[Warning: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for America’s Got Talent Season 17 Episode 7.]
Simon Cowell was a little buzzer happy with his rejection button on this week’s America’s Got Talent. Luckily for the handful of contestants he didn’t like, one no doesn’t mean you’re done in the competition for good.
Howie Mandel‘s absence continued in the first half of the episode, leaving the decisions up to Cowell, Heidi Klum, and Sofía Vergara. That meant two yeses were enough to survive up until Mandel’s return.
Here, we break down some of the most impressive auditions from Season 17 Episode 7, culminating in a rare moment for one special group that’s only happened one other time in the show’s history.
The group from West Africa delivered an unforgettable acrobatic dance performance, taking their act to the next level of similar contestants seen on the show by creating apparatuses with their own bodies. You might find yourself holding your breath before the last trick of their number: They made two human towers and let them both fall down. No dancers were harmed in the making of this performance — the judges sent them through to the next round immediately!
Cieri is the lead singer of the band Nicotine Dolls, which already has an impressive fan base on TikTok at over 400,000 followers. Cieri performed solo this time, and Klum described his raspy voice like “if Rod Stewart and John Mayer had a baby.” His dream of being a full-time musician may come true thanks to this audition.
The 26-year-old aerial artist currently lives in Las Vegas, but she’s originally from Kiev, Ukraine. She was able to get her mother and sister safely out of the country a few weeks before her audition, and they were there to support her backstage. Her father, however, is serving on the frontlines in Ukraine. The visibly shaken Rohozhyna dedicated her performance to him and then displayed her strength and elegance, suspending herself from a swinging chandelier. She got four yeses from the overly impressed judges panel. Backstage, she FaceTimed her father to share the exciting news, and he was all smiles.
Light as a feather, stiff as a board. With just a gilded frame and a few feathers, Hojin mystified the crowd with a magic act that saw feathers float in and out of thin air. Mandel, Klum, and Vergara called the performance “beautiful,” “mystical,” and “mystifying.” They appreciated the calm nature of the performance that differentiated Hojin from other magicians who typically deliver the “razzle dazzle.” Cowell, however, didn’t like the performance, giving it a no because he expected something grander. But Hojin got an easy three yeses from the rest of the panel.
The young singer has a speech impediment that makes communication difficult, but she discovered she doesn’t stutter when she’s singing. Mammana performed an original song about working through hard times, saying “if I could go back and change those things, I wouldn’t, because they made me me.” Mammana’s gentle voice delivered a powerful message, and her singing and songwriting skills earned her a standing ovation and four easy yeses.
What a boost of energy! Country trio Chapel Hart has been trying to make a music career for themselves in Nashville for several years to no avail so far. But they smashed through all barriers in their America’s Got Talent audition, performing an original song that’s a spinoff of Dolly Parton‘s iconic “Jolene.”
Parton is the group’s favorite artist, and they wanted to make a creative twist on the classic song in “You Can Have Him, Jolene.” Chapel Hart and “You Can Have Him, Jolene” have everything country music needs: an easily followed storyline, killer vocals, and attitude. Immediately after the end of the song, the audience chanted “golden buzzer” en masse. The only thing is, all of the judges and host Terry Crews have already used their one allotted golden buzzer of the season.
For only the second time in AGT history, Chapel Hart received a group golden buzzer from Klum, Cowell, Vergara, Mandel, and Crews, sending them straight to the live shows. (The first person to get a group golden buzzer was Victory Brinker in 2021, who was nine years old at the time of her audition.)
America’s Got Talent, Tuesdays, 8/7c, NBC