America’s Got Talent is back! The Season 13 premiere aired on May 29, bringing the hit competition show back to NBC.
The judges this year are Heidi Klum, Melanie B, Howie Mandel, and Simon Cowell, with Tyra Banks returning as the on-stage host of the show.
A long cold-opening showcased contestants from this year’s show reacting to music from The Greatest Showman, before the premiere went right to its first performance of the night.
Marina and Svetlana: The Savitsky Cats
Marina and Svetlana were up first. The mother-daughter duo own 10 cats and put on a performance revolving around many of them.
The cats were asked to do stunts like jump through hoops, sit up on their hind legs, and jump into barrels. A more amusing moment was when two cats took turns jumping over one another.
As the performance continued, the cats started performing better tricks. One of them climbed up a pole and jumped from that height on to a pillow held by one of the ladies.
The audience really enjoyed it, giving The Savitsky Cats a standing ovation. It also impressed Simon Cowell, who for once actually said positive things about an animal skit. All of the judges voted to send them to the next round.
Next up was Shin Lim, a close-up magic performer whom NBC has been teasing viewers about this week. As previously reported by Monsters and Critics, he learned his trade by watching YouTube videos.
Here is a video of his performance on the May 29 AGT episode. It’s well worth watching, as Lim might be a contender to win the grand prize.
Howie called it “the best slight of hand magic I have ever seen,” while Heidi added: “I still cannot close my mouth.” When it came to the judges, they were unanimous in their approval of the performance. As Shin Lim left the stage, Mel B. said she couldn’t wait to see what he does next.
Bringing some comedy to the show, the next contestant wanted to audition to become one of the AGT judges. After some jokes, Ian took the seat from Howie, whom Simon sent to the audience. Ian remained as a judge as the next contestant took the stage.
Next up was Mike, who received some questions from Ian before performing a song for the audience and judges. The performance involved making musical sounds with his hands to the score of America, The Beautiful.
Mike received four strikes, with Ian failing to come through with good commentary. The skit came to an end with Howie taking his seat back.
A sibling band called We Three performed next. They explained that their dad had a family band with his siblings and they decided to follow that dream as well.
Taught by their mom, they really got into playing music as well. The sad part of their story was that their mother passed away from cancer, bringing the kids even closer together. They performed in memory of their mother, singing Heaven’s Not Too Far Away as shown in the video below.
The emotional audience and judges all gave We Three a standing ovation. The judges spoke very kindly of the performance and each related to it in their own way.
The four judges then unanimously voted in approval of the band, sending them on to the next round. Simon stated that he felt they were at the start of something big on the show.
The Human Fountains
A group came on next that performed to My Heart Will Go On. Dressed in suits, they danced around the stage and acted as fountains, spraying water from their mouths as they acted out a skit.
It was amusing, but some found it a bit disgusting, as the quartet sprayed water into each other’s mouths at several points. Their act can be seen below.
Mel B. found it funny, while Simon stated that it wasn’t funny. Heidi stated that she wanted to see what they would do next. The group received three yesses, with Simon the only judge opposed, advancing them to the next round. They have now been dubbed The Human Fountains.
Junior New System
A dance crew kicked off the second hour of the May 29 America’s Got Talent season premiere. The trick was that the all-guys group did most of the performance in heels. The group is called Junior New System and their performance is below.
The judges all enjoyed it, with Mel B. particularly excited with what she had just seen. The judges unanimously decided that the group should advance to the next round.
A 14-year-old rapper named Flau’jae was up next. She wrote the song that she performed and it was one that touched the entire audience.
She stated before she started singing that she wasn’t sure people were ready for her song. From the audience reaction, it appears that they were definitely ready. Her amazing performance is showcased in the video below.
Simon Cowell stated that this was his favorite audition “by a clear mile.” He brought her mom out on stage to ask her how it felt. She stated that she was proud.
Flau’jae easily got four yesses and an elongated standing ovation, even as she left the stage. As she walked off, Simon stated that it was amazing and went off stage to tell her how great the performance was that she had just completed.
Next up was comedian Vicki Barbolak, who performed some adult material. She continued the night of standing ovations with the entire audience, Howie, and Mel B. standing up for her. Her comedic styling can be seen below.
Howie Basically stated that Vicki had her Joan Rivers moment. Simon followed that up by stating that she was the funniest person they have had on this show. He talked her up quite well before they got to the voting. In yet another unanimous vote from the evening, Vicki Barbolak is heading to the next round.
The show needed a long commercial break before getting to the next contestant. James claimed he was going to put on a possessed mask and turn into a 748-year-old witch. It kicked off a series of weird and creepy acts that failed to really impress the judges.
The Sacred Riana
After James received four red X’s, it started a trend in this episode. It eventually led to Heidi stating that she wanted to be scared and Simon stating that they had been cursed. Much of the footage was combined from different days, as the women on the judge’s panel kept getting shown in different outfits. It was all foreshadowing for The Sacred Riana.
The performance was a bit off-kilter, but the judges ended up sending her to the next round. It provided some nice drama to round out the show and a different flair from the feel-good and uplifting stories from the first 90 minutes of the show. As seen in the video above, she was also quite good with magic, as she left the judges completely stumped. We will all see The Sacred Riana again.
To round out the night, a large dance troop called Zurcaroh took the stage. It ended up being the performance of the night. Their full video is provided below and it is a must-watch moment of the season premiere.
The judges, the audience, and likely the viewers at home were all impressed with what took place. It was unlike anything that has been on the show before. Each of the judges gave it a lot of praise, with Simon Cowell calling it “breathtaking.” Before they could even get to the voting, Tyra Banks halted everything and ran out to push the golden buzzer.
Zurcarohis now the first act that has advanced to the live shows. Will another performer join them soon? We will find out during the upcoming June 5 episode of the show.
America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC.