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'America's Got Talent' recap: Judges astonished by talent and left baffled over which act should win


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/20/2017 

America's Got Talent judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Melanie "Mel B" Brown were so blown away by about half the talent in Tuesday night's finale that they told multiple acts they could or should win Season 12.

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For starters, Preacher Lawson, a 26-year-old comedian, had the audience in a fit of laughter with his stand-up routine.

Howie said that Preacher represents absolutely everything that inspires him about comedy because he's Richard Pryor when it comes to "speaking his truth," Charlie Chaplin with the "physicality" of his performance and Eddie Murphy when it comes to his charisma. Howie thinks he's a superstar.

"If I was home, I would love to see a comedian win AGT this year. I know what it takes to come up with [the material] you came up with. I love you and I think America should love you, and I think you should win this," Howie admitted about halfway through the performance show.

Mel B. added that her cheeks were killing her from laughing so much, his energy is "always on fire," and she could watch Preacher "do comedy all night long."

Simon additionally revealed the performance was going to change Preacher's life because people will remember him and some TV show or movie should snatch him up within eight weeks or the judge would eat his own hand.

Heidi enjoyed the stand-up routine, however, she told Preacher that she didn't love his material since it had a lot to do with drugs. 

Darci Lynne, a 12-year-old singing ventriloquist, sang a song with a male and female puppet, and Mel B. said the performance was "hands down incredible, incredible, incredible!" Being a self-taught ventriloquist at age 12 who is both professional and poised, Mel B. gushed about how she "could win this."

Heidi agreed there is a "special something" about Darci and "she might have just won herself a million dollars right there." Simon said Darci can appeal to all ages and he just "witnessed a star emerge" on the stage.

"You are special, incredible, funny, talented -- and I think you're going to win," Simon noted, before Howie told the contestant she reminded him of why he got involved with the entertainment industry to begin with.

Mandy Harvey, a 29-year-old deaf singer and songwriter, was another standout of the night.

Simon reminded the audience how Mandy had lost her hearing 10 years ago but has the musical stylings of Taylor Swift or Adele, whom the contestant has never even heard before. Simon was shocked how relevant and current Mandy's sound is considering she has no one to copy.

"Now I'm thinking you can win and you deserve to win," Simon said, before Mel B. told the artist that her pitch is always perfect and her voice is beautiful.

Light Balance, a glowing dance crew, also wowed the judges with their original dance.

"This is like the Super Bowl. Right when you think someone's won it, it changes in the last 10 minutes," Simon quipped, referencing how Light Balance was the act who closed the show last night.

Heidi called the crew "perfection" and insisted they "should be in Vegas already." Mel B. added that it was their best performance to date and they "left everything on that dance floor." Howie agreed the performance was "magic" and "amazing."

Angelica Hale, a 9-year-old powerhouse singer, sang "Symphony" by Clean Bandit featuring Zara Larsson. Heidi called her a "giant" despite being such a tiny, young girl and said she's "the best singer we have in the entire competition."

Howie believed that Angelica was "in it to win it" and her performance would've been a fantastic way to close the show, nevermind open the show since she was the first contestant to take the stage last night.

Mel B. was impressed by how comfortable, confident and controlled Angelica was onstage, and Simon admitted he was "gobsmacked" by her vocals and ability to make her performances "relevant and cool."

And just because the judges didn't tell the other acts they could or should win the competition doesn't mean they were any less astounding.

Sara Carson, a 22-year-old dog trainer and her five-year-old dog Hero, was "honestly incredible," according to Simon, who added that the act was "stunning" and would've been amazing even if humans performed the routine. The judge was left speechless.

Chase Goehring, a 21-year-old singer/rapper and songwriter, always performs original songs on the show, and Heidi was convinced people will hear him on the radio very soon. Simon gushed, "I bloody loved it," saying that Chase is "brilliant" and without him there is "no future" for the music industry since he represents the next generation.

Kechi Okwuchi, a singer who survived a fiery airplane crash, sang "Conquerer" by Estelle, and Simon commented after the performance, "I just love you, everything about you."

Simon said that Kechi made a difference on this show, and he hopes she will become an artist -- not a contestant -- in the real world after all of this is said and done. Mel B. added that Kechi is adored, respected and loved by all.

Diavolo, an acrobatic dance group, had Mel B. yelling "oh my gosh" by the end of their exciting spectacle onstage.

Mel B. called the crew "extraordinary" and said they went above and beyond in the finals, as they are "collectively a powerful force" with "dangerous and amazing" moves. Simon explained watching the group is like looking inside a watch because their precision is on point.

And Evie Clair, a 13-year-old singer who sadly just lost her beloved father to cancer, performed a soft rendition of "What a Wonderful World."

Howie called her voice and song "the light at the end of the tunnel," and Mel B. said her vocals were "pure and raw." Heidi commented how Evie is a brave young lady, while Simon added that he respects her and views her as very strong. Simon was proud and said Evie gave herself a shot to win the season.



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