If you’ve ever had doubts that “America’s Got Talent” really tapes its results shows live, look no further than Wednesday’s episode.
In addition to a shocking elimination, as the 11 acts who performed Tuesday discovered which two would move on to the finale to compete against saxophonist Avery Dixon and country singer Drake Milligan, a former contestant returned for a magic act that didn’t seem to go according to plan.
And judge Heidi Klum might be to blame.
Jon Dorenbos, a football player-turned-magician who was a finalist on “AGT” in 2016, returned for a magic demonstration, asking Klum and fellow judges Simon Cowell, Sofía Vergara and Howie Mandel to each pick a random number out of a box . There was some kerfuffle as the judges each dug into the box for their numbers.
At the end of the act, Dorenbos revealed each number picked at random by the judges corresponded to a number hidden inside four lockers on stage. The numbers were eight, 17, 20 and 22, referencing August 17, 2022, the date of the episode.
Except for Klum, who was supposed to have the 20, revealed she actually had an 8 instead. (Cowell had the other 8.)
Despite the apparent hiccup, Dorenbos kept his cool.
“I thought you were gonna pick 20, but that’s OK,” he said. “Sometimes in life, it’s OK to be off by one, because guess what? Every time I take this stage I feel like a rock star.”
Top 5 revealed
First up to learn their fates were singer Wyn Starks and aerialist couple Duo Rings. Ultimately, the high-flying couple won out.
Next up, Freckled Zelda and 12-year-old Madison Taylor Baez, AKA Maddie, stepped into the spotlights. Maddie made it through.
“I love you. I’m happy. You deserve this, but everybody was great last night,” Mandel, who hit the Golden Buzzer for Maddie after her audition, told the young singer. “America got it right so far.”
Next up, dance crew Fusion Japan and impressionist act The Brown Brothers faced off. In a shocking turn, Fusion Japan, did not make the Top 5 even though they earned rave upon rave reviews from the judges.
Then, it was a trio’s turn: magician Yu Hojin and comedians Aiko Tanaka and Mr. Pants. The magician earned a spot in the Top 5.
‘AGT’: Golden Buzzers Chapel Hart12-year-old Maddie face off in ‘most competitive episode’
Lastly, country trio Chapel Hart, who earned a collective Golden Buzzer from the judges and host Terry Crews, and The Pack Drumline, which Cowell said delivered one of the best acts of the night on Tuesday, learned which of them won the last spot in the top 5
It was Chapel Hart.
“In this moment, I am feeling really happy, and I’m feeling really unhappy. I’m not gonna lie,” Cowell said of the results. “I will say, particular to the act that just left the stage, never give up on your dream, because that was an unbelievable performance last night. And to Chapel Hart, you deserve to be here.”
‘AGT’ results: Country star Drake Milligan learns fate, Simon Cowell ‘upset’ at shocking vote
Which two made the finale?
The final three came down to Yu Hojin, Maddie and Chapel Hart.
“I am a little sad because I was a very big fan of Duo Rings, but I think the three of you deserve to be at this point of the competition right here,” Vergara said.
But which two made the finale?
The first act to make the finale was Chapel Hart.
“Well deserved, girls,” Klum said. “You sang your way into America’s heart.”
With only Yu Hojin and Madde left, it all seemed certain that Maddie, having earned a Golden Buzzer, would clinch the final spot. The crowd even chanted her name as Crews gave a dramatic pause before revealing who made it.
But Yu Hojin must have had one last trick up his sleeve, because it was his name that Crews called out.
The quarterfinals continue, with another 11 acts taking the stage next week.
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