America’s Got Talent has entered its 7th season. This article is designed to be a master guide to the entire season. I will include recaps and results of each episode, starting with the auditions in various cities and the 2nd audition round in Las Vegas. I will then include recaps and results of the live performance shows, which include public voting and some judges’ decisions. Finally, I will include details on the America’s Got Talent 7 finale, which is based strictly on the public vote.
The main cast of characters includes host Nick Cannon and judges Sharon Osbourne, Howard Stern, and Howie Mandel.
In the auditions, a contestant needs two “yes” votes from the judges to advance to the Las Vegas round. If a contestants gets buzzed by all three judges, he is generally automatically eliminated. But the judges will occasionally change their minds and vote to put an act through despite initially buzzing the act.
In the Las Vegas round, contestants advance by judge consensus. They are usually split into different genres, which invariably causes some favorites to get eliminated during the Las Vegas audition round. Of course, the producers are certainly part of this process behind the scenes even though you don’t see them on camera making decisions.
The first audition episode is Monday, May 14, 2012. Audition cities in this episode include Los Angeles and St. Louis.
The second audition episode is on Tuesday, May 15, 2012. The entire time is for the San Francisco auditions.
The third audition airing is on Monday, May 21, 2012. It lasts only one hour and is the first part of the New York City auditions.
The fourth audition episode is the second hour of the NYC auditions. It is on Tuesday, May 22, 2012. Note that the first hour is a repeat of the third audition episode. So while the show is on two hours on Tuesday night, only the 2nd hour is a new episode.
Here is the recap for the Los Angeles and St. Louis audition episode:
The show is starting out in Los Angeles. They show a preview of some contestants and a guy doing a human-cannonball act.
They are pimping Howard Stern hard to start the show. He says he is going to be tough as a judge.
The first guy is a magician. He is Aoni Jackson and 34 years old. Howie comes up and gives him his wedding ring. The guy gets buzzed cause it wasn’t even a magic trick. He suddenly becomes a half stripper. He does not make it.
Oh, no. We have another Bird Lady. This woman has 22 birds, and this is their first performance. Bird Lady actually sings and is pretty good. But the birds are just a distraction. Howard buzzed it. Howie says he likes it. Howie votes YES. Howard votes NO. Sharon says NO.
A weird singer comes out and does “Proud Mary.” He gets buzzed. Several other singers come out and perform and get buzzed.
William Close (42). He’s with Sarah, his fiancee, who is 5 months pregnant. William plays the earth harp. This harp is huge, and he made it. It goes all the way up to the balcony. Howard doubts he makes money. He plays it, and it sounds closer to a violin than a harp. It sounds quite nice, and it is certainly unique. Close gets three big YESES and a standing ovation from the judges.
The vibe is a bit different with the judges this year. They keep showing them talking between acts and discussing things like friends instead of the forced animosity from years past.
A girl dance act is up next. They are Elements Dance Crew and do clogging. This is the exact type of act that is always overrated on America’s Got Talent. Yeah, they were good. But it’s nothing special. And the one solo was weak and barely pulled off a decent flip. To no one’s surprise, they get three YESES and go to the Las Vegas round.
All Wheel Sports is an act that makes it, but the edit was really fast. There are stunt bikers, trampoline artists, and a bunch of other stuff. They make it.
Amazing Elizabeth is a young girl that does an aerial act. She makes it.
Chris LeVar raps about the judges. It was decent rapping but was really cool because of the words, which were funny. He got 3 YESES.
Jorge and Alexa Narvaez (father and daughter). Dad (25) plays the guitar okay. The kid (7) is a good singer for her age. Overall, it’s the type of act that can do pretty well if they get to the live shows. The kid is kind of comedian, too. She is hilarious. They got three YESES and are going to Vegas.
Nick Cannon says the preview of The Amazing Spider-Man is coming up.
St. Louis Auditions
The second hour of this episode consists of the St. Louis city auditions. The judges apparently get stuck in an elevator for a while with Howie’s mom.
Ben Blaque is 32 years old. He does a crossbow act. He has pretty much pinpoint accuracy, but this just isn’t that impressive because this fancy crossbow even has a telescope on it for aiming. All three judges vote YES.
Light Wire Theater blacklight act: Well, if Team iLuminate could not win last year, it’s going to be hard for this one to win. But it was a good act and has the potential of being better than Team iLuminate. They get three YESES.
Some guy comes out and puts a scorpion in his mouth and goes to Vegas. A guy who looks like a funny ventriloquist with a dog puppet performs. They didn’t even say his name, but he made it to Vegas. I wanted to see more of him cause it looks like he could be good.
Stick and Move Dance Crew. This was really fast, but the judges said they loved it.
Sanjula Vamana (35) is from Chicago. His wife Red Rum is part of the act. He puts needles through his cheeks. All 3 judges buzz him.
A bunch of guys play the kazoo and get buzzed. Stormin Norman does some ridiculous act with a pumpkin and gets buzzed.
Loyalty Dance Crew is from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. They are pretty sharp but are depending more on the choreography than talent to get through. These guys have speed, but they don’t do anything beyond that. The judges give them three YESES. This is so predictable. They cannot win.
Simply Sergio (47) is up next. His wife is his No. 1 fan. How shocking! His singing is really bad. He is getting buzzed by the judges. Nick is dancing with his wife. He then sings “God Bless America.” It is better than the first performance. The judges are rethinking now. Howard hugs him. He got three YESES.
Maurice and Shanice Hayes (62 and 18) are a father and daughter vocal duo. They sing “You’ve Got a Friend.” This gets a standing ovation. It reminds me of Christina and Ali from a couple of years ago, but they are a little better overall.
This is the end of the Los Angeles and St. Louis audition episode for America’s Got Talent 7.
I had a problem getting the San Francisco audition. I’ll add the key facts later for that episode.
This is the start of the first episode of the New York City auditions, which were broadcast on Monday, May 21, 2012.
First up is an acrobatic dunk team called The Flyte Cru. They use trampolines to do tricks and dunk basketballs. There were a couple of misses. Howie said it was not original and said NO. Howard says YES, thinking they are a step above the typical dunk team. Sharon says YES, so they are off to Vegas.
Max does an aerial act and gets through. Jason Cordero is a kid pianist who makes it to Vegas. An Irish-themed dance team with masks makes it. Those three went by really fast.
Mir Money is up next. He is a 7-year-old rapper. Ironically enough, he is better than Granny G. Howard buzzes him. Sharon buzzed him, too. He starts to cry when Howard tries to explain. Howard goes up and apologizes. He then says he can’t do AGT. This is so staged. Howard changes his mind and says YES. Sharon and Howie said NO, anyway.
This is one of the best dog acts I have seen. It’s a father-and-son team. The judges also felt it was the best dog act they have seen. The dogs did back flips, jumped rope, and did some pretty unique hind-leg walking tricks.
Horse does an absurd act. He apparently has gonads of steel. Horse has buddies kick him in the nuts, break cinder blocks, etc. I can’t believe they sent this guy through. It’s not a talent.
Wordspit, The Illest! is a “backpack pop culture arena rap” music group. The rap part is pretty typical stuff, and I don’t see America taking to it too much. The Illest does the traditional singing, and it was okay. This was better than the typical rap act because they add the singing and play their own instruments. Howard, Howie, and Sharon all said YES.
Burton Crane is a 77-year-old rapper. He claims to be the grandfather of rap. It was funny rap called “Whatcha Gonna Do,” but this is just not a million-dollar act. Howard said YES. Howie said YES because it was catchy. Sharon said YES, too.
This is the end of the first New York City audition episode for America’s Got Talent 7.
This is Day 2 of the New York City auditions.
Ronald Charles starts the show. He is a below-average dancer and singer. All three judges buzz him. Howard Stern’s dad comes on stage and gives Ronald the facts of life. He tells him to get a job.
Paulie and James do a ridiculous dance act while skating. They get buzzed. Some pantomime group was also buzzed right away. A bad singer is also buzzed. They need to get to some good auditions now. This is too much bad at once.
John Pizzi is a comedian and ventriloquist. Instead of a dummy, he used video images of the judges. They all loved him and put him through to Vegas.
Donovan and Rebecca did an acrobalance dancing act. They are also aerialists but did not do that for this audition. The crowd and the judges loved it. This has been done before on this show (girls balancing guys in the air), but this was more graceful than the previous act that did it.
Several acts make it, but it was very fast. None of them looked like they will be favorites.
Tom Cotter is a standup comic. He tells a lot of fast jokes. The judges all seemed to love him. It was funny but not rolling-on-the-floor funny. Howie thinks he is a star.
Stepz is a multi-talented dancer. He does contortionism and robotic moves, etc. Howard said there isn’t really an audience for it, but Howie said yes. This thing is so rigged. He is definitely better than Turf, and Turf got none of this criticism. Howard said NO. Sharon said YES.
The Savage Men is a male revue dancing group. They had big muscles but little talent. Howard and Howie buzzed it. Howard joins them on stage to dance. Howard said YES, but Howie and Sharon said NO. They are not going to Vegas.
That was the last audition. The first New York City episode was much better.
This is the end of Day 2 of the New York City auditions. Next week, AGT will visit Tampa Bay, Florida.
Inspire The Fire is a singing and dancing troupe. They are kind of an urban Glee. They do a Broadway-sounding version of “Lean on Me” that turns into what sounds like a gospel version. It’s kind of manic. They keep changing the style. There was some dancing, but they seem to be relying on their singing more than the dancing. All three judges said YES. I found this whole thing to be typical America’s Got Talent exaggeration. There was nothing special about this group except the backstory of giving teens a place to fit in.
The Bikini Bombshells are from North Carolina. They are sexy but clearly are not professional dancers. This is like dancing in a nightclub. They get buzzed out of there and are not going to Las Vegas.
A bunch of crazy acts get buzzed in quick fashion. Howie goes on stage to dance with some ballet dancer. He didn’t make it, either.
All That is a clogging group. There was an All That tapdancing group in Season 1, but these are different guys. They do a fast routine. There is some talent there, but the choreography needs some improvement. All three judges said YES.
Alicia – Hula Hoop artist – makes it through to Vegas
Jonathan – magician – makes it to Vegas
Boss – male contemporary dance team – make it to Vegas
The three above acts went by so fast that they didn’t even show their names. This usually means they are not favorites. I have never seen a winning act not get a fully featured audition.
Michael Griffin is 50 years old. He is an escape artist. He gets Howard Stern to come up and tie him up with a rope. He got out, but they buzzed him. They said Howard didn’t tie him up well enough, making it too easy to escape.
The Distinguished Men of Brass are a kind of marching band. They sing and dance while playing their instruments. This is really not that unique. I have seen it a lot in college marching bands. The judges pretend to totally love it.
There’s time for like one more audition, and this Tampa Bay episode hasn’t brought a single contender yet. I hope they saved some good St. Louis auditions for tomorrow night.
Ulysses is 49 years old. He is a singer. Ulysses sings the theme song to The Love Boat. He’s technically a great singer, although it doesn’t sound like a pop star. Howard buzzes him because he says it is not a million-dollar act. He has Ulysses sing the theme song to Green Acres and The Addams Family. Howard says NO, but Howie and Sharon say YES.
This is the end of the Tampa Bay auditions. America’s Got Talent goes back to St. Louis for the auditions of Tuesday, May 29, 2012. That show starts at 9 p.m. Eastern time and lasts one hour.
Tom Bonham is a puppeteer. He is 65. The act was rather silly and wasn’t really showing any talent. He was just moving the puppets while singing a song. It was almost funny cause it was so bad. Howie said YES, but Sharon and Howard said NO.
Some terrible singer came, and the judges did not put her through. Some girl busted cans with her hands, but she didn’t advance to Vegas, either. A few other acts were briefly shown not making it.
Isaac Brown is 6 years old. He sang the Jackson 5′s “I Want You Back.” The crowd went wild and yelled “Vegas.” Like most kids on this show, he had all sorts of canned responses and comments. This kid has an okay voice for his age. The judges gave him 3 YESES.
Spencer Horsman looks like a teenager, but he is 26. Spencer does an escape act. He has a trap that is supposed to close on him if he can’t escape before the rope burns through. It seems to me the rope was not going to burn through at all. He just released some switch that released the trap as he was falling. Nonetheless, he got three YESES and is going to Las Vegas.
Some other acts made it to Vegas, but these were just clips, not featured auditions.
Up next is Little Ozzy, a small guy that looks a lot like Sharon’s husband, Ozzy Osbourne. He sings “Mama I’m Coming Home.” Little Ozzy has a decent voice. There isn’t much power to it, though. Howard and Howie buzzed him.
The Cutthroat Freak Show does circus-like acts, including walking on broken glass and swallowing swords. This act is just freaking everybody out. The crowd is definitely mixed. Howard liked it. Howie says YES. Sharon says NO. Howard said YES. They go to Vegas.
Some flamboyantly gay black guy comes out. His name is Ron Christopher Porter, Jr. He is a voiceover artist. He definitely has a voice, but it’s not a stage act. This is a supporting talent, not a standalone show. The judges say NO but tell him to hang out with Nick.
Curtis Cutts Bey does a Rick James song. His dancing was bad, and he had no real stage presence. So the judges all buzz him right away. Nick comes out with contestant Ron Christopher Porter and finishes the song with Curtis.
This is the end of the St. Louis auditions. Unfortunately, there were no real contenders again for the 2nd night in a row. Next week, America’s Got Talent will air auditions from Texas.
This is the beginning of the first hour of the Austin, Texas auditions. This episode aired on Monday, June 4, 2012.
The first group is a mariachi band. 10-year-old Sebastian De La Cruz is the lead singer. He sings in Spanish. This act can’t win. It’s not unique enough, but he does have a good voice for this style of Mexican music. Of course, the judges are going to say they love this. All three of them send Sebastian to Las Vegas
Bandbaz Brothers does a balancing act. They are originally from Iran. They definitely have some talent but were a bit shaky and unpolished. One of the guys is 59, and they basically admitted being out of practice cause the older guy has been retired for 11 years. The judges all gave them a YES vote.
Tim Poe was a soldier in Afghanistan. He got injured by a rocket-propelled grenade. He suffered a brain injury and now speaks with a little bit of a stutter. He is a pretty good country singer and also plays the guitar. If this guys gets through Hollywood, he is going to be a favorite. That backstory is going to get mega votes from a certain portion of the voters. He sang “If Tomorrow Never Comes.” Naturally, he got a huge standing ovation.
There were a couple of acts that got through, but their auditions were rushed.
Lulu is an overweight pole dancer. As you might expect, she is not exactly graceful but was pretty good for someone of her size. She somehow managed to do the splits, as well. This was not as good as last year’s male pole dancer. She does not deserve to go to Vegas. Howie said YES, but Howard and Sharon said NO.
Joe Castillo does an art act with light and sand. “God Bless The USA” plays while he shapes the sand into a picture. He “draws” the Statue of Liberty. The audition was pretty rushed, but he got three YESES from the judges.
David Smith, Jr. does a human-cannonball act. He learned the act from his father. David has done this for a living for 15 years. It is raining outside as he shoots himself with the cannon into a net. He successful landed in the net without injury. David is the last act of the night, and he makes it to Las Vegas.
This is the end of the first hour of auditions for Austin. A second hour was aired on Tuesday, June 5, 2012. A recap for that second hour follows.