“America’s Got Talent” kicked off its seventh season Monday night with new judge Howard Stern taking his seat alongside Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel, who both returned as judges on the NBC competition series. Nick Cannon is also back as the show’s host. Singers, dancers, magicians and other acts are once again competing for a $1 million grand prize. Entertainers from audition rounds in Los Angeles and St. Louis were showcased on Monday’s show.
Here’s a summary of the most entertaining acts of the evening:
Artist William Close presented and played what he called “the world’s biggest musical instrument.” His “Earth Harp” featured 3,000 feet of steel, which meant that William essentially turned the theater into a huge instrument. Howard Stern called him “an original.” William advances.
The Elements Dance Crew took clog dancing to a new level. Their style, enthusiasm and precision guaranteed three thumbs-up from the judges. They easily advanced to the Las Vegas rounds.
Cute 7-year-old Alexa did a double act with her dad Jorge, who sang and accompanied his daughter on guitar. They provided the show’s most touching moment when they sang their take on the Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros song “Home.”
The Light Wire Theater Company combined puppetry and dance with neon figures that glowed and moved in the dark. They received a resounding “yes” from the judges and advanced to Las Vegas.
A fierce troupe called The Loyalty Dance Crew busted their moves on the stage with conviction and got a standing ovation from the audience. Although they are just friends, they have a family attitude which, along with their talent, won the judges over. They move on to the Las Vegas rounds.
A singer called Simply Sergio almost blew it with a cheesy song-and-dance rendition of “The Girl from Ipanema.” He was reluctantly given a second chance by the judges and sang “God Bless America.” He brought down the house and advanced to the next stage of the contest.
Eighteen-year-old Chanice was joined by her father Maurice, as the street-performer duo sang an emotional version of Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend.” They provided the highlight of the auditions so far, according to the judges. They made it through to Las Vegas.
Other acts advancing to Las Vegas include Ben Black, a sharp-shooting crossbow act, a man who puts scorpions in his mouth, a ventriloquist who places a puppet mouth over a live dog, and a pair of dance-acrobats called Stick & Move.
Contestants who were failed to make the cut included Miss Les, a woman who sang while covered with live birds, and Aoni Jackson, a stripping magician who Stern said had “a rather small package.” Sanjuka, a circus side-show act, also failed to advance after he turned the judges off by sticking skewers into his cheeks.
NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” airs again today at 8 p.m. ET.