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AGT: Simon Cowell absolutely gutted by shocking Top 10 reveal, calls for finale wildcard – USA TODAY

The Top 10 on “America’s Got Talent” is set.

The last five acts moving on to the finals were revealed during Wednesday’s results show following what Heidi Klum called “a tough night” of semifinal performances.

In Simon Cowell’s opinion, however, “that’s not enough” contestants in the finale.

“So many of you were outstanding last night,” said Cowell, who admitted to being “absolutely gutted” by the Top 10 reveal. “I think we should have a wild card.”

A new champion will be crowned next week. The past two winners – spoken word artist Brandon Leake (season 15) and singer Kodi Lee(season 14) – were both Golden Buzzer winners. But the coveted status is no longer synonymous with frontrunners.

Just like last week, two Golden Buzzer winners who earned rave reviews found themselves in danger of elimination, including the show’s first-ever group Golden Buzzer. Cowell said he was in “shock.”

Here’s what happened:

Last night on ‘AGT’:Brooke Simpson blows Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel away with Ed Sheeran cover

Simon Cowell on "America's Got Talent."

The fans’ picks

The three acts that received the most votes automatically advanced. That means they are only one performance away from winning $1 million and a headlining show in Las Vegas.

Northwell Nurse Choir, Howie Mandel’s Golden Buzzer winner, was the first act to move forward following their emotional rendition of Andy Grammer’s “Don’t Give Up On Me” in their signature scrubs. “This is America saying a big ‘thank you,'” Mandel said.

“We came here with a mission to use the power of music to heal the world and we get to keep doing that,” said choir member Emanuel Remilus, one of of 18 nurses who worked at the frontline during the pandemic in New York.

‘AGT’ premiere:Northwell Nurse Choir of frontline workers win Golden Buzzer with ‘heroic’ song

Northwell Health Nurse Choir performs on "America's Got Talent."

Singer Brooke Simpson joined them in the safe zone after her powerful cover of Ed Sheeran’s “Bad Habits.” Cowell said she “100% deserves to be in the final.”

Simpson added, “I feel shocked honestly. Thank you so much for everyone who voted for me.”

Comedian Josh Blue also advanced. Mandel said “this is the year of the comedian,” noting that two comedians are in the finale for the first time in the show’s history. A comedian has never won “AGT” in the past 15 seasons.

“I feel amazing,” Blue said. As for Cowell’s advice? “Be even more naughty next week.”

The face-off

Quick change artist Léa Kyle (Klum’s Golden Buzzer), 9-year-old opera singer Victory Brinker (the group’s first-ever Golden Buzzer) and unicycle dance group UniCircle Flow finished in the middle of the pack and were on the brink of elimination.

Tuesday night, Klum said Kyle was “the best quick change artist we’ve ever had.” Sofía Vergara said Brinker has “a good chance of winning the million dollars.” Cowell added that UniCircle Flow “may have given yourself a chance for the finals” following their upbeat performance.

But the stellar acts didn’t translate to enough votes.

The three acts went head-to-head in a live voting round for the “AGT Save,” where fans had the opportunity to rescue one performer. Whoever received the most votes in a 30-minute flash round would move on.

In the end, viewers saved Kyle. “Incredible,” she exclaimed. Cowell said, “After last night’s performance you really deserve your spot in the final.”

But the results weren’t over just yet. The judges had the chance to save either Brinker or UniCircle Flow, who was in the same exact position last week. Host Terry Crews called it the judge’s “biggest decision of the season so far.”

“Both acts were fantastic last night,” Klum said before voting for Brinker to stay. Vergara also picked Brinker. Mandel went for UniCircle Flow because of their “originality.” Cowell went with his “heart” and selected Brinker, sending her to the finals.


For six other acts, however, their dreams came crashing down.

The five acts with the fewest votes – 1aChord (vocal trio); Rialcris (acrobatic group); Kabir Singh (comedian); ChapKidz (dance group) and Peter Antoniou (mentalist) – were eliminated.

UniCircle Flow was also sent packing.

Next week

“America’s Got Talent” will return Sept. 14 for finale performances (NBC, 8 EDT/PDT). The new champion will be crowned during the season finale results show on Sept. 15.

The finalists are aerialist Aidan Bryant; magician Dustin Tavella; comedians Gina Brillon and Josh Blue; Northwell Nurse Choir; singer Brooke Simpson and four Golden Buzzer winners: Singer Jimmie Herrod (Vergara); opera singer Victory Brinker (group pick); World Taekwondo Demonstration Team (Crews) and quick change artist Léa Kyle (Klum).

Could Cowell have a wildcard up his sleeve? We’ll see next week.

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