America’s Got Talent: The Champions (Monday’s at 8 p.m. ET on CTV) premiered its second season on Monday night and featured the return of some familiar faces and the introduction of some new ones. After the very public fallout between the talent show and former judge Gabrielle Union (Julianne Hough was also released from her contract), Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel were once again joined by returning judge Heidi Klum. The new season included the addition of Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon, as well as the return of the contagiously happy Terry Crews as host.
Monday night’s show featured a packed two hours of returning champions from America’s Got Talent as well as iterations of the show in other countries. There was a powerful performance by the dance group Junior Creative from Myanmar, the debut of gifted singer Jack Vidgen who won Australia’s Got Talent at only 14, and the return of dancing duo Paddy and Nicko, who have a 40-year age difference (she’s 85 and can still perform death spirals–we bow down).
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Klum was the judge with the power to push the golden buzzer on the premiere, giving one act a spot in the finals. That honour went to 13-year-old singer Angelina Jordan, who gave a stripped down and emotional rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The teen singer won Norway’s Got Talent when she was only seven and finally realized her dream of getting to perform in front of Simon Cowell on the AGT stage. Is Simon big with 13-year-olds in Norway? Maybe it’s the hair.
As for the remaining nine performers, a group of superfans from all over the U.S. got to pick two of the remaining three spots, with the coaches having the final say on who should be the fourth semifinalist. The second spot went to magician Dania Diaz, who impressed the audience with her creativity and vulnerability, using a deck of cards to share her life story. A finalist on the 2018 season of Venezuela’s Got Talent, Diaz’s talent as a magician isn’t new for AGT, but she stands out for being one of the few female magicians to appear on the show.
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Former AGT finalists Duo Transcend returned on Monday night, performing more death-defying trapeze stunts that make us want to both run to the gym and stay firmly on stable ground. The married couple celebrated Tyce’s eyesight-saving surgery that was performed after their last appearance on AGT by blindfolding one another for half of their performance, a move that was ironic. impressive and terrifying.
The most controversial act of the night was singer, dancer and accordion player Hans, who soared in on a giant banana, tap danced in pink feathers, and sang off-key to Lizzo’s “Juice.” He received a red X from Cowell, who refused to find anything slightly charming in the multi-talented and eccentric entertainer’s routine. When it came down to the judge’s pick for the fourth and final semifinalist, Heidi voted for her countryman and Howie Mandel made the final call in a decision that had the judges split three ways. Hans is in, floating banana and all. Hans may not be the best dancer or singer on the show, but he’s definitely the most unpredictable act and that counts for something.
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Watch America’s Got Talent: The Champions every Monday at 8 p.m. ET on CTV.