First part of the America’s Got Talent: All-Stars The finals took place on Monday, and among the 11 acts was a contestant looking for “redemption,” the one many viewers thought should have won two years ago: Season 16 finalist Aidan Bryant .
In 2021, Bryant, a small-town teenager who taught himself Cirque du Soleil-level stunts by studying YouTube and swinging from sheets tied to trees in his backyard, seemed to have the best chance to win this year’s million dollar prize and Las Vegas residency. But after the tightest final vote in AGT history, the championship instead shockingly went to underdog magician Dustin Tavella. Fans were disappointed, but not as disappointed as Bryant himself.
Bryant, who was 16 when he first competed, earlier admitted that all stars season that when it came to him and Tavella in the season 16 finale and he heard the studio audience massively ‘screaming my name’, he was like, ‘Oh, I got this – and he was then “crushed” when he lost. Judge Simon Cowell also recalled that the young acrobat was “in pieces” after his loss, telling Bryant: “I have never seen anyone look so drained in my life. And I remember going to you afterwards and saying, ‘I promise you, this isn’t the end.’
And Cowell was right. This week, Bryant performed in the coveted “pimp spot” on Monday’s episode, and the show definitely saved the best for last. Bryant’s routine was so perfect, so perilous, that Cowell let out a kind of obscenity on national television. (A AGT the logo was conveniently plastered over Cowell’s swearing mouth by NBC censors; It’s a family show, after all.)
“I’m literally looking for words (presumably rated PG) right now,” said a stunned Cowell. “Which I compare to one of those times when I was a kid watching the Olympics…and the judges were just saying, ’10, 10, 10, 10, 10.’ That’s how I felt. I’ve never, never, never – in a movie, on this show, everywhere — seen something as incredible as this, and so dangerous and so brilliant and so well coordinated. …I think you completely changed everything after that performance.
Bryant could very well make it to the winner’s circle this time, but his biggest competition will come next week. all stars grand finale will be blind and autistic musical scholar Kodi Lee, the winner of AGT Season 14. Lee caused a stir four years ago with his Golden Buzzer audition of Leon Russell’s “A Song for You,” which became the most viral American series of all time, with more than 430 million views in line ; it has since headlined in Vegas and amassed an even more devoted following. This week, Lee delivered an exquisite, haunting and comprehensive rendition of David Bowie’s “Heroes” that had Cowell gushing, “It was just breathtaking – honestly, stunning. And I mean, boy, those lyrics took on a whole new meaning for us in that moment. … Every time you play, there’s just silence. Everyone is focused and listening to every word.
While it may seem like it’s Bryant’s or Lee’s competition to lose, all of the finalists brought their A-game on Monday. Detroit Youth Choir, which was host to Terry Crews’ Golden Buzzer choice on the all stars premiere of the season, was “by far the best choir I’ve ever seen” according to judge Heidi Klum, who, along with the rest of the panel, were wowed by their triumphant performance of Panic! At Disco “Hey Look Ma I Made It.”
Howie Mandel’s Golden Buzzer pick of Ukraine’s Light Balance Kids dance troupe dazzled with an enhanced routine that Mandel called “one of the most thrilling live performances I’ve ever seen,” but Howie also predicts Cowell’s Golden Buzzer recipient Mike E. Winfield could become the first comedian to win AGT.
This season’s Golden Buzzer band pick, British crooner Tom Ball (aka “Susan Boyle’s grandson”), delivered a baroque and super melodramatic take on Radiohead’s outside anthem “Creep” that earned a standing ovation from the panel and had Cowell raving, “Everything about it was amazing, because it was one of those performances that shouldn’t work, but did work, and it was really powerful and moving.
And finally, another fan-favorite acrobatic act, hand-balancing trio the Bello Sisters, performed a treacherous, “brilliant and beautiful” tour de force that was, according to Cowell, “everything this finale should have.” and gave them a real “shot to win.
All of these contenders could claim the title, but the judges won’t have a say in next week’s finale – and neither will viewers at home, frustratingly. Instead, the winner of the very first season of America’s Got Talent: All-Stars will be determined by a mysterious elite group of supposed “superfans” watching the (pre-recorded) finals from a distance. And throughout this season, superfans have made some confusing decisions, so really, anything can happen. But it should be noted that Aiden Bryant’s former nemesis, Dustin Tavella, hasn’t even reached the all stars finals this year – so whether Bryant wins or not all stars Next Monday, he has already found his redemption.
Learn more about Yahoo Entertainment:
‘Susan Boyle’s Grandson’ Makes Simon Cowell ‘Angry’ on ‘AGT: All-Stars’
AGT stars Tone the Chiefrocca, Aidan Bryant return to settle the score: ‘I want to win so badly, and I’m here to prove it’
One of reality TV’s all-time greatest hits cut early in shock ‘AGT: All-Stars’: ‘Never would have guessed that’
‘It wasn’t karate, it was ka-rappy’: Unimpressed Simon Cowell hands out THREE red Xs on ‘AGT: All-Stars’
Nick Cannon on quitting ‘America’s Got Talent’: ‘One of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my career’
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