Gabrielle Union

17 Jul 19
GoldDerby
“America’s Got Talent” singer-songwriter Sophie Pecora returned during the first Judge Cuts episode to perform in front of Simon Cowell, Julianne Hough, Gabrielle Union, Howie Mandel and guest judge Brad Paisley. The last time Sophie performed, this shy 15-year-old reminded me of singing ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer, who won Season 12. The good news is Sophie is now on the right track to win Season 14 as she just earned Brad’s Golden Buzzer following her original song, “Misfits.” Watch the “AGT” performance video above and read some of the judges’ comments below. [pmc-related-link href=”https://www.goldderby.com/article/2019/kodi-lee-americas-got-talent-favorite-golden-buzzer-poll-results-agt-emmy/” type=”SEE” target=”_self”]Cue the confetti: Kodi Lee is YOUR favorite 2019 ‘America’s Got Talent’ Golden Buzzer, but who’s in 2nd place? [POLL RESULTS][/pmc-related-link] In her pre-performance package Sophie proclaimed, “There’s been times in my life when I wish I wasn’t so quiet and I wish that I was more outgoing. I am a quiet person but I do have a pretty loud mind. A lot of the time I get stuck in my head and I just overthink it a lot.” She continued on, “I just love writing songs. It’s really special to me because they’re my words.” This time around, her original tune was the “most personal” of them all and told the story of her struggles with bullies. As for why Brad made the bold move of anointing Sophie with his Golden Buzzer, he told her, “I know you from that one song. That’s incredible. To stand up there with just a guitar, I mean that takes incredible cajones. I don’t think there’s maybe a more important issue now that social media is this thing that’s pervasive everywhere we look — young people not understanding that that isn’t that big a deal when you look back on your life. You have schooled so many people in this moment and I think … I’m done.” The country superstar then slammed his hand down on the Golden Buzzer, covering Sophie in confetti. [pmc-related-link href=”https://www.goldderby.com/article/2019/its-good-orange-magician-americas-got-talent-quick-change-judge-cuts/” type=”SEE” target=”_self”]It’s good! The Orange Magician (‘America’s Got Talent’) takes quick-change act to next level during Judge Cuts [WATCH][/pmc-related-link] By receiving the Golden Buzzer, that meant Sophie immediately advanced to the live shows at the Dolby Theatre. The other successful performers from this week’s episode were Emerald Belles, Berywam, Messoudi Brothers, Lukas & Falco, Ndiovu Youth Choir and Chris Klafford. In his “AGT” live blog, our recapper Denton Davidson had this to say about the performance: “Next up is Sophie Pecora, a young singer-songwriter who is more like a rapper/spoken word artist who plays guitar. She’s performing an original song and she starts off singing in a bit of a folk style before segueing into her rap. I like her genre-bending style and she is truly an original. The judges give her a standing ovation. Simon gives her some fatherly advice and tells her not to sing about bullies ever again because they don’t deserve her attention. Brad takes things one step further and gives Sophie the Golden Buzzer! Sophie is headed to the quarter-finals.” SIGN UP for Gold Derby’s newsletter with experts’ latest predictions
17 Jul 19
GoldDerby
“America’s Got Talent” magic act The Orange Magician returned during the first Judge Cuts episode to perform in front of Simon Cowell, Julianne Hough, Gabrielle Union, Howie Mandel and guest judge Brad Paisley. As a refresher, this quirky magician only ever says two words: “It’s good.” Before he came out on stage on Tuesday night, Brad asked if the Orange Magician was actually going to be Donald Trump, which prompted a loud belly-laugh from Simon. Watch the “AGT” performance video above and read some of the judges’ comments below. [pmc-related-link href=”https://www.goldderby.com/article/2019/kodi-lee-americas-got-talent-favorite-golden-buzzer-poll-results-agt-emmy/” type=”SEE” target=”_self”]Cue the confetti: Kodi Lee is YOUR favorite 2019 ‘America’s Got Talent’ Golden Buzzer, but who’s in 2nd place? [POLL RESULTS][/pmc-related-link] This time around the Orange Magician centered his act around the mysterious art of the quick-change. He came out in his trademark orange suit jacket which soon turned into several different colors (purple, green, pink). He also changed into a straight jacket, a dress and a skeleton, all within mere seconds. “We’ll be the judge of that,” Howie remarked when the Orange Magician shouted “It’s good” again following his performance. That’s when Simon chimed in, “You’re annoying when you talk. You were really irritating me and then I sort of turn myself into a five-year-old kid and I love the act.” Brad added, “In the beginning I was like, this is crazy. But I got the deeper meaning. This was an allegory [about] ‘Game of Thrones’ … am I right?” [pmc-related-link href=”https://www.goldderby.com/article/2019/luke-islam-interview-americas-got-talent-golden-buzzer-video-julianne-hough/” type=”SEE” target=”_self”]Giddy Luke Islam just watched his own ‘America’s Got Talent’ Golden Buzzer video: ‘I don’t remember any of this!’ [INTERVIEW][/pmc-related-link] Alas, the Orange Magician was not among the list of seven acts who made it through to the live shows at the Dolby Theatre. Those talented performers were Sophie Pecora, Emerald Belles, Messoudi Brothers, Berywam, Lukas & Falco, Ndiovu Youth Choir and Chris Klafford. In his “AGT” live blog, our recapper Denton Davidson had this to say about the performance: “Perhaps The Orange Magician can turn things around. The only thing this guy says is, ‘It’s good.’ Literally, over and over. He goes through some impressive quick-changes behind a curtain and is able to draw laughter through the increasingly ridiculous outfits he puts on. This guy’s okay, but come on. We deserve better from the world’s most popular talent contest. Brad enjoyed it, but no Golden Buzzer moment just yet.” SIGN UP for Gold Derby’s newsletter with experts’ latest predictions
17 Jul 19
GoldDerby
All week long fans of “America’s Got Talent” have been casting their votes in our recent poll for which of the five Golden Buzzer acts from the Season 14 auditions is their absolute favorite, and we can now announce the results … Singer/pianist Kodi Lee, who wowed Gabrielle Union during the first 2019 audition episode, is viewers’ #1 choice with 41% of the vote. As you’ll recall, the 22-year-old was born blind and autistic, as his mother explained to the judges before he delved into a pitch-perfect rendition of Donny Hathaway‘s “A Song for You.” Re-watch Kodi’s heart-warming “AGT” performance above and then scroll down to see more of our poll results. SEE ‘America’s Got Talent’ dog act Lukas and Falco takes on ‘The Greatest Showman’ in Judge Cuts [WATCH] Twelve-year-old singer Luke Islam comes in second place at 28%. Julianne Hough was the last to push her Golden Buzzer, doing so after being affected emotionally by Luke’s rendition of “She Used To Be Mine” from “The Waitress.” Prior to his audition the New Yorker told Julianne that she was his favorite judge, which no doubt helped sway her decision. Julianne told the Broadway fanatic that she truly believes he will “become a star” one day, so she helped him along his path by giving him a golden confetti shower. In third place with 19% support is 11-year-old violinist Tyler Butler-Figueroa, Simon Cowell‘s Golden Buzzer pick who was diagnosed with leukemia when he was younger. “When I play the violin, it helps me forget about all the bad stuff,” Tyler explained. “I just didn’t want to be the kid with cancer, so now I’m the kid who plays the violin.” Following his performance of Kelly Clarkson‘s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You),” Simon was so impressed that he slammed his hand down on his button. [pmc-related-link href=”https://www.goldderby.com/article/2019/americas-got-talent-recap-season-14-episode-7-brad-paisley-agt-live-blog/” type=”SEE” target=”_self”]‘America’s Got Talent’ Judge Cuts 1 recap: Who earned Brad Paisley’s Golden Buzzer on July 16? [UPDATING LIVE BLOG][/pmc-related-link] Detroit Youth Choir is in fourth place with 8% of the vote. New host Terry Crews pushed his button for the community-based choir because he saw himself in the group. Choir director Anthony White stated, “We have a lot of inner-city kids. Some of them have bad home situations or they can be in the street — there’s violence. We give them something positive to come and be a part of.” The singers put an original spin on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis‘ “Can’t Hold Us” and had Terry in tears as he hit the Golden Buzzer. Finally, singer/songwriter Joseph Allen comes in last place at 4%. The 21-year-old decided to audition for Season 14 of “AGT” because he sees himself as someone who can “make a major impact in the world, and I just want to see how much of a footprint I can leave on earth before I leave.” Well, his footprint will definitely be felt thanks to Howie Mandel, who jumped up on the judges’ table and stomped on the Golden Buzzer following Joseph’s performance of his original rap song. PREDICT the Emmys now; change them until September 22 This year “America’s Got Talent” is nominated at the Emmys for Best Lighting Design/Lighting Direction. Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before winners are announced on September 22. And join in the fun debate over the 2019 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news. SIGN UP for Gold Derby’s free newsletter with latest predictions
17 Jul 19
PEOPLE.com

“She reminded me of some of the early stuff that Taylor Swift was doing,” Brad Paisley tells PEOPLE about Sophie Pecora

17 Jul 19
Hollywood Life

Auditions are over and it’s time for judge cuts on season 14 of ‘America’s Got Talent’! Brad Paisley is this week’s guest judge, and he gives his Golden Buzzer to a very deserving contestant.

17 Jul 19
GoldDerby
“America’s Got Talent” dog act Lukas and Falco returned during the first Judge Cuts episode to perform in front of Simon Cowell, Julianne Hough, Gabrielle Union, Howie Mandel and guest judge Brad Paisley. As a refresher, the last time this canine duo took the stage Simon raved about their “personality” and added, “I think this is the best dog act we have this year.” Did things go according to plan for their second appearance? Watch the “AGT” performance video above and read some of the judges’ comments below. [pmc-related-link href=”https://www.goldderby.com/article/2019/americas-got-talent-judges-cuts-brad-paisley-july-16-video/” type=”SEE” target=”_self”]‘America’s Got Talent’ sneak peek: Watch first 10 minutes of Judge Cuts with Brad Paisley[/pmc-related-link] “Everyone here already has impressed the judges once, so it’s really going to be hard,” 22-year-old Lukas explained in his pre-performance package. “Falco is very special. He likes more humans than other dogs. He’s a little bit charming with all the girls and I’m like, hello, what about me?” Lukas admitted that he gets “sad” when he thinks about Falco ultimately retiring from showbiz, but he also wants to “enjoy” their last shows together. For their performance Lukas and Falco took on “This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman,” one of Simon’s favorite movies. “No pressure,” Simon instructed them as they were the very first act of this second stage of the reality TV show. The act included several fun tricks including Falco walking backwards, taking off Lukas’ hat, rolling out the red carpet and doing cartwheels over Lukas’ body. [pmc-related-link href=”https://www.goldderby.com/article/2019/luke-islam-interview-americas-got-talent-golden-buzzer-video-julianne-hough/” type=”SEE” target=”_self”]Giddy Luke Islam just watched his own ‘America’s Got Talent’ Golden Buzzer video: ‘I don’t remember any of this!’ [INTERVIEW][/pmc-related-link] Simon gave Lukas and Falco a rousing standing ovation, though the other judges remained planted firmly in their seats. Brad remarked, “It never hurts to tailor your whole act to Simon.” Howie joked, “It seemed like you did more tricks. It feels like Falco brought his pet Lukas.” Gabrielle noted, “I think you actually got a lot better from the first audition.” Julianne declared, “You have something really special and your essence comes through.” And Simon recalled, “Why not make ‘The Greatest Showman 2’ with dogs? I was drunk but I still thought it!” In his “AGT” live blog, our recapper Denton Davidson had this to say about the performance: “Kicking things off are Lukas & Falco, a dog act hoping to charm their way to the quarter-finals. Falco’s nearly 10 years old and reaching retirement, so Lukas would like the Australian Shepherd to go out with a bang. Lukas is dressed like the ringmaster of a circus and they’re doing a play on ‘The Greatest Showman.’ As ‘This is Me’ plays, Falco shows off a variety of tricks including some impressive stick work, barrel jumping, and rolling out his own red carpet. Lukas even shows off a few of his own tricks like juggling on top of a large rubber ball. The judges are blown away, but I’ll be honest, I thought it was just okay. I’m about as big of a dog lover as one could be, but I just didn’t see anything I haven’t seen before.” SIGN UP for Gold Derby’s newsletter with experts’ latest predictions
17 Jul 19
NBC4 WCMH-TV
The Judge’s Cuts round of America’s Got Talent started Tuesday night, and guest judge Brad Paisley didn’t waste any time in sending one act through to the live round. Sophie Pecora, a 15-year-old singer/songwriter, performed her original song “Misfits” on Tuesday’s show. “There have been times in my life where I wish I wasn’t so quiet,” Pecora said. “I wish that I was more outgoing.” After receiving four yeses during the first round of the competition, her parents said Pecora went home and wrote five new songs within a week. “It was like validation for her to express herself,” said Pecora’s mother. “I just love writing songs. It’s really special to me because they’re like my words… well, I didn’t make the words, but I put the words together,” Pecora said. After her performance Tuesday, Paisley told Pecora that he understood where her art was coming from. “I think I know you from that one song,” he said. “That’s incredible, to stand up there with just a guitar, that takes incredible cohones.” Paisley then pressed the Golden Buzzer, sending Pecora on to the live round. During this round of the competition, weekly guest judges get the opportunity to send one act through to the live round via the Golden Buzzer. The show’s regular judges (Howie Mandel, Julianne Hough, Simon Cowell, and Gabrielle Union) and host Terry Crews each used their golden buzzer during the opening round of the competition. The five initial golden buzzer recipients are Luke Islam, the Detroit Youth Concert Choir and Performing Arts Company, Tyler Butler-Figueroa, Kodi Lee and Joseph Allen. Over the next three weeks, NBA legend Dwayne Wade, Jay Leno, and actress Ellie Kemper will serve as guest judges.
17 Jul 19
Heavy.com

On night one of the Judge Cuts on “America’s Got Talent,” guest judge Brad Paisley gave his golden buzzer to singer/songwriter Sophie Pecora.

17 Jul 19
Entertainment, Celebrity, TV, Culture

On the first night of Judge Cuts on Season 14 of America’s Got Talent, judges Simon Cowell, Gabrielle Union, Julianne Hough and Howie Mandel will be treated to another performance by singer Loki Alohikea, originally from Ewa Beach in Oahu, Hawaii. (His full AGT audition was not aired.) Loki often shares his musical inspirations on Instagram. In […]

16 Jul 19
Heavy.com

Auditions are over for season 14 of “America’s Got Talent,” which means judge cuts began Tuesday, July 16. Here’s what happened.

16 Jul 19
GoldDerby
After six weeks of episodes devoted to auditions, “America’s Got Talent” moved on to the next stage of the competition on July 16 with the first of four shows dedicated to judge cuts. Eighteen performers presented their act in front of the “AGT” regulars — Simon Cowell, Julianne Hough, Howie Mandel and Gabriel Union — as well as guest judge Brad Paisley. By the end of the episode, these 18 acts will be winnowed down to just seven who will advance to the live quarter-finals. One of these will be extra special as they’ll have been hand-picked by Paisley for the Golden Buzzer treatment. In so doing, he can overrule the other judges and send his favorite act straight through. SEE Everything you need to know about season 14 of ‘America’s Got Talent’ Below, read our “America’s Got Talent” Season 14, Episode 7 recap of the acts in the order in which they took to the stage on Tuesday’s episode. Who are you most excited to see perform in the live shows? Be sure to sound off with your thoughts down in the comments section. 8:10 p.m. — Terry Crews welcomes the audience to Universal Studios in Los Angeles, where tonight’s judges’ cuts will take place with special guest Brad Paisley. Kicking things off are Lukas & Falco, a dog act hoping to charm their way to the quarter-finals. Falco’s nearly 10 years old and reaching retirement, so Lukas would like the Australian Shepherd to go out with a bang. Lukas is dressed like the ringmaster of a circus and they’re doing a play on “The Greatest Showman.” As “This is Me,” plays, Falco shows off a variety of tricks including some impressive stick work, barrel jumping, and rolling out his own red carpet. Lukas even shows off a few of his own tricks like juggling on top of a large rubber ball. The judges are blown away, but I’ll be honest, I thought it was just okay. I’m about as big of a dog lover as one could be, but I just didn’t see anything I haven’t seen before. 8:20 p.m. — Second to the stage is Andy Rowell, a karaoke singer who absolutely bombs. How did he even get this far? Then Jecko, an obnoxious comedian whose balloon tricks and cheesy magic tricks earned a dreaded red X from Simon. At this point, Brad’s wondering where the talent is! Perhaps The Orange Magician can turn things around. The only thing this guy says is, “It’s good.” Literally, over and over. He goes through some impressive quick-changes behind a curtain and is able to draw laughter through the increasingly ridiculous outfits he puts on. This guy’s okay, but come on. We deserve better from the world’s most popular talent contest. Brad enjoyed it, but no Golden Buzzer moment just yet. 8:30 p.m. — Next up is Berywam, a beatboxing group from France. This handsome quartet plans to bring everyone in the audience “to the club” with them using nothing but their own voices. I’m fascinated by the noises they’re able to create, but I don’t know if I can imagine an entire concert of this. They need more of a stage production, but they’ve got charisma that’s for sure. All of the judges except Simon are on their feet. Simon thought it lacked the ability to go “viral,” but Gabrielle will fight on their behalf. 8:40 p.m. — The next act is Dylan, a 10-year old rapper who will be rapping to Kendrick Lamar‘s hit, “Humble.” He’s got a ton of charisma and the kid is adorable, but he got a very short edit. Then the Emerald Belles took the stage. They’re a 76-member drill dance team who are considered the modern-day Rockettes. Howie wasn’t impressed with their last audition and they’re determined to make him a fan. This group is massive and definitely fill up the stage and they show off their high kicks to Britney Spears‘ “Work Bitch.” The sheer number of them is a spectacle and they’ve got some impressive skills that inspired Brad to jump to his feet. Julianne thought they were great, but still feels there is a high school element to what they’re doing. Howie is still not impressed and told them it’s not enough to move forward. Brad thinks they’re perfect and told Howie to “suck it.” 8:50 p.m. — The Sentimentalists are up now. This creepy duo had a difficult time impressing Simon and Howie in their initial audition, but hope to nail it this time. I feel like this is a copycat of AGT legends The Clairvoyants, but with less stage presence. With all that said, they successfully completed all of their mind-reading tricks and the judges’ jaws were on the floor by the end of this act. Well, all except for Howie who is still unimpressed with their presentation. 8:55 p.m. — Now Duo Togni is showing off their skills as an aerialist duo. The woman is swinging from the ceiling by her feet and holding up the man by a cloth with her teeth! Next, he takes her by the ponytail and simply drops her to the ground. But no harm was done here, this was on purpose. To prove a point, they invite Howie up to stage and she’s going to hold him with her teeth. As she spins Howie around, he begs to be put down. The judges were pleased with their performance. 9:05 p.m. — Next up is Sophie Pecora, a young singer-songwriter who is more like a rapper/spoken word artist who plays guitar. She’s performing an original song and she starts off singing in a bit of a folk style before segueing into her rap. I like her genre-bending style and she is truly an original. The judges give her a standing ovation. Simon gives her some fatherly advice and tells her not to sing about bullies ever again because they don’t deserve her attention. Brad takes things one step further and gives Sophie the Golden Buzzer! Sophie is headed to the quarter-finals. Only six spots remain. 9:20 p.m. — Dakota and Nadia, a contemporary dance duo, get a very short edit and appear likely to be getting cut by the end of the hour. The same can be said for stand-up comedian Kevin Schwartz and singer Loki Alohikea. Then, acrobatic performer Matthew Richardson hit the stage with a personal piece about the death of his father. He uses a Cyr Wheel to lift him above the stage while audio of his father speaking to him is heard from the loudspeaker. It’s an absolutely stunning visual and this guy’s skills are incredible. This was my favorite performance of the night so far. The judges are on their feet and Simon gives him a double thumbs up. Simon calls him special and says he’s ready to headline his own show. 9:30 p.m. — Up next are a pair of solo singers shown as a dual package. Damiyr and Chris Klafford have very different backgrounds, but they have the same goal. Damiyr is a New York City subway performer and he’s up first singing “Say Something.” He starts off a Capella, which is a risk for anyone who struggles with staying on key. But when the music comes in, goosebumps go up my arms as his voice fills the room. The judges loved it. Next is Chris, a raspy-voiced singer and guitar player from Sweden singing an original song called “Something Like Me.” His tone is absolutely KILLER and he’s got great range as well. He could win this. Chris begins to cry after the strong audience reaction and Brad calls him an inspiration. 9:40 p.m. — Next up are the Messoudi Brothers, an acrobat group who just landed from Beirut. Their luggage was lost and they’re not even wearing their proper outfits! They had to borrow some from the costume department. Despite their troubles getting to the show, they’re not going to pass up this chance. The three men get to work showing off their incredible balance and strength skills. This of course progresses into ripping off those shirts and exposing their ripped abs to the delight of the drooling audience members. I can’t properly describe the insane positions these guys get themselves into, but it’s a sight to behold. The audience is going wild for them. Not to be outdone, Dad rips his shirt off as well and joins the brothers as the four make a tower out of their bodies and show off even more unbelievable strength and balance. THAT was a performance! 9:50 p.m. — Last to perform is the Ndiovu Youth Choir. This South African choir has been a healing power for its members and they’ve become an inspiration to their community. They’ve fallen in love with America (especially hot dogs) and they’ve come to share a piece of their country with us. These powerful voices range in age from 13 to 27 and bring excitement and energy to the stage. They not only sing, but perform their own choreography and it’s difficult not to smile when watching them. Julianne says they represent “unity” and “collectiveness.” Brad called it “beautiful” and “effortless.” Gabrielle calls them “pure magic.” Simon says if he could bottle what they project, he would drink it every day. 9:59 p.m. — Sophie Pecora scored the night’s only Golden Buzzer and six more acts will continue on to the quarter-finals. See the acts that moved forward listed below and sound off in the comments if you agree with the judges or think they made a huge mistake! I’m personally dumbfounded they dropped Matthew Richardson. Blasphemy! The Seven Quarter-finalists: Sophie Pecora, Emerald Belles, Messoudi Brothers, Berywam, Lukas & Falco, Ndiovu Youth Choir and Chris Klafford. Eliminated: Dakota and Nadia, Duo Togni, Matthew Richardson, Andy Rowell, Jecko, Dylan, Loki Alohikea, Kevin Schwartz, The Sentimentalists and Damiyr. SEE ‘America’s Got Talent’ winners: Where are they now updates for first 13 ‘AGT’ champions [PHOTOS]
16 Jul 19
PEOPLE.com

Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie from the Today Show have also joined in on the fun to raise money for cancer awareness

16 Jul 19
Entertainment, Celebrity, TV, Culture

One of the youngest singers competing on Season 14 of America’s Got Talent is 14-year-old Sophie Pecora. With her long curly hair and dark plastic eyeglasses, the talented singer/songwriter strums her acoustic guitar and performs once again for AGT judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Julianne Hough and Gabrielle Union during the Judges Cuts. Two days […]

16 Jul 19
That Girl Reviews

Directed By: James McTeigue Starring: Gabrielle Union, Billy Burke, Richard Cabral, Ajiona Alexus, Levi Meaden, Seth Carr, et. al. Rating: PG-13 Grade: C+ After her father is murdered in broad daylight, Shaun Russell brings her children to the house she grew up in so she can finish packing his personal belongings and ready the house […]