Analysing The ‘AGT’ Judge Cuts Preview

Julia Delbel
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AGT Season 13 auditions are over, and now it’s time for the next phase of the road to reality TV glory – the nerve-wracking Judge Cuts.

At the end of Wednesday’s “Best Of Auditions” episode, we got a preview of what’s in store for us in these next four weeks. You can watch it below, then read on for a close analysis of the clips and clues shown in the video. (WARNING: possible spoilers abound!)


Familiar Faces

Plenty of acts we saw audition earlier in the season are back for this round, including Shin Lim, Oscar & Pam, and La Fontaine Umane. I’d dismissed the latter of as one of those joke acts used as fodder in Judge Cuts, but it looks as though they might be taking their act to a whole new level this time. Look at the 0:27 mark in the video; is that…fire?

The Golden Buzzer


Like the most recent three seasons, this summer’s Judge Cuts will span four episodes, each featuring a celebrity guest judge. The Golden Buzzer will remain in play for this round, but this time only the guest judge of the week will be able to use, allowing one act to immediately advance to the quarter-finals.

What’s interesting to note here is the promo builds up the energy from the beginning, which culminates in a few brief flashes of singing acts starting at 0:28 in the video (including Sophie Fatu, whose audition was aired) right before a lingering shot on the Golden Buzzer at 0:30.

While I’m not saying these specific acts will receive the coveted GB, it sort of seems the preview is implying singers are the most “worthy” of it. Maybe I’m just reading too far into this, but when nearly all of the Golden Buzzers from this season and the previous two have gone to solo singers, I don’t think it’s that much of stretch to predict we’ll see more in this upcoming round (no matter how repetitive the trend may be getting).

Moving Forward

At the end of each Judge Cuts episode, the guest judge and audience depart, leaving the panel to deliver the news of which acts will advance to the live shows to the contestants. There is a brief montage of clips from these segments in the promo, and it looks like it may have revealed some of the acts we’ll be seeing more of come August.

Some of the clips shown are probably misleading, but paying close attention to the ones with red lights in the background (which seems to be the lighting set-up for the “final judgement” portions of the episodes) at the 0:56 spot, there is a brief slow-motion shot of Mochi smiling and seemingly pumping his fists in victory, followed immediately by one of Vicki Barbolak overcome with emotion of which I assume is also positive.

A Dangerous Slip-Up?

The main thing everyone seems to be talking about in regards to this preview is the bit at the end featuring trapeze act Duo Transcend starting at the 0:59 point. We can clearly see there is a lot of fire incorporated into their Judge Cuts routine, which makes it extra scary when Tyce – who is blindfolded – in unable to catch Mary during a transition.

Of course, many people are assuming the act went horribly wrong, and it very well could have. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time a dangerous AGT performance had gone south. However, there are a few other possibilities here I think a lot of people are overlooking. Sometimes the show will feature footage of a dress rehearsal mishap during a pre-performance package. The drop could also have been done as an intentional part of the act to scare those watching into thinking it was an accident as part of a bait-and-switch (which has pretty much become an AGT cliche at this point, so I’m a little surprised more people don’t seem to be subscribing to this theory).

Whatever the case may be, I hope Mary ended up okay. (I do hope it was one of my alternative scenarios, though; I would love to see a trapeze act go far this season!)

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