“America’s Got Talent” reaches the end of the quarterfinal stage with the third live show of the summer on August 24. As with the first two quarterfinals, this one showcases a dozen acts (including the Wild Card) who will perform for America’s votes. While judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Sofia Vergara can still give an act the red buzzer, the real power is in the hands of the home audience, who will vote overnight for their favorites.
On the August 24 quarterfinal of “AGT,” the line-up is led off by two Golden Buzzer acts — host Terry Crews‘ pick, World Taekwondo Demonstration Team Martial Arts Group, and Heidi’s choice, quick-change artist Lea Kyle. Also in the hunt are a pair of solo singers, Anica and Brooke Simpson, dancer Keith Apicary, dance group ChapKidz, the band The Curtis Family C-Notes, magician Klek Entos , acrobatic trio Rialcris, the group UniCircle Flow, and voice artist Michael Winslow.
SEE Where are the first 15 ‘America’s Got Talent’ winners now: Find out what happened to your favorites
Below, follow along as we recap all the action on “America’s Got Talent” Season 16 Episode 13 in our minute-by-minute blog.
8:02 p.m. – Tonight’s performances will help determine which seven acts advance to next week’s semifinals. But with Nightbirde exiting the competition only 11 were set. America has been voting on which act from the auditions should join them to be the 12 quarterfinalist, and so Terry began the show with the announcement that it’s Storm Large as America’s wild card!
8:04 p.m. – The first act to perform for the evening was UniCircle Flow. Dressed in red, they created a beautiful image on stage as they moved in sync on their unicycles in one of the most unique dance performances the show’s ever had. Their movement was so smooth that it seemed like they were from another planet and the wheels were part of their limbs. The judges all raised for a standing ovation with Howie opening critiques with a “wow.” He mentioned that there were some slip-ups, but that they managed to get back in synch was a testament to their strength as a group. Sofia called their act mesmerizing and surprising and Simon backed the rest of the panel up by saying it was exciting, difficult and unique.
8:12 p.m. – Next up was rock singer Anica taking on the Bishop Briggs song “River.” Anica was able to turn the volume up on an already booming soul song by adding her rock band flare to it and in turn making it very much her own. On her feet, Heidi called Anica one of her favorites in the competition for her “Janis Joplin vibes” and says she gives her goosebumps. Howie liked that she delivered on female rock-n-roll, Sofia liked this performance more than her first audition and thinks the audience will vote for her, and Simon also thought it was better, but did not like the pre-performance package about her being a realtor because it seemed too fake and didn’t show enough about why the show matters to her.
8:24 p.m. – Heidi’s Golden Buzzer act, quick-change artist Lea Kyle, was up next for another round of swift fashion switch-ups. Once again she did more than just tear-away outfits and instead managed to incorporate what looked like magic into the act of changing her garments. Unfortunately the energy seemed a little down this time. Heidi obviously supported the performance, calling it vibrant and noting that she heard the audience screaming in delight. Despite a glance during the performance of Sofia looking bored, she said she loved it, but Simon at least said that her original audition was better even though he couldn’t put a finger on why this one didn’t hit the mark.
8:34 p.m. – Next up was TheCurtis Family C-Notes, the seven member family and band of instrumentalists from San Francisco. Tonight their brightly colored costumes served an entire platter of 70s fun and production was even kind enough to edit the performance as the classic music shows of that era would have been. While Heidi and Sofia were enjoying the energy of their rendition of “Love Train,” Howie had the biggest look of confusion on his face and didn’t even clap for them at the end. He started off remarks by saying they seem like a cover band that would be at weddings. Simon was a tad bit more positive, but suggested that they pick a song that would strike a more current note next time. Heidi and Sofia completely disagreed and said they enjoy their family togetherness and they’re perfect for the show, but Sofia was more hesitant about the prospect of them making it in Vegas.
8:43 p.m. – Keith Apicary was one of the more surprising additions to the live shows with four yes votes from the judges, and he knew going into the quarterfinals that he’d need a “game changer” in order to keep it going to the semis. He began the performance in a fake guillotine, spoofing the danger acts we often see on the show, before “partying” to his own original song. Though he seemed to be laughing his butt off at the dais, Simon hit his red buzzer as confetti dropped from the rafters all over a dancing Sofia and Heidi. Howie said that his goofiness is really funny and that his talent is making people smile no matter what. Heidi said she’s not sure what the talent is, but that it’s really good tonight and that he makes her smile. Sofia acknowledged that she doesn’t know if he’ll make it anywhere with his act, but she thinks he’s amazing. Simon mentioned that maybe they said yes to him on a day of auditions where everyone else was terrible and that this would never work in Vegas.
8:53 p.m. – For his voice work tonight, Michael Winslow took Hollywood Blvd. as inspiration. He recreated crosswalk beeps, traffic sounds like the revving of engines and motorcycles, and emergency sirens. He also incorporated the sound of animals, like ducks and stunningly a horse stampede from both close and far range as if it were passing in the distance. He ended with what seemed like crowd favorites: chicken sizzling on a grill, light sabers and Simon’s dogs. Sofia claimed that his talent can’t even be possible and said it’s clear he’s worked so hard. Simon thought it seemed like a night of high nerves and that he didn’t improve on his audition, so he gave him an opportunity to express what the competition means to him. Howie pitched his talent really strongly and urged people to vote for Michael.
9:07 p.m. – For her follow-up performance, singer Brooke Simpson took on the Billie Eilish single “Lost Cause.” Smart of her to take on something so current and inject her own style into it with an intimate, but powerful stage performance. After a string of mixed feelings, the panel finally united around this performance in a standing ovation. Sofia said her confidence made this an elevated performance from her first one and that she has a good chance of winning the show. Simon agreed and called it the best performance of the night, feeling that it was genuine to her and that she clearly made all her own choices. Heidi echoed what they all said and also appreciates what she stands for in representing her native community back home.
9:16 p.m. – The Colombian brothers of Rialcris come to AGT with the spirit of their mother in mind, determined to take their strength act to the top. Tonight they showed that strength through acrobatic lifts and balancing tricks using the most uncommon areas of the body as connection points (like handstands on the ankles of another). In one of the more impressive moves, one brother did a backflip into a handstand in the hands of another and from there they repositioned themselves into a tower of handstands. It was another hit across the board for the judges, starting with Sofia who said it started really well and kept getting better. Simon was happy that the production was really good and said that finally the night was looking like an actual competition.
9:26 p.m. – Hoping to be the first dance group to win the show, ChapKidz was called one of the best groups of the season by Simon after their first audition. Tonight they used the stage to full effect, creating levels with their choreo by starting on a stage and showing off their amazing synchronicity with expert tutting moves. Heidi called their ability to remain in unison incredible and said that they think about the complete stage in 360 vision with their formations. Sofia said that it’s difficult to have so many people on stage at once and to accomplish what they do. Simon called them “sensational” and that they’re the best act of the night “by a mile.”
9:35 p.m. – Granted her second chance by the public, Storm Large returned for the quarterfinals with a plan to “level up” with her own take on the 80s hit “Take on Me” by a-ha. Turning the song into a power ballad was a truly inspired choice on her part and certainly lived up to the promise of leveling up in order to catch the voters’ attention. As the only judge to stand and clap for her, Heidi called her a “force of nature” and expressed thanks that they get to hear her incredible voice again. Sofia called her a perfect package, but thought her first song made her voice sound different and that this time it wasn’t better. Simon agreed with Sofia, saying that the “rawness” from the first audition was lost this time in the softness of tonight. Howie didn’t think it was a strong choice of song.
9:43 p.m. – Shrouded scary magician Klek Entos was up next with his spooky tricks alongside Terry and Sofia as assistants. Simon was not buying what Klek was selling in the setup and quickly hit his X buzzer. Indeed, the storytelling of the ghost story in this performance was convoluted and dragged out. Simon defended his buzzer by saying that “it took a long time to get there” like waiting too long for a coffee and the story didn’t have a good ending. Howie disagreed, saying that it was worth waiting for because it was like a horror film mixed with Darci Lynne Farmer. Heidi called it strange and freaky and thinks that people enjoy being scared. As part of the act, Sofia acknowledged that the beginning was bumpy but that eventually it got going and was exciting.
9:55 p.m. – The final act of the night and the round was the 24-member World Taekwondo Demonstration Team. They closed the show with their choreographed martial arts performance showing their acrobatic skills in jumping and fighting formations. Their showcase was exactly the kind of thing you’d see in Vegas or Disneyland that can inspire young people to take up martial arts in their own life. Sofia said that they’re amazing and America will go crazy for them. Heidi called it “controlled chaos” and Howie closed it up by saying that their mixture of dance, strength and a great message is like a Marvel film as a musical. He also said it was the best act of the night.