In a round called "Judge Cuts," 20 acts took the stage one at a time and the judges had to make some extremely difficult elimination decisions. AGT's judges were joined by guest judge Ne-Yo, who had the power to automatically advance one act without deliberation via the "Golden Buzzer."
Ne-Yo hit the "Golden Buzzer" for Jon Dorenbos, a 35-year-old magician from Philadelphia, PA. Simon was convinced Jon has actual magic powers, calling him a wizard with no tricks up his sleeves. Heidi loved the way he performed and talked onstage and made them laugh. Ne-Yo said he selected Jon for the "Golden Buzzer" because he saw huge potential in what this act could become.
The other acts the judges selected to advance to live shows were Hara, a 25-year-old illusionist from Japan; Edgar Family Band, a trio ages from 15-36 from Toluca Lake, CA; Lori Mae Hernandez, a 13-year-old comedian from Lancaster, CA; The Passing Zone, a knife-throwing act featuring a 49-year-old man from Hermosa Beach, CA; Ronee Martin, a 62-year-old singer from Columbia, VA; and Linkin' Bridge, an A cappella singing group ages 36-41 from Louisville, KY.
The seven acts were chosen because they absolutely blew the judges away. In addition to Jon, there were two standout acts in the group -- Ronee, whom Simon said sounded like Dionne Warwick or Gladys Knight, and Linkin' Bridge, whom Simon said America's Got Talent has been waiting to discover.
The results unfortunately sent 13 talented acts packing.
The eliminated acts were Philippe and Marie-Lee, a strength act ages 24 and 25 from Quebec City, Canada; Miniotics, dancers ages 17-18 from Whittier, CA; Jumpers in Command, a jump rope act ages 21-43 from Brooklyn NY; Christopher and his dancing puppets, a 54-year-old from Las Vegas, NV; Brennley Brown, a 14-year-old singer from Apple Valley, CA; and John Ferraro, a 50-year-old "hammerhead" from Boston, MA.
The remaining acts who failed to advance to the live shows were Jon Call, a 30-year-old wild man from Huntsville, AL; Duo Guerrero, tightrope walkers ages 50 and 55 from Sarasota, FL; Julian Davis and The Hayburners, a band ages 16-25 from Kansas City, MO; Raii and Whitney Smith, a singing duo ages 32 and 29 from Brooklyn, NY; Cory Kahaney, a 53-year-old comedian from New York, NY; Axel Perez, a 17-year-old balancing act from Las Vegas, NV; and Rory Freeman, a 28-year-old martial artist from Pawtucket, RI.