The last night of auditions is tonight on episode 5 of America’s Got Talent, and judge Julianne Hough is the only one who has yet to give out her golden buzzer to an audition act. Four performers have received the honor so far.
Golden buzzers are an important part of the audition phase of the AGT competition. Each of the four judges, as well as host Terry Crews, is given a golden buzzer they get to press once for the act that impresses and moves them the most. The five acts that receive golden buzzers get sent straight to the live performances in Hollywood.
Before tonight’s new episode, here’s a recap on who has received golden buzzers so far on this season of AGT:
Kodi Lee (Given by Gabrielle Union)
Kodi Lee, a blind and autistic singer and piano player, was the first to receive a golden buzzer from first-time judge Gabrielle Union. 22-year-old Lee chose to perform “A Song For You” by Ray Charles, and was met with a standing ovation as soon as the song ended.
After the other judges praised his awe-inspiring performance, Union address Kodi and his mother Tina, saying “I’m a new judge this season and I’m also a new mom this year. It’s the toughest job I’ve ever had and the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. You just want to give your kids the moon, the stars, and the rainbows, and tonight I’m gonna give you something special.” She then pressed her Golden Buzzer, bringing Kodi and his family to tears.
Tyler Butler Figueroa (Given by Simon Cowell)
Tyler Butler Figueroa is an 11-year-old violinist from North Carolina. He auditioned with a cover of “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson, and opened up to the judges about his experience with bullying at school while he was undergoing chemotherapy for Leukemia. He has been in remission for almost four years, and used violin as a way to move past being “the kid with cancer.”
After his performance, Simon Cowell said “You are an extraordinary young man. We hear too many stories of people being bullied, but I could tell you one thing: Most people are bullied because they’re better than the people who bully them.” He then told Figueroa that he had something to say to the bullies on his behalf, and pressed his golden buzzer.
Joseph Allen (Given by Howie Mandel)
Joseph Allen is a 21-year-old singer and songwriter from Texas. He taught himself how to write and produce his own music, just like he taught himself how to be a motocross racer. For his audition, he performed an original song that he said he wrote for the judges and audience. He said his reason for auditioning for the show was that he “wants to see how much of a footprint [he] can leave on Earth before [he] leave[s].”
All of the judges, especially Howie Mandel, were impressed by Allen’s original performance. Mandel also praised Allen’s “electric smile” and “exuberance,” which he said is what “life is.” He then stood on the judge’s table and stepped on his golden buzzer button for Allen.
Detroit Youth Choir (Given by Terry Crews)
Before their audition, the Detroit Youth Choir’s musical director explained in an on-camera interview that the community-based choir is made up primarily of inner-city kids, some of whom come from “bad home situations.” The choir sang, danced, and rapped to “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
On stage after their performance, Crews said “Every young man and woman on this stage represents me and where I came from. I remember sitting at my window in Flint, Michigan, dreaming about wanting to make it and wanting to be here – and they are here.” Inspired and emotional, he made the choir his golden buzzer pick.
Tune in to new episodes of America’s Got Talent, Tuesday nights at 8/7c on NBC.