‘AGT’ Recap: Simon Cowell Hits Golden Buzzer for Talented Young Singer

Jill O'Rourke
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Sara James AGT Season 17Trae Patton/NBC

America’s Got Talent returned on Tuesday night with the strongest episode of Season 17 so far. The night featured several unique and jaw-dropping acts, as well as a Golden Buzzer from judge Simon Cowell for 13-year-old Polish singer Sara James.

Notably, judge Howie Mandel was absent from the judging panel for part of the show. Host Terry Crews said he wasn’t feeling well, and that the rules had been adjusted to let acts through with two “yes” votes. It’s possible this portion was filmed when Mandel had Covid-19 earlier this year.

Simon Cowell Hits AGT Golden Buzzer for Sara James

Halfway through this week’s episode, a singer named Sara James took the stage for her audition. She shared that she was from a small town in Poland. Sara went on to sing “Lovely” by Billie Eilish. The judges were blown away by her talent, and they couldn’t believe she was so young.

Cowell told Sara she has a “star glow,” and he asked if this was her first time in America. She said it was, and he reminisced about his own first time in the country. He said it was a moment he would never forget, and he wanted her to have the same.

Cowell hit the Golden Buzzer for Sara, sending her straight to the live shows for Season 17. Just like last week, the show took us by surprise by putting the Golden Buzzer in the middle of the show instead of at the end, where we’ve come to expect it.

The Bella Twins Prank Simon Cowell

One audition from this week’s episode that shouldn’t be taken seriously came from Nikki and Brie Bella, who pranked Cowell and the other judges with a staged, incognito audition. They introduced themselves as a dance act called Duo Rag Dolls.

The sisters went on to perform an unusual routine set to “Toxic” by Britney Spears. All four judges ended up hitting their red buzzers for the act. Afterward, the two of them started bickering about how it went, and it eventually turned into an all-out brawl on stage.

They shoved each other and hit each other with objects before leaping off the stage. Eventually they revealed themselves and shared that they wanted to prank Cowell. (Nikki sat with him on the panel of AGT: Extreme earlier this year.) Cowell gave them a “yes” vote, but we don’t expect to see them again, at least not looking quite the same.

This week’s episode was full of unique acts that wowed the judges. The show kicked off with a performance from the Brown Brothers, who combined impressions with music. Ever wanted to hear Kermit the Frog singing “Tiny Dancer”? They’ve got you covered.

Another highlight of the night was Blade 2 Blade, an incredible knife-throwing act that had the judges gasping. After their audition, they even brought Cowell on stage to throw knives past him, managing to miss him every time. Mandel joked that it was safer than Cowell riding a bike.

Other great acts included ventriloquist Jack Williams, Ukrainian contortion couple Oleksandr and Aurélie Yenivatov, and Filipino dance group Urbancrew. The award for most surprising act of the night definitely goes to 10-year-old heavy metal singer Harper.

Hopefully this streak of amazing and unexpected auditions continues next week, when America’s Got Talent Season 17 returns Tuesday night on NBC.

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