Julianne Hough pushed her Golden Buzzer for 12-year-old singer Luke Islam on Tuesday’s episode of America’s Got Talent on NBC.
Luke performed She Used To Be Mine by Sara Bareilles from the musical Waitress and was so overwhelmed by the Golden Buzzer that he fell onto the stage crying.
‘My dream is to become a star and make it to Broadway,’ the boy told the judges before beginning to sing.
New judge: Julianne Hough hit her Golden Buzzer for 12-year-old singer Luke Islam during Tuesday’s episode of America’s Got Talent
His song choice was a notably bold one, as the lyrics were originally meant for an older woman to sing to her younger self, and his soaring, vulnerable take had everyone in tears.
Luke’s mother said her son had been attending Broadway shows since he was six. He admitted he entered ticket lotteries every weekend in the hopes of going to more.
He’d seen Kinky Boots eight times alone.
‘I love the audience, I love the crowd, I love the stage, the props, the costumes,’ Luke explained. ‘I want to be up there. I want to do what they do.’
Broadway dreams: Luke reacted with joy after Julianne pressed her Golden Buzzer sending him straight to the live shows in Hollywood
Bold choice: The boy’s song choice was a notably bold one, as the lyrics were originally meant for an older woman to sing to her younger self
After hearing him sing, the judges believed he could make it.
‘You know, people come on here and hopefully, dreams come true,’ said judge Howie Mandel, 63. ‘And I think we are watching the beginning of your dream coming true.’
Luke seemed to hold his breath as he awaited Julianne’s review, as she was his favorite judge. He said that he and his sister followed her and her brother Derek Hough’s careers.
Nailed it: Luke nailed his rendition of the She Used To Be Mine
Standing up: Julianne stood up as Luke performed the Broadway song
She soon returned the boy’s admiration.
‘I am extremely flattered that you would even look up to my brother and I with a voice like that, with an energy like that,’ Julianne, 30, said, as she and Luke started to cry.
‘You have an essence inside of you that has given you a gift,’ she added, praising Luke’s ‘talent’ and ‘grace.’
The judges: Howie Mandel, Gabrielle Union, Julianne and Simon Cowell evaluated the talent
‘I believe that not only are you going to become a star and get your dream to come true, but I don’t think you need to wait that much longer, because…’
And then she slammed the Golden Buzzer, sending him straight through to the live shows in Hollywood.
It was a fantastic way to end the auditions that literally started with a decidedly more ‘gonzo’ act.
A young man named Gonzo from Tokyo offered a hilariously straight-faced routine that saw him do nothing but shake a tambourine to Europe’s 1986 hit The Final Countdown.
The moment: Julianne hit her Golden Buzzer for Luke as the other judges looked on
Tambourine man: The two-hour show opened with tambourine player Gonzo
Wearing a tank top and skintight leggings, he practically beat himself with the instrument, and got a pass through.
‘Bonkers,’ said judge Simon Cowell, 59.
Next up was Olivia Calderon, 47, with a deeply felt rendition of ‘A Mi Manera,’ the Spanish translation of Paul Anka’s 1969 classic ‘My Way.’
Sweet voice: Olivia Calderon, 47, performed a deeply felt rendition of ‘A Mi Manera,’ the Spanish translation of Paul Anka’s 1969 classic ‘My Way
Olivia had spent the past 12 years working as a detention officer for the police department in Temple, Arizona, and said she used singing to ‘de-stress’ from her job.
But she’d put any dreams of a real career on hold years ago to care for her father, she told the judges.
They loved it.
Loving it: The judges with the exception of Howie enjoyed Olivia’s performance
Not so lucky were the next contestants, Marco and Elisa, who performed a muscular dance routine based around the fact that they never stopped kissing the whole time.
The song behind them, naturally, was Sixpence None the Richer’s 1998 tune Kiss Me.
‘I found that quite uncomfortable,’ Simon said, before they were X’ed out by both Simon and Howie.
Kissing duo: Marco & Elisa performed their Dance Kissing Duo routine
In came a perfect palate cleanser: French couple Ludivine and Nicolas, the stars of dance act Duo MainTenanT.
Together for 15 years, the parents of two unleashed a sexy, passionate dance, tumbling, swinging and leaping off one another.
While Paloma Faith’s cover of INXS’ Never Tear Us Apart played in the background, they bent each others’ bodies like rubber, unfolding their limbs in strong, clean lines.
Passionate dance: French couple Ludivine and Nicolas, the stars of dance act Duo MainTenanT, performed a sexy routine
It was disciplined, muscular and provocative.
To his amazement, Ludivine confessed that she was a two-time Olympian.
They were sent through.
Disciplined dancers: The parents of two unleashed a sexy, passionate dance, tumbling, swinging and leaping off one another
Tour bus driver Ra’ed came onstage in a gold hat and cape, but he was serious about his profession, having earned a bachelors and masters degree in music.
He belted out an original, called Celebration, which was about getting one’s moment to stand in the spotlight.
It was so bad, the judges immediately gave him four X’s.
Nice try: Tour bus driver Ra’ed came onstage in a gold hat and cape and belted out an original song called Celebration, but it was so bad, the judges immediately gave him four X’s
The Revolution Queens, a 17-woman troupe who dubbed themselves ‘Queens of Malambo,’ introduced a dance of ‘strength and power’ from their home country, Argentina.
Using whips, drums, rope chains and red high-heeled tap shoes, they pounded out a fierce, aggressive rhythm that could have been the soundtrack to a very chic street fight.
When they started swinging the ropes from their mouths, the crowd jumped to its feet, shouting, in a standing ovation.
Dance troupe: The Revolution Queens, a 17-woman troupe who dubbed themselves ‘Queens of Malambo,’ introduced a dance of ‘strength and power’ from their home country, Argentina
The women wept.
‘We’ve sacrificed so much to be here,’ one said. ‘There’s not a lot of opportunity back in Argentina for artists like us.’
Malambo was traditionally performed exclusively by men, she added—hence the word ‘revolution’ in their name.
Killed it: Revolution performed a Malambo routine, which is traditionally done only by men
Gabrielle Union, 46, was moved to tears, citing their energy, passion and pride.
‘It was beautiful to see,’ she said.
They, too, went through.
The host: Terry Crews kept the two-hour show on NBC moving
The Sentimentalists, a ’40s-inspired mind-reading duo, blew the audience away with their powers, correctly intuiting what they’d drawn on small pieces of paper.
‘It kind of feels like taking a test that I didn’t study for, but I know all the answers,’ explained Steffi Kay, a mentalist working with her longtime pal Chris Doyle, aka ‘Mysterion.’
Before going on, she said three judges would vote yes.
Mind readers: The Sentimentalists, a ’40s-inspired mind-reading duo, blew the audience away with their powers
Steffi first accurately guessed that Gabrielle had drawn a tree on one paper. So Mysterion decided to up the ante.
He had host Terry Crews, 50, randomly choose a paper inside a wind machine, then ‘think’ the image to Steffi.
When given the go-ahead, Terry revealed the image had been a heart—and Steffi turned her own drawing around to show the exact same picture, even naming its artist.
The host: Terry was brought in on the act by The Sentimentalists
Gabrielle and Julianne liked them, but Howie balked. Simon was on the fence about sending them through.
Mysterion had him think of a favorite celebrity from any point in time—and Steffi guessed it: Lassie.
Her prediction then came true, as they earned a third ‘yes’ from Simon.
Got it: Simon was holding out but gave the duo a yes vote after Steffi correctly guessed what celebrity he wrote down
Small-town Swedish musician Chris Klafford, 30, won the crowd over with a heartfelt version of John Lennon’s 1971 song Imagine, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar.
Chris worked at a liquor store but always kept his dream of performing alive, playing in bars for 10 years. He was inspired by the band KISS, but his sound was all his own.
A standing ovation made him and half the judges cry.
Fan favorite: Small-town Swedish musician Chris Klafford, 30, won the crowd over with a heartfelt version of John Lennon’s 1971 song Imagine
‘This means everything,’ he said.
Matthew Richardson, a 33-year-old graphic designer from Savannah, Georgia, wowed the judges with an acrobatic routine set to a cover of ‘Memories,’ from the musical Cats.
Clad only in silver body paint, glitter and a Speedo, he rode a giant hoop into the air, then used it to spin his body around, pointing his limbs in a series of incredible arcs.
Acrobatic routine: Matthew Richardson, a 33-year-old graphic designer from Savannah, Georgia, wowed the judges with an acrobatic routine set to a cover of ‘Memories,’ from the musical Cats
Spinning around: The contestant rode a giant hoop into the air, then used it to spin his body around, pointing his limbs in a series of incredible arcs
‘That was unbelievable!’ said Julianne, concurring with the other judges and sending him through. ‘100 percent yes!’
Vietnam veteran Robert Finley, 65, had everyone in the theater jumping with his performance of an original blues tune, the hilarious Get It While You Can.
The sharecropper’s son prefaced his song by explaining that he’d loved music as a child, but had to give it up to support his family, spending decades as a carpenter.
Original song: Vietnam veteran Robert Finley, 65, had everyone in the theater jumping with his performance of an original blues tune, the hilarious Get It While You Can
Four years ago, he began going blind from glaucoma— an experience that compelled him to sing again.
‘The bad things sometimes bring out the best in you,’ the Winnsboro, Louisiana, resident told the show’s producers. ‘It’s like I’m 65, and I’m just coming alive, you know?’
Simon liked him, saying that Robert had a ‘great soul.’
Going blind: The sharecropper’s son four years ago began going blind from glaucoma— an experience that compelled him to sing again
Four yeses sent him through.
Simon between acts asked Julianne, a new judge this season, how she liked the job and she replied that she was inspired by it.
‘This is the one job I’ve done where it has made more positive things to me than anything I’ve ever done,’ Simon offered saying it had made him a better person.
Job question: Simon between acts asked Julianne, a new judge this season, how she liked the job and she replied that she was inspired by it
After a show filled with so many heavy hitters, ‘Kara with a K,’ a 37-year-old, big-haired blonde Texan, brought some comic relief.
Kara said she had always known she would be a star.
‘I was either going to end up on a stage or a pole,’ she explained, dousing herself in hair spray and slathering on makeup before her act.
Comic relief: ‘Kara with a K’ performed a stand-up routine that cracked up the audience
Her bits had the audience screaming with laughter.
‘I’m from Texas,’ Kara began, talking about how hard it was for her to lose weight. ‘You don’t bring us a salad unless it’s rockin’ a deep-fried tire on top of [it].’
Then she pulled a hamburger out of her bra and ate it before doing a split.
‘I want more!’ Julianne cried.
‘I didn’t forget about you girl,’ Kara said, pulling fries out of the other side of her bra, and handing them to the judges.
She grabbed Simon’s soda.
Cold drink: The comedienne grabbed Simon’s drink during her performance
‘I’m a little parched, baby,’ she said.
On the way back to the stage, Kara tripped on her heels, sending the judges into gales of laughter.
‘You’re like this hilarious buffet,’ Howie marveled.
Simon called her the ‘Dolly Parton of comedy,’ giving her a fourth ‘yes’ and sending her through.
America’s Got Talent will return next week on NBC.
Golden moment: Luke dropped to the ground after Julianne hit her Golden Buzzer for him