Dance troupe V Unbeatable once again wowed the judges on Tuesday’s episode of America’s Got Talent and even earned the highest of praise from their biggest critic.
‘I’ve been here for 10 years, I’ve watched it for 14 years,’ said Howie Mandel, 63, after the 29-member group finished their set. ‘By far the best performance I have ever witnessed.’
The dancers, who ranged in age from 12 to 27, had earned a golden buzzer from retired NBA player Dwyane Wade, 37, the husband of judge Gabrielle Union, on an earlier show.
Best ever: Howie Mandel called the performance by V Unbeatable on Tuesday’s episode of America’s Got Talent the best he’s ever witnessed on the NBC show
Their newest performance, which found them dancing, leaping and jumping in perfect unison as props were rolled across the stage, garnered the Mumbai-based troupe even more respect.
The judges marveled at the way they propelled themselves off of one another and jumped through hoops in mid-air.
The crowd gave them a standing ovation.
‘With every step, with every grip, we become one,’ their leader said before they performed, calling the group ‘a family.’
High flying: V Unbeatable thrilled the audience with their high-flying dance routine
Judge Julianne Hough, 31, called the group the night’s best act and her fellow judge, Simon Cowell, 59, even made a ‘bow down’ gesture.
‘Every time we see you guys, you push the boundaries,’ he said. ‘You made every second of those two minutes count.’
The group jumped up and down with excitement on stage.
Standing ovation: The audience at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood gave the live performance a standing ovation
Fan favorites: V Unbeatable dancers, who ranged in age from 12 to 27, had earned a golden buzzer from retired NBA player Dwyane Wade, 37, the husband of judge Gabrielle Union
It was one of the few times the judges would be in agreement during the evening’s live shows at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre.
Just seven of the 12 acts featured would be chosen to go through to the show’s semifinals and opinions were mixed.
Up first was singer Charlotte Summers, a 13-year-old AGT superfan from Spain, who was thrilled to be on the show.
First up: Charlotte Summers was the first to perform during the two-hour episode on NBC
Before her set, she and her sister rode a tour bus by Simon’s home, and gaped as they saw host Terry Crews, 51, walk by.
‘Sometimes I think it is actually a dream, so I start to pinch myself,’ Charlotte revealed, adding: ‘I like my new life.’
Her somber performance of Shirley Bassey’s 1971 classic Diamonds Are Forever failed to impress the judges.
Somber performance: The 13-year-old singer took on Shirley Bassey’s 1971 classic Diamonds Are Forever
The judges: Howie, Gabrielle Union, Julianne Hough and Simon Cowell evaluated the talent
They hated the song choice, calling it too mature for such a spirited girl.
‘Your talent is so far beyond your years,’ offered Howie, wishing she had done something more youthful.
‘You’re not a Bond girl,’ he pointed out. ‘You’re a Bond child: 004.’
Wrong song: Simon and Howie told Charlotte that she picked the wrong song
Nick & Lindsay Williams, a danger-loving knife act, were next.
Having made mistakes in their previous AGT performances, the husband and wife from New Orleans threw their knives ‘1,000 times’ to prepare for their set.
‘We’re pulling out all the stops,’ Nick explained, adding that something could go wrong ‘at any moment.’
Second act: Nick & Lindsay Williams, a danger-loving knife act, were next
‘We are risking everything to win,’ Lindsay affirmed.
It didn’t go well.
As the Juilliard-trained Nick sang Johnny Cash’s 1963 tune Ring Of Fire, a blindfolded Lindsay threw knives at him with her feet.
Flat performance: As the Juilliard-trained Nick sang Johnny Cash’s 1963 tune Ring Of Fire, a blindfolded Lindsay threw knives at him with her feet
She then lit some on fire and whacked those at him, too.
Many of them failed to stick their landing.
Nick then lay between two beds of nails, as Lindsay played her fiddle and smashed bottles over his head, but one refused to break.
New judge: Julianne joined season 14 of AGT as a judge
Red dress: The 31-year-old judge rocked a little red dress with plunging neckline
Howie and Simon X’d them out before the act ended.
‘Everything went wrong!’ blared Simon, calling it the ‘worst live performance’ in the history of AGT.
Following them was Swedish singer-songwriter Chris Kläfford, who grew up in a village so small its only residents were his family.
Worst performance: Simon told Nick & Lindsay they were the ‘worst live performance’ in show history
He played an original song about his last visit with his great-grandmother, which he called ‘a reminder, for me, that you have to enjoy the moments you have with the ones you love.’
His moving song gave many listeners the chills.
‘You are special,’ said Julianne, who broke out in goosebumps while watching. ‘That was unbelievable.’
Original song: Swedish singer-songwriter Chris Kläfford, who grew up in a village so small its only residents were his family
Howie and Simon again said they didn’t like the song choice.
Ukrainian dancer Marina Mazepa also divided opinion.
She said she had been pushing her body to its breaking point to prepare for her act, doing things she had never done before.
Mixed reviews: Ukrainian dancer Marina Mazepa also divided opinion
Growing up, she said, ‘I had this stronger energy inside of me that couldn’t be controlled. And I had to let it out.’
Marina contorted her body to the strains of Billie Eilish’s chart-topper Bury A Friend, also doing acrobatics and spinning knives.
When she walked upside-down and backwards to the judges’ table, she looked disturbingly like a broken spider.
Good times: The judges laughed and smiled while watching the quarter-finalists performs
Simon X’d her early on, saying her new act didn’t captivate him.
‘Wow, one man’s boredom is another man’s dream,’ Howie marveled. ‘I’m happily married, but I feel like I just cheated.’
Gabrielle, 46, called it ‘creepy,’ ‘sexy’ and ‘out of this world,’ ‘like a video game come to life.’
New addition: Gabrielle also joined season 14 as a new judge
Feeling blue: The 46-year-old actress wore a long blue dress with deep neckline
Everyone loved Louisiana native Robert Finley, a blind singer who was finally pursuing his love of music after decades of working a menial job to support his family.
‘I guess it took being blind at the age of 65 for me to really see,’ he opined. ‘Now I’m finally living my childhood dream.’
Robert called being on AGT ‘a now or never moment,’ and his song tried to capture what it had all meant to him.
Blind singer: Everyone loved Louisiana native Robert Finley, a blind singer who was finally pursuing his love of music
‘I think about all the beautiful places I’ve been, and how people opened up and let me in,’ he sang, as his daughter Christie accompanied him on backing vocals.
‘I might not see your face, but I can feel the love in this place.’
When he finished, the crowd erupted.
Crowd favorite: The crowd erupted after Robert performed an original song
‘You are exactly what America needs right now,’ said Julianne, as Gabrielle, 46, called him ‘a gift to us all.’
‘I’m going to agree with the girls,’ added Simon, dubbing him ‘a legend.’
‘In my opinion, Robert, that was bloody fantastic,’ Simon added.
The host: Terry Crews kept the two-hour show moving
Mind-reading act The Sentimentalists were picked to compete on AGT as a wild card, after failing to make it past the judge cuts round.
‘This is our second chance to pursue our dreams and share our talents with the world,’ said one half of the duo, Steffi Kay.
She and her partner Mysterion set out to prove that human beings could ‘transfer’ their senses to one another.
Wild card: The Sentimentalists invited Howie to help with their mind-reading act
While blindfolded, she accurately named the letter of the alphabet that one judge had written on Mysterion’s palm, and picked out foods that other judges were eating or craving
Before the show, she even predicted everything that would happen, and wrote it down on a note to be read to viewers.
Simon remained unimpressed.
Nice try: The Sentimentalists were a bit off and failed to impress Simon
‘It was a total mess from start to finish,’ he emphasized.
He was fonder of the next act: comedian Ryan Niemiller, who uniformly earned praise from all of the judges.
Born with severely shortened arms, Ryan tried not to let his disability define him.
Funny guy: Ryan Niemiller was unanimously praised by the judges after his stand-up routine
From the moment he came out and addressed the audience as ‘Club Nub,’ he owned them.
His set about growing up in a trailer, breaking New Years’ resolutions, and being unable to wear a Fitbit killed.
‘You are wonderful, you’re memorable, you’re funny, you’re smart, you need to be in the finals,’ said Howie.
Good one: The comedian joked about being unable to wear a Fitbit monitor
Simon and Julianne said he was born to do stand-up.
They were less sure about singer Joseph Allen, who’d won Howie’s golden buzzer in the audition round.
‘My life has changed dramatically,’ began Joseph, who moved to Los Angeles after getting the AGT nod.
Golden voice: Joseph Allen who was Howie’s golden buzzer pick performed an original song
‘I realized you only get opportunities like this once in a lifetime.’
His original song, half-spoken, half-sung, dealt with his ability to keep his head in the midst of achieving sudden fame.
He specifically addressed his mother, who was in the crowd, singing, ‘Look, Mama, we made it.’
Tender moment: The singer specifically addressed his mother during his performance
Proud mother: Joseph’s mother beamed while watching him perform
Howie liked it, of course and so did Gabrielle.
‘You put your heart on that stage,’ she pointed out.
For Light Balance Kids, who won Ellie Kemper’s golden buzzer on an AGT Judges Cuts show, just being in America was ‘a dream.’
Liked it: Howie and Gabrielle enjoyed the performance
Their incredible blacklight routine, set to hits by Billie Eilish and the Jonas Brothers, followed the creation of a female robot who went rogue and commandeered a skeleton dance troupe.
The act was riveting and the crowd went crazy for it.
‘Just when I think you guys cannot top yourselves, you top yourselves,’ said Gabrielle. ‘All of us are blown away.’
Blacklight routine: Light Balance Kids impressed yet again with a new routine
Stunning visuals: The audience was impressed by the stunning visuals and choreography
Simon, however, felt that it lacked the ‘wow factor.’
He was naturally predisposed to like violinist Tyler Butler-Figueroa, 11, to whom he had earlier given his golden buzzer.
The boy enthusiastically played Swedish House Mafia’s 2012 hit Don’t You Worry Child while dancing on a giant keyboard.
Violin player: Tyler Butler-Figueroa, 11, survived cancer and showed his talent with the violin
Diagnosed with cancer at age four, Tyler ‘spent his whole childhood in the hospital,’ undergoing chemo for three years.
Lately, when he went in for hospital appointments, he would play his violin for the patients, to tell them ‘don’t give up.’
Simon said he was an incredible talent, and suggested that a DJ call him up and make a record with him.
Killing it: Simon praised his golden buzzer pick and said a DJ should collaborate with him
Gabrielle cheered the fact that he had just gotten a generation of kids to put down their video-game controllers.
The last act of the night, the Ndlovu Youth Choir from Limpopo, South Africa, had previously earned her golden buzzer.
Living in a place where many households lacked running water or electricity was tough on them, said choir director Ralf Schmitt.
Last act: Ndlovu Youth Choir from Limpopo, South Africa, had previously earned Gabrielle’s golden buzzer
They were determined, however, to move forward.
‘We’ve had difficulties in our lives, but we’ve never let any of them hold us back,’ a choir member opined.
Their jubilant performance of U2’s 2000 hit Beautiful Day soon had Gabrielle and Julianne dancing in their seats.
On fire: Their jubilant performance of U2’s 2000 hit Beautiful Day soon had Gabrielle and Julianne dancing in their seats
‘You set that stage on fire!’ Gabrielle enthused.
‘Everything just worked, and clicked,’ Simon agreed. ‘Congratulations.’
Terry asked one of the choir’s members if he had a message for the 12 million people who were watching.
‘Never stop dreaming,’ he said.
America’s Got Talent will return Wednesday with the results of viewer voting and a live performance by Scottish singer Susan Boyle, 58.
Live performance: America’s Got Talent will return Wednesday with the results of viewer voting and a live performance by Scottish singer Susan Boyle, 58