After the first round of semifinal performances for America’s Got Talent Season 16 on August 31, the first round of eliminations on September 1 saw five out of 11 acts move on for the chance to win $1 million and a residency at the Luxor Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Three acts moved on to the finals based on viewer votes, with the Instant Save and judge’s pick saving the remaining two. The second round of semifinals on September 7 and 8 will see five more acts join the final 10 to perform in the two-night finale on September 14 and 15. Ahead of next week’s performances, catch up on the journeys of the five acts one step closer to becoming the AGT Season 16 champion.
Stand-up comedian Gina Brillon was the first act to make it through after her hilarious semifinals stand-up set. The 41-year-old Bronx native is no stranger to television appearances, having previously appeared on The View, Late Night with Seth Meyers, Chelsea Lately, and Jimmy Kimmel Live! Her relatable stories about her one-year-old son and the struggles of wearing Spanx were enough for viewers to vote to see her once more.
As the second safe contestant to make it through, 16-year-old self-taught aerialist Aidan Bryant wowed the judges with his fiery performance, set to the Backstreet Boy’s hit song Larger Than Life. Having only begun his aerial training two years ago, judge Sofía Vergara was especially impressed, stating, “This was a gold level performance.”
AGT surely loves its magicians, as Dustin Tavella was the third act to move on from the fan votes. His semifinals performance was surprisingly sentimental, as it was dedicated to his wife, Kari. Inspired by someone meaningful to him, he got the judges involved by choosing items for the trick that reminded them of special people in their lives.
Starting off his AGT journey with a bang, singing what judge Simon Cowell declared the “worst song in the world,” 30-year-old singer and music teacher Jimmy Herrod changed his mind with a beautiful rendition of Tomorrow from Annie, even earning a Golden Buzzer from Vergara. After placing in the bottom, he earned a second chance through the live audience Instant Save vote, cementing his place as one of the five acts to go through to the finals.
World Taekwondo Demonstration Team
Comprised of members from the U.S. and South Korea, the World Taekwondo Demonstration Team was the final act of the night to move on to the finals after winning the judge’s save vote. Despite previously earning a Golden Buzzer from host Terry Crews, the group almost didn’t make it through the night, as only two of the four judges voted to save them from elimination. Luckily, they will have another chance to show off their high-flying martial arts skills at the AGT Finals.
America’s Got Talent, Semifinals Round 2, Tuesday & Wednesday, September 7 & 8, NBC