised if that number did not rise in the weeks to come.

What did you think of the premiere? Let me know in the comments below!

America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC.

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