‘AGT’ Recap: The Semifinals Kick Off With A Surprise Twist

Jill O'Rourke
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Tuesday marked the first week of semifinals on AGT, featuring performances from fan favorites like Kodi Lee, Tyler Butler-Figueroa and Benicio Bryant. The competition is heating up, as only five of tonight’s acts will go through to the finals.


Tonight’s episode also featured the first-ever guest judge in the semifinals — Will & Grace star Sean Hayes. Check out all of the night’s performances below, and the vote for your favorites on the AGT website or by downloading the AGT app.

Ndlovu Youth Choir

This uplifting South African choir was saved from elimination in the quarterfinals. They returned to the AGT stage to perform Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love.” The performance had judges Julianne Hough and Gabrielle Union up and dancing. Gabrielle called them “the pride and joy of the world.” Simon said it was “in a way higher league” than their previous performances.

Ansley Burns

This young country singer has had several second chances after returning as a wildcard and getting the Dunkin’ Save. She chose to sing Carrie Underwood’s “Cry Pretty.” Julianne called her a “ray of sunshine,” but said the song “overpowered” her. Gabrielle called her “America’s underdog.” However, Howie Mandel said the song didn’t do her justice.


Messoudi Brothers

These acrobatic brothers returned from an injury during rehearsal and made it through the quarterfinals. Tonight, they included Julianne in their balancing act before replicating the move that caused their injury. Simon Cowell said it was an improvement over their previous performance.

Tyler Butler-Figueroa

Tonight, this young violinist performed with fellow cancer survivors and children he’s inspired. He chose to play Ariana Grande’s “Break Free,” accompanied by some awesome dance moves. Simon called him a “brilliant musician” and “great showman.” Gabrielle called his performance “truly magical.”

Greg Morton

This funny impressionist said he’s been preparing for AGT since he was a kid. Tonight, he impersonated cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny, Scooby Doo, Homer Simpson, and SpongeBob SquarePants. Simon called it “a mess,” but Julianne accused him of not knowing the voices Greg was doing. Sean called it “amazing.”


Kodi Lee

This beloved Golden Buzzer recipient returned to the AGT stage to perform “You Are the Reason” by Calum Scott. Simon praised him for putting his own unique spin on every song he covers, adding that it took his breath away. Sean said it brought tears to his eyes, and Howie called him “magic.”

Jackie Fabulous

This stand-up comic won the Dunkin’ Save last week. Tonight, she talked about her experience as an actress, her attempts to lose weight, and awkward dating conversations. Howie called her “authentic,” and Sean called her “likable.” Simon, however, questioned whether she brought enough “energy” and “confidence.”

Robert Finley

This singer-songwriter brought his soulful voice and inspiring attitude back to the stage for the semifinals. Tonight, he performed an original song called “Age Don’t Mean a Thing.” Sean said he stands out from the rest of the competition. Simon called him “so cool, so classy,” but said he wished he didn’t have the band on stage for the performance.

Eric Chien

Eric said he thought he was going home last week after a negative review from Simon. He returned with an act that brought a map of the world to life. Julianne said she was “confused” by the performance, and Simon said he didn’t have a “bloody clue” what was happening. Meanwhile, Gabrielle praised it as something they’ve “never seen before.”

Light Balance Kids

This group of young dancers from Ukraine returned to the stage with an epic light-up dance routine. Simon changed his tune from last week, calling himself an “idiot” for criticizing them and predicting they’ll go to the finals. Howie said he could imagine it being a Vegas act. Julianne, however, said she preferred their previous routines.

Benicio Bryant

This 14-year-old singer returned with another original song this week. Simon called it “pretty outstanding” and predicted he’ll make it to the finals. Julianne said he “created an entire world” with his performance. Sean said he’s “obsessed” with him, and Howie predicted he’ll be a star.

What did you think of tonight’s performances? Do you agree with the judges’ assessments? Tune in Wednesday night to find out which acts made it to the finals.

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