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'America's Got Talent' wraps "Judge Cuts" round, sends 7 more acts to live shows including Johnny Manuel and Kechi Okwuchi


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/09/2017 

America's Got Talent judges Heidi Klum, Melanie "Mel B" Brown, Howie Mandel, and Simon Cowell advanced seven of 20 acts to Season 12's live shows during Tuesday night's broadcast on NBC.

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The "Judge Cuts" round concluded last night with 20 acts taking the stage one at a time and the judges making some extremely difficult elimination decisions.

AGT's judges were joined by guest judge Seal, a singer who had the power to automatically advance one act without deliberation via the "Golden Buzzer."

Seal hit the "Golden Buzzer" for Johnny Manuel, a 32-year-old singer. After Simon expressed how he was annoyed by Johnny's song choice of a Stevie Wonder hit, the contestant performed Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing," and Mel B called it "incredible."

Seal said Johnny's voice is undeniable and he can hit notes that the guest judge couldn't even dream about.

Seal loved his rendition of the Whitney song and was impressed by his resilience and confidence when Simon demanded he sing a different song right on the spot. Seal explained that Johnny took advantage of an opportunity that was knocking on his door and it's rare to see talent like that nowadays.

The six other acts the judges selected to advance to the live shows were Artyon and Paige, a child dance duo; In The Stairwell, a male a cappella group; DaNell Dayton & Greater Works gospel choir; Pompeyo Family Dogs; Merrill Hanna, a 12-year-old robotic dancer; and Kechi Okwuchi, a 27-year-old singer who had survived a plane crash.  

The judges weren't thrilled with the level of talent last night, as Simon actually pressed his red buzzer multiple times for different acts.

However, the singers, such as Kechi, stole the judging panel's heart, as well as Artyon and Paige, who reminded Heidi and Seal of a younger version of themselves.
 
The results unfortunately sent 13 talented acts packing -- including Will Tsai, a 33-year-old magician; Britt Saasen, a 21-year-old singer; Henry Richardson, a 15-year-old magician; Elena and Sasha, an adult acrobat duo and strength act; Lost Legends, a theatrical fencing group; Nick Uhas, a 32-year-old science-experiment enthusiast; and Veronica Gonzalez, a 42-year-old puppeteer.

Other acts that were eliminated are Sirqus Alfon, a musical trio; Maria Popazova, a 27-year-old contortionist; Maxim Popazov, a 33-year-old acrobat and balancer; Herman Cornejo Dance Company; and The Honeybee-z, a group of female dancers.


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