‘America’s Got Talent’ recap: Which acts survived the first round of Judge Cuts?

With auditions over on America’s Got Talent, things got much more serious as the first round of Judge Cuts took place. 18 acts fought for the first seven spots in this year’s live shows.

Joining the judge’s this week as a special guest judge was country music artist Brad Paisley, who had the power to send one act straight to the live shows with the Golden Buzzer.

In case you missed it, here is a recap of all 18 performances as well as the results.

Lucas and Falco

The dog trainer was the first act of the night along with his adorable four-legged friend Falco. They performed a cute routine to “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman, which happens to be judge Simon Cowell’s favorite movie. This act was interesting to me as it looked like Lucas did more tricks than Falco. But I thought the scale of this performance was much better than the original audition.

The Orange Magician

The quirky magic act’s audition was only seen in a montage, so this was everyone’s first time truly seeing his act. It basically was just a quick change act that AGT fans have seen on this show many, many times. Was it a good act? Yes. But in my opinion, I don’t think he should be going though to the next round.


The beatboxing group from France got the crowd at Universal Studios on their feet and dancing with a performance that sounded like something you’d hear out at the club on Saturday night. This performance made me smile and it was very surprising to see how much they improved from their original audition.

Emerald Belles

This dance group, which hails from my home state of Texas, had some work to do to impress the judges, particularly Howie Mandel. They performed a routine to Britney Spears’ “Work Bitch”, and in my opinion, they should be in the running for a live show spot. However, Howie and Julianne Hough seemed to think differently, saying it was not good enough and felt more like a high school performance.

The Sentimentalists

The mind reading duo returned and really stepped up their performance from the audition. They used guest judge Brad Paisley in an act that was truly spooky. Now, I don’t think this duo is as good as The Clairvoyants from Season 11. Howie seemed to agree, saying that he did not think it was enough to advance.

Duo Togni

The aerial act truly defied the odds as they put their lives on the line, hoping it was enough to advance. The routine included holding each other by the other’s hair. Howie was lifted into the air following the act’s performance as well, which was pretty funny to see.

Sophie Pecora

The 15-year-old performed what could be described as a sequel to her audition song about being bullied in school. It felt like a repeat of her audition performance and I was not too impressed. I can’t help but feel she only got through because of her message rather than her talent. But Brad loved it and hit his Golden Buzzer, sending Sophie straight to the live shows.

Matthew Richardson

The acrobatic act dedicated his performance to his late father, who passed away from cancer. To make this routine even more emotional, he had audio of his father playing in the background as he performed. It was one of my favorite performances of the night by far and I feel he has a very good chance of moving forward.

Chris Klafford

One of my favorite acts of the night was easily singer Chris Klafford. He performed an original song, but as he sang it, I felt like I had been listening to it for years. He just has a voice that makes you stop what you’re doing and listen.

Messoudi Brothers

The brothers had a difficult time traveling to their audition, but you never would have known it from their performance. The brothers twisted their bodies and even brought out their father to help out with their truly cringeworthy yet amazing performance. It just screamed Vegas act and it would surprise me if they did not reach live shows.

Ndlovu Youth Choir

The final act of the night was the youth choir from Africa. They performed to Shakira’s “Waka Waka” and it brought the house down. It had a message of love, unity, and hope, something we could use more of in the world today. For that reason alone, this act had my attention.

The Results

After all 18 acts performed, the judges deliberated on which acts should go through into the live shows. They would decide that Ndlovu Youth Choir, Emerald Belles, Berywam, Lukas & Falco, Messoudi Brothers, and Chris Klafford would join Brad Paisley’s Golden Buzzer choice Sophie Percora as the first seven acts to advance into the live shows.

What did you think of the first round of judge cuts? Let me know in the comments below!

America’s Got Talent continues next Tuesday at 8/7c on NBC with the second round of Judge Cuts with guest judge Dwyane Wade.

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