‘America’s Got Talent’: 6 Best Moments from the Final Auditions (RECAP)

America's Got Talent Season 17 Episode 9
Spoiler Alert
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[Warning: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for America’s Got Talent Season 17 Episode 9.]

We’ve already reached the final week of auditions in America’s Got Talent Season 17. Episode 9 aired Tuesday, August 2 on NBC, and after a long string of performers, judges Sofía Vergara, Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, and Howie Mandel chose who would make it to the live shows with the golden buzzer winners. With only 55 slots available out of the 138 yeses, half of the contestants will be cut in the Judges’ Cuts round.

Hosted by Terry Crews, this group of auditions featured a grandmother doing burlesque, a drummer dressed as a cow, a slew of singers, mentalist acts, acrobats, and more. After eight weeks of delivering yeses, rejections, and golden buzzers, the August 2 episode showed the most disagreement between the judges we’ve seen all season. This time, it wasn’t just Cowell saying no when everyone else said yes, and not even the roaring crowd could convince them to change their minds.

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Individuality was the name of the game this week on the NBC competition series.

Mandel took a brief break from the show halfway through the episode, meaning only three yeses were needed to make it to the next round. Vergara was also absent for the Judges’ Cuts round, but she sent a binder full of notes.

Here, we break down the best auditions of the night.


Mind2Mind performing during America's Got Talent Season 17 Episode 10

Trae Patton/NBC

Married couple James and Marina delivered an unbelievable mentalist act that involved Marina standing outside of the theater with Crews for long-distance mind-reading. For their first trick, James held Vergara’s phone face-down in his hand, gently touching the back. Marina accurately guessed the remaining battery percentage, 49 percent, from outside the theater.

For their next trick, audience members wrote down special memories. Klum picked one at random, keeping the information to herself. Marina and James had Klum visualize the memory with her eyes closed, and Marina accurately guessed that it was someone’s first time seeing the ocean while sitting on their father’s shoulders. It’s easy to see this duo as a headlining Vegas act.

Aubrey Burchell

The 21-year-old Pittsburgh native works at Target, filming singing videos in the bathroom on her breaks. She opened up to the judges about her dream of selling out stadiums as a world-renowned singer, then shared she was recently diagnosed with Level 1 autism. “I want to show other young autistics that are suffering in silence that you can follow your passion,” she said. “You can not fit in the box and do what you do and just eat at it.”

Singing The Weeknd‘s “Call Out My Name,” Burchell’s vocals prompted a standing ovation. As Cowell said, “I really do believe that we are just witnessing somebody’s career about to skyrocket.” Added Vergara, “I think you have a chance to win this competition.”


Dancing to “Let’s Groove” by Earth, Wind & Fire, the Japanese double dutch group was adored by all of the judges and the crowd. Their high-energy jump-roping act brought smiles to everyone’s faces, and they easily made it through to the next round.

Bay Turner

America's Got Talent Bay Turner

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Turner’s audition was his first big performance since recovering from a surgical accident that almost took his voice away forever. After months of vocal coaching, Turner was able to bring his voice back, and his vocals sounded anything but damaged during his audition.

Unreal Crew

America's Got Talent Unreal Crew

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The Indian dance group displayed mind-boggling visuals with their innovative choreography. The act was short, but packed with impressive stunts that were perfectly timed, making for thrilling optical illusions.

The Nerveless Nocks

America's Got Talent The Nerveless Nocks

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The Nerveless Nocks is a father-daughter duo. Their group name was given to them by English royalty, and their family has been performing since 1840. Angelina and Michelangelo Nock made it to the finals on America’s Got Talent: Extreme, but father Michelangelo got sick, forcing them to bow out of the competition. They came back for their second chance, scaling two thin, swaying towers that reached the apex of the theater’s ceiling — no safety materials involved.

At one point, things seemed dangerous when Angelina appeared to be struggling. Her father helped her through, later telling the judges that he told her to remember their training and everything would be OK.

You Decide

The Nerveless Nocks were the last auditions of the season. And thus began the judges and Crews’ deliberations. They first reviewed the six golden buzzer winners before diving into the 138 total acts, which would have to be pared down to 55. Cowell, Mandel, and Klum got it down to 54 acts, leaving the 55th slot up to the viewers. They chose four acts to compete for the final live show spot.

The four wildcards you can vote for are Ben Waites (Episode 6), Debbii Dawson (Episode 8), Auzzy Blood (Episode 8), and Jordan Conley (Episode 5). Viewers can cast their vote for their favorite at nbc.com/agtvote.

Starting August 9, the America’s Got Talent Season 17 live shows will air, with two-hour episodes on Tuesdays and one hour on Wednesdays, revealing the results.

America’s Got Talent, Live Shows, Tuesdays, 8/7c, Results Shows, Wednesdays, 8/7c, NBC