Talent Recap

‘America’s Got Talent’ Announces Acts Performing in the First Season 16 Live Show

Jimmie HerrodTrae Patton/NBC

Reading Time: 6 minutes

In a since-deleted Instagram post, America’s Got Talent announced the first 12 contestants that will be performing at the very first live show for Season 16. The August 10 episode will feature one Golden Buzzer act and a bunch of other early standouts. The excitement is real for these acts to perform for the first time at the Dolby Theatre.

There are 36 contestants including the Golden Buzzers that will be performing in the live shows. Initially, we assumed there would be 42 contestants competing in the live shows. However, it looks like there are three Quarterfinals episodes with 12 acts in each. This is a much smaller group than the 44 acts that advanced to the live shows last season. Considering that AGT did away with Judge Cuts this year, Season 16 is anything but traditional.

Seven acts from each Quarterfinal episode will be voted through by America to advance to the Semifinals. This year, Dunkin’ has been replaced by Sonic as the sponsor of the show. This likely means the Dunkin’ Save is no longer a part of the results shows moving forward. The judges will, however, choose one wildcard contestant to join the Top 22. These contestants will then battle for a spot in the finale, which will take place on September 15.

Meet the 12 Contestants Performing in the First ‘AGT’ Live Show

1. Jimmie Herrod

Sofia Vergara’s Golden Buzzer Jimmie Herrod seriously impressed the judges during his audition. His rendition of “Tomorrow” from Annie was bone-chilling. Simon Cowell wasn’t initially a fan of the song choice but was proven wrong. At the time of his audition, Jimmie was teaching kids music online. He has been singing and touring with the band Pink Martini over the past few years, but AGT could be his big break.


2. Madilyn Bailey

YouTuber Madilyn Bailey has over 8 million subscribers that love her unique voice. With that comes the unnecessary hate comments from trolls that she often turns into songs. She performed a hate comment song for her audition. Heidi Klum wasn’t the biggest fan of her act but decided to give her a second chance. Madilyn could perform another hate comment song in the live shows or one of her amazing originals if she wants to go for a shock factor.


3. Canine Stars

The Canine Stars are one of the shining dog acts from the auditions. The adorable dogs imitated the judges and Terry Crews in a skit for their audition. It will be interesting to see how they raise the bar with their traditional take on a dog act. Cowell is always a sucker for dog acts and this one is no exception. This group supports and promotes rescue and adoption, a great message for America to be inspired by. They are a stunt dog show featuring dogs and trainers from all over the world. Fully expect them to bring on more stunts in the next performance.


4. Gina Brillon

New York native Gina Brillon is an absolutely hilarious comedian who makes her routines very relatable. She has been pursuing comedy since she was a teenager and it really shows with how comfortable she is on stage. Her talents aren’t limited to just comedy. She’s also a singer, actor, and poet, and could incorporate all of those skills into her Quarterfinals performance.


5. Peter Rosalita

Filipino singer Peter Rosalita blew the roof off of the auditions with his cover of “All By Myself.” His performance even caught the attention of Celine Dion’s team who applauded him in a tweet. Peter couldn’t spill too many details about his next performance when we interviewed him, but he does have a fantastic energy. The 10-year-old singer based in Abu Dhabi has a massive voice ready to fill the Dolby Theatre. He’s already a local star after showcasing his singing talents in competitions from the age of 6 years old.


6. 1aChord

Singing trio 1aChord met only a month and a half before their AGT audition. They are all students at UNC Greensboro in North Carolina and bonded over loving similar musical artists. Their performance of “Fix You” by Coldplay had pitch-perfect harmonies. For their next performance, 1aChord will definitely be pulling out all of the stops performing a song from an artist they love. Hearing them sing a Whitney Houston song would be epic.


7. Gangstagrass

Gangstagrass is the ultimate fusion of bluegrass and hip-hop. They performed their original song, “Bound To Ride” for their audition. The group received a standing ovation from the judges because the singing and rapping combo was so unexpected. Their 2020 album, No Time for Enemies landed in the top spot on the Billboard Bluegrass chart. You know they are going to be coming to the Quarterfinals with some special tricks up their sleeve after achieving so much success.


8. Kabir Singh

AGT is giving us two fantastic comedians in this lineup! Kabir Singh shared his emotional story about his father passing away very early on in his comedy career. He has been financially supporting his mom through comedy and has been struggling for the last year. AGT could seriously change his life forever. Kabir has his eyes on the $1 million prize and hopes to be the first stand-up comedian to win the show. His audition featured hilarious bits about serial killers which has become a fan-favorite Netflix show topic during quarantine.


9. Beyond Belief Dance Company

Beyond Belief Dance Company is led by RuPaul’s Drag Race star Alyssa Edwards. They brought a fun energy during their fast-paced dance audition. Alyssa even joined them up on stage to greet the judges. The group was featured on the Netflix show Dancing Queen. To win AGT, they have to pump up their routines and add production behind it to make it stand out even more. It’s time that we see a hard-hitting dance group win AGT and we can’t wait to see Alyssa is by their side during the live shows.


10. Sethward

Finally, Sethward has reached the live shows after years of failed auditions. He even managed to get a “yes” from Cowell this time around dressed as a peacock. In an exclusive interview with Talent Recap, he revealed that he makes all of his costumes and has many more tricks up his sleeve. He has tons of performing experience on other Got Talent shows and multiple appearances on The Gong Show. Nothing compares to the excitement he gets from performing on AGT.


11. Matt Johnson

Matt Johnson is an escape artist who first scared everyone with his act on Britain’s Got Talent. He nearly sawed himself in half during his audition this time around. Matt always brings the danger factor into everything he does. After a stint on The World’s Best, he was invited to perform on The Late Late Show with James Corden. Matt posted an exclusive look at a recent shopping trip at things he might be using for his next performance. He purchased a massive chain and we are all scared to see another underwater trick.


12. Dustin Tavella

There was not a dry eye in the house for singer turned magician Dustin Tavella during his AGT audition. He performed a magic routine dedicated to the day he and his wife adopted their son Xander. Since the audition, Dustin was able to reunite Xander with his biological brother. He hopes that winning $1 million would allow him to open his home to more children and mentor youth. Expect his next performance to have a sentimental message and share more of his story about becoming a family.

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