Quarterfinals and the first live night of performances for America’s Got Talent season 14 begin Tuesday, August 13 at 8/7c. Joining the 11 acts that will take the stage Tuesday night is a twelfth performer: a wild card chosen by the judges to rejoin the competition.
Before we reveal the identity of the wild card contestant competing on night one of the live quarterfinals, let’s review what it means to be a wild card on America’s Got Talent.
The wild card has been around since the first season of America’s Got Talent, although it has evolved as a concept over time. Since season 11, 2 wild card acts have been collectively chosen by all of the judges for the quarterfinals from a pool of eliminated contestants, with a third wild card selection returning in the semifinal round of the competition. This means that the lucky contestant was one of two acts brought back for quarterfinals by this season’s judges: Howie Mandel, Simon Cowell, Julianne Hough, and Gabrielle Union.
Now that that’s out of the way, it’s time to tell you that the first wild card contestant is…
[Beware of spoilers beyond this point and STOP READING NOW if you don’t want to know who the first season 14 wild card contestant is.]
… Ansley Burns!
According to TV Line, Ansley Burns is the first of three wildcard acts competing in the AGT season 14 quarterfinals. The 12-year-old singer from South Carolina captured the hearts of America during her initial audition and judge cuts performances but did not initially make it through the judge cuts round to quarterfinals.
During Burns’s first AGT audition, she was stopped by Simon Cowell shortly after she began singing “Trust” by Aretha Franklin. He told her “We really like you, but that was terrible. If you’re gonna sing Aretha, you’ve gotta have a great track. I’m just wondering whether we should just do a verse and a chorus maybe a capella?” Although she was shaken at first, she ultimately rose to the challenge and performed the song without backing vocals. That audition earned her a spot in the Judge Cuts, where she started singing to
Hopefully, Ansley took Simon’s note from her first two performances and chooses to sing a cappella for her wild card quarterfinals performance. She certainly proved on-stage that she has the talent to sing without instrumental support, and challenging herself vocally and as a performer, especially at such a young age, could help her stand out and earn the backing of viewers and voters.
The official synopsis for the first live quarter-finals episode reads “Performers take the stage live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood as judging is turned over to the American viewing audience; with judges Simon Cowell, Gabrielle Union, Julianne Hough, Howie Mandel and host Terry Crews.”
Tune in to season 14 of America’s Got Talent, Tuesday and Wednesday nights at 8/7c on NBC.