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America’s Got Talent: The Champions: JJ Pantano, 7, cracks joke about Simon Cowell’s ‘new look’

Seven-year-old comedian JJ Pantano was the judges’ choice on America’s Got Talent: The Champions on Monday, earning the show’s last open spot before the semifinals.

The pint-sized performer from Australia cracked just five jokes about the judges and host Terry Crews and the audience went wild for them. 

JJ opened by noting that there were five hairdressers, three makeup artists, and a team of wardrobe stylists and nutritionists backstage, all to maintain Simon Cowell’s ‘new look.’

Funny kid: Seven-year-old comedian JJ Pantano of Australia was the judges’ choice Monday on America’s Got Talent: The Champions

He also took aim at new judge Alesha Dixon, 41, saying: ‘You started your career as a singer and sold 42 million albums and won 15 Grammys. Oh, wait a minute, that’s Alicia Keys. Sorry.’

‘Howie Mandel, I heard that you were in 40 movies in your whole career,’ JJ told the 62-year-old comic. ’40 movies. Can you believe it? Yeah, me neither. I hadn’t heard of any of them.’

JJ then teased host Terry, 51, for having only played 32 football games in his seven-year NFL career, saying that he’d played more games than that and he was only seven.

‘You’re adorable, you’re funny, you’ve got stage presence,’ Howie told the little performer after he finished. ‘One day I want to grow up and be as funny as you.’

Deciding vote: Simon cast the deciding vote to send JJ into the semis on the AGT spin-off

Deciding vote: Simon cast the deciding vote to send JJ into the semis on the AGT spin-off

‘I think you’ve got this little star glow going about you,’ agreed Simon, 60. ‘The fact that you ripped into us and we all love you says so much. Congratulations.’

The longtime judge cast the deciding vote at the end of the show to save JJ, and may have been influenced by his own son Eric, five, who was running around during the show.

‘Did you think he was funny?’ Simon asked his son, who nodded. 

Good one: JJ mentioned the glam squad at AGT and joked they were all there for Simon's 'new look'

Good one: JJ mentioned the glam squad at AGT and joked they were all there for Simon’s ‘new look’

‘He was making fun of Daddy, though,’ the judge pointed out, pressing the X button on the table before him.

Before he went on, JJ admitted that had always wanted to do his act in Hollywood, and had even named his pet goldfish Holly and Wood to honor that dream.

‘It’s really scary to be a little kid on such a big stage,’ he affirmed, ‘but I want to show all the judges and the superfans out there that I am a champion.’

International edition: Howie Mandel, host Terry Crews, Simon, Alesha Dixon and Heidi Klum star in the international spin-off

International edition: Howie Mandel, host Terry Crews, Simon, Alesha Dixon and Heidi Klum star in the international spin-off

Dance group Silhouette won Alesha’s Golden Buzzer on Monday, and will be going straight through to the finals.

Back in 2011, the Denver, Colorado, troupe was the first dance act to perform in silhouette on AGT, making it to second place even though they just used a sheet and shop light to cast shadows as they danced.

Their new routine, set to Rachel Platten’s Better Place, depicted a girl’s love for her dog throughout childhood, school, the military, and old age. 

Golden buzzer: Alesha was moved by the dance group Silhouette and used her golden buzzer to send them into the finals

Golden buzzer: Alesha was moved by the dance group Silhouette and used her golden buzzer to send them into the finals

‘I’m not an emotional guy, and I welled up in tears,’ Howie revealed, as Heidi said she had, too.

‘I was just completely bowled over, inspired, and I want to see more,’ Alesha said, pressing her buzzer, as members of Silhouette collapsed with joy to the stage.

AGT superfans also picked two acts for the semifinals: contortionist Strauss Serpent, and the acrobats Sandou Trio Russian Bar.

Shadow dance: Silhouette returned after becoming the first shadow dance group on AGT

Shadow dance: Silhouette returned after becoming the first shadow dance group on AGT

The moment: Alesha stood up and dramatically pressed her golden buzzer for the group

The moment: Alesha stood up and dramatically pressed her golden buzzer for the group

Confetti falling: Silhouette celebrated as confetti fell onto the stage after they received the golden buzzer

Confetti falling: Silhouette celebrated as confetti fell onto the stage after they received the golden buzzer

Superfan voting: Brian King Joseph, Emil Rengle, Bars and Melody, JJ, Voices of Service, Strauss Serpent, Connie Talbot, Sandou Trio Russian Bar and Christian & Percy awaited their fate

Superfan voting: Brian King Joseph, Emil Rengle, Bars and Melody, JJ, Voices of Service, Strauss Serpent, Connie Talbot, Sandou Trio Russian Bar and Christian & Percy awaited their fate 

Strauss Serpent, who won Africa’s Got Talent in 2017, grew up in the Congo, struggling to look after his family after his father died early in his youth.

He learned to perform on the street, and some people called what he did ‘witchcraft,’ with his contortionist act getting him arrested 13 times.

‘All my life’s journey brought me here,’ he said, affirming that things had been tough.

Moving forward: Strauss Serpent, who won Africa's Got Talent in 2017, grew up in the Congo, advanced to the semis

Moving forward: Strauss Serpent, who won Africa’s Got Talent in 2017, grew up in the Congo, advanced to the semis

As Strauss twisted his body into impossible proportions and even turned his head and arms completely around, Simon grimaced, Alesha screamed, and the crowd went nuts.

‘This is contortionist on another level,’ Heidi said after he finished, while Howie joked that the performer would ‘bend over backwards to win this thing.’

‘It was so painful to watch, and you know what was even funnier?’ Alesha asked. ‘Watching people watch you.’

Fan favorite: As Strauss twisted his body into impossible proportions and even turned his head and arms completely around, Simon grimaced, Alesha screamed, and the crowd went nuts

Fan favorite: As Strauss twisted his body into impossible proportions and even turned his head and arms completely around, Simon grimaced, Alesha screamed, and the crowd went nuts

High praise: Heidi remarked: 'This is contortionist on another level'

High praise: Heidi remarked: ‘This is contortionist on another level’

Sandou Trio Russian Bar now performs five nights a week in Las Vegas, but they came seeking ‘redemption’ after an embarrassingly bad routine on AGT back in 2011.

‘I want to show my kids that sometimes life can give you take a step back, but it’s our responsibility to take two steps forward and keep following your dreams,’ said Cassie Sandou.

The acrobat flew through the air blindfolded, without a net, and somersaulted over a thin plank, making the crowd gasp, as the sounds of Welshly Arm’s Legendary filled the room.

Next round: Sandou Trio Russian Bar also advanced into the semis

Next round: Sandou Trio Russian Bar also advanced into the semis

Simon said it was the most relevant act of the night, while Heidi marveled at Cassie’s strength.

‘I love a strong, powerful, dangerous woman, like you are,’ she said. ‘And a mom!’

Christian Stoinev, 28, and his dog Percy have been headlining their own show at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, a gig they scored after making it to the finals of AGT in 2014.

Dog routine: Christian Stoinev, 28, and his dog Percy have been headlining their own show at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, a gig they scored after making it to the finals of AGT in 2014

Dog routine: Christian Stoinev, 28, and his dog Percy have been headlining their own show at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, a gig they scored after making it to the finals of AGT in 2014

‘We believe that we’re champions, and this is our chance to show the world,’ Christian announced, having earned a standing ovation even before his act began.

With Blakwell’s Rebel Yell playing in the background, Christian performed incredible balancing feats. 

He was tumbling, pulling handstands and spinning around on one hand as Percy ran all over him.

Fun act: Christian performed incredible balancing feats as he was tumbling, pulling handstands and spinning around on one hand as Percy ran all over him

Fun act: Christian performed incredible balancing feats as he was tumbling, pulling handstands and spinning around on one hand as Percy ran all over him

The judges loved the adorable dog and Christian’s show of strength, with Howie calling himself ‘a fan’ and saying the duo had improved on what they’d done in 2014.

‘You’re great, but Percy is fantastic,’ Simon emphasized, as the crowd rose in another ovation.

Romanian dancer Emil Rengle, 29, made waves in his home country for performing in high heels, and being the first openly gay person to appear on Romania’s Got Talent in 2018.

Good effort: Romanian dancer Emil Rengle, 29, made waves in his home country for performing in high heels, and being the first openly gay person to appear on Romania's Got Talent in 2018

Good effort: Romanian dancer Emil Rengle, 29, made waves in his home country for performing in high heels, and being the first openly gay person to appear on Romania’s Got Talent in 2018

His time on the show had caused a lot of backlash among older viewers, and he was still a controversial figure, even though he won the show.

‘It was the highest number of votes ever for Romania’s Got Talent,’ Emil recalled. ‘What I realized then is that people really wanted change.’

Clad in a red vinyl bodysuit, Emil danced furiously to Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy, but was quickly X’d out by Simon and Howie, even though the audience loved it.

Red bodysuit: Clad in a red vinyl bodysuit, Emil danced furiously to Billie Eilish's Bad Guy, but was quickly X'd out by Simon and Howie, even though the audience loved it

Red bodysuit: Clad in a red vinyl bodysuit, Emil danced furiously to Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy, but was quickly X’d out by Simon and Howie, even though the audience loved it

Voices Of Service, a gospel quartet made up of former military members, also returned to continue its mission, aiding people suffering from PTSD in the wake of war.

‘We all have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, experiencing war, losing comrades and friends, wondering, ”Is this my last day?”,’  said retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ron Henry.

‘The trauma of facing that, it changes your life forever. But the love of music, it brought a sense of hope where there was hopelessness,’ he added.

Military members: Voices Of Service, a gospel quartet made up of former military members, also returned to continue its mission

Military members: Voices Of Service, a gospel quartet made up of former military members, also returned to continue its mission

The group, which made it to the top five on AGT last year, performed a moving cover of Kodaline’s Brother that made Heidi cry.

‘Your voices are weapons, you know?’ she said. ‘They are weapons of inspiration, weapons of hope. Thank you so much for your service and being here.’

‘The power that you feel when you guys harmonize is like no other,’ observed Howie.

Emotional song: The group, which made it to the top five on AGT last year, performed a moving cover of Kodaline's Brother that made Heidi cry

Emotional song: The group, which made it to the top five on AGT last year, performed a moving cover of Kodaline’s Brother that made Heidi cry

Also performing on Monday was singer Connie Talbot, 19, who was six when she performed Somewhere Over the Rainbow on Britain’s Got Talent in 2007.

She was runner-up on the show, but later released four albums, becoming the youngest British artist to earn a gold record.

‘I think a lot of people still think of me as the six-year-old girl, but I’ve definitely changed a lot,’ she said.

Teen talent: Also performing on Monday was singer Connie Talbot, 19, who was six when she performed Somewhere Over the Rainbow on Britain's Got Talent in 2007

Teen talent: Also performing on Monday was singer Connie Talbot, 19, who was six when she performed Somewhere Over the Rainbow on Britain’s Got Talent in 2007

Connie sang an original love song, accompanying herself on piano, which the judges adored.

Alesha said it ‘could be the start of something beautiful’ for her.

Young singers Bars & Melody, who received Simon’s first-ever Golden Buzzer, made it to third place on Britain’s Got Talent in 2014, and has since headlined tours internationally.

Original song: Young singers Bars & Melody, who received Simon's first-ever Golden Buzzer, made it to third place on Britain's Got Talent in 2014, but failed to impress Monday

Original song: Young singers Bars & Melody, who received Simon’s first-ever Golden Buzzer, made it to third place on Britain’s Got Talent in 2014, but failed to impress Monday

They came to win, with an original song, but their nerves got the best of them, and they were immediately X’d by Howie, with the other judges failing to be impressed.

‘That didn’t seem like a champion song,’ Howie said. ‘That’s something I might watch on YouTube.’

Electric violinist Brian King Joseph, 28, walked out to a hero’s welcome, and praise from Simon, who called him ‘a great showman.’

Great showman: Electric violinist Brian King Joseph, 28, walked out to a hero's welcome, and praise from Simon, who called him 'a great showman'

Great showman: Electric violinist Brian King Joseph, 28, walked out to a hero’s welcome, and praise from Simon, who called him ‘a great showman’

Brian had last made it to third place on AGT in 2019, and used the money he made afterward to purchase health insurance.

‘Three years ago, I was diagnosed with neuropathy that will eventually leave me paralyzed,’ he said. ‘Getting sick taught me that the time is now.’

Brian shared an original song that the judges swooned over, and performed it with verve.

Energetic performance: Brian shared an original song that the judges swooned over, and performed it with verve

Energetic performance: Brian shared an original song that the judges swooned over, and performed it with verve

‘Every time I see and hear you, I am blown away,’ Simon said, but he felt that Brian was capable of doing more. ‘You are one of the most talented musicians we’ve ever had on this show.’

In the end, the judges were split on who to send through, with Alesha voting for Brian, Heidi going for Christian, and both Simon and Howie voting for JJ, who advanced to the next round. 

America’s Got Talent: The Champions will return next week on ABC. 

Tough call: In the end, the judges were split on who to send through, with Alesha voting for Brian, Heidi going for Christian, and both Simon and Howie voting for JJ, who advanced to the next round

Tough call: In the end, the judges were split on who to send through, with Alesha voting for Brian, Heidi going for Christian, and both Simon and Howie voting for JJ, who advanced to the next round

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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