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5 Most Shocking Acts in 2021, According to ‘America’s Got Talent’

Jill O'Rourke

Jill O'Rourke

Trae Patton/NBC

As the year comes to an end, it’s the perfect time to look back at some of the most memorable America’s Got Talent acts from this past season. This week, the show shared an Instagram compilation of “5 Acts That STUNNED The Judges” during Season 16.


1. ‘AGT’ Winner Dustin Tavella

This year, magician Dustin Tavella was named the AGT Season 16 winner for his personal and emotional act. One of the most jaw-dropping performances from Tavella over the course of the season came during the Finals. He started by talking about his parents’ marriage, ripping up a photo and putting it back together.

Tavella had the audience write down ways they can impact others’ lives. He then had them throw the papers toward the judges, and he opened the one Simon Cowell picked up. Tavella then revealed that he already had a piece of paper which read the same thing. He then tore up the paper and turned it into confetti.

2. Gangstagrass

Gangstagrass is a band that combines bluegrass music with hip-hop. The members are from all over the country, but they were brought together by their love of music. In their audition for the show, the group performed an original song called “Bound to Ride.”


The performance featured a banjo, guitar, and fiddle, as well as a rap interlude. Gangstagrass received a standing ovation from the judges, earning four “yes” votes to move on. They returned with another original song called “All for One” in the Quarterfinals, but unfortunately they didn’t receive enough votes to move on.

SEE ALSO: WHICH ‘AMERICA’S GOT TALENT’ JUDGE ARE YOU? TAKE THIS QUIZ TO FIND OUT!

3. Keith Apicary

Season 16 contestant Keith Apicary certainly made an interesting first impression. The character, played by YouTuber Nathan Barnatt, shared his love of video games and said it inspired his passion for dancing. Before his audition, he told the judges that he’s “not a dancer,” adding, “I just like to dance.”


Keith proceeded to show off some unique moves that made the audience cheer and the judges smile. He ended the performances by falling off the stage, but he turned out to be fine. Believe it or not, the judges all voted to send him through. However, Cowell later buzzed his Quarterfinals performance, and he didn’t move on.

4. Peter Antoniou

Peter Antoniou brought his incredible mentalist act to America’s Got Talent Season 16. His audition involved finding judge Sofia Vergara’s engagement ring in a room full of jewelry boxes. He also revealed details of Vergara’s engagement that he couldn’t have known.

The judges were stunned by Antoniou’s talent. Howie Mandel called him “smooth and confident.” All four judges voted to send him through. Antoniou made it to the Semifinals of Season 16. He continued to involve the judges in his routines later on.

5. Kevin Micoud

Another mentalist act that wowed the AGT judges was Kevin Micoud, from France. Micoud used holographic technology to take his act to the next level. He projected a brain on stage to delve into host Terry Crews’ thoughts. This visual aspect added a whole new layer to an already mind-bending performance.

Micoud had judges Sofia Vergara and Heidi Klum choose photos of past contestants, and then he sent that information to Crews’ mind. Crews correctly identified both of the acts the judges had chosen. The panel voted to send Micoud through, but unfortunately he didn’t make it to the Quarterfinals after judges’ deliberations.

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About the Author

Jill O'Rourke
Jill O’Rourke is a contributor at Talent Recap, writing news stories and recaps for shows like ‘AGT,’ ‘The Voice,’ and ‘American Idol.’ She graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and Film Studies, and has been writing about pop culture since 2012, with previous bylines at Crushable and A Plus. Jill spends her free time binge-watching sitcoms and daydreaming about life as a hobbit

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