‘America’s Got Talent’ Premiere Recap: New Season, New Judges, New Talent – Oh My!

Julia Delbel | Talent Recap

America’s Got Talent is back for Season 14, but there have been a few cast changes between last summer and this one. After a successful run as host of AGT Champions Terry Crews is back for more. Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough are our new judges, taking over the two middle seats in the table. But of course, we do have a couple familiar faces back. This is Simon Cowell’s fourth season judging the show, and, as I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot this season, it’s Howie Mandel’s tenth year occupying his chair!

Impressionist Greg Morton performed a one-man highlight reel of Star Wars with just his voice, his jacket, and a microphone. He not only provided the voices for the characters, but did the sound effects too and also provided a couple of funny visual aids. The audience went crazy for it and the judges gave him four yeses.

Eric Chien is a card magician who was very nervous about being compared to last year’s champion, Shin Lim. He didn’t need to be too concerned, though, because his act was very much its own thing and he had great presentation skills. We don’t want to give too much away because you should really experience this act for yourself, but the judges were blown away and he was sent forward with four yeses.

Sophie Pecora performed an original song called “Seventh Grade” about her experiences at school. Her singing was pretty decent, but the rapping part seemed a bit off and not quite as polished as it should have been, though I guess there is an argument to be made that it made it seem more “raw” and “real”. The judges all complimented her and she got four yeses.

Patrizio Ratto came all the way from Italy to show us his skills on the piano…and the dance floor! He moved like he was possessed by the music, and the judges’s eyes bugged out of their heads. They were all impressed and he made it through with unanimous yeses.

New judge Julianne was hesitant to hit the (red) buzzer for acts at first, but, as this funny montage showed us, she got used to it eventually!

Indian dance crew V. Unbeatable delivered an amazing routine that blew everyone in the auditorium away! They got four yeses and we think they could very well prove to be contenders for the win.

Jackie Fabulous is a lawyer-turned-stand-up comedian whose family didn’t approve of her career change. She did a great set that Howie hoped won them over, and Simon even went onstage and gave her a kiss! She got unanimous yeses from the judges.

Gingzilla is the drag queen product of all the bullying and hate her performer was on the receiving end of as a child. Her rendition of “She’s a Lady” (including the several “encores”) had everyone on her feet, and the judges gave unanimous yeses.

The Human Fuse is our first danger act of the season, and his audition consisted of being lit on fire and shooting himself out of a crossbow. The judges were wowed and gave him four yeses, though Simon told him he wanted to see him jump over something that “could eat him” next time.

The last act of the premiere was singer and pianist Kodi Lee, who is blind and has autism. His has an incredible voice which was well-suited to the soulful song he performed. Julianne was moved to tears, but it was Gabrielle who hit the Golden Buzzer, guaranteeing Kodi a place in the quarter-finals!

This was a very strong premiere with lots of great acts, and we’d bet on seeing a few of them in the finals at the end of the season. It was also great that they gave us some time to get to know Gabrielle and Julianne, who are doing great as judges so far! Season premieres tend to be stacked with some of the best material, but we hope subsequent audition episodes are on a similar level to this, because we’re digging this season so far!

What was your favorite moment from tonight’s premiere? Let us know in the comments below!


Julia Delbel
Julia Delbel

Julia is a writer at Talent Recap and hails from the Greater Toronto Area. She is currently pursuing a degree in Media Studies. When not sharing her latest reality TV hot takes she's likely enjoying a game night with friends, collecting enamel pins, or spending time with her cat, Zoey.

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