The Spyros Bros just proved to the AGT audience that you shouldn’t judge an act by its first few seconds. The unique act from the Philippines amazed the crowd in a new leaked video from this week’s show.
The pair performs with the diabolo, or Chinese yo-yo. While the judges and audience seemed a little hesitant at the start of the performance, the brothers quickly proved themselves to be an amazing act.
Only one brother, Marco Angelo, appeared on the stage at the start of the audition. He said he’s been practicing diabolo for 11 years now, and has wanted to try out for America’s Got Talent for a while.
Another young Pittsburgh-area singer is getting ready to show the country what she’s got.
Ashley Marina, 12, of Kennedy Township will perform on “America’s Got Talent,” airing 8 p.m. Tuesday on NBC.
She is a two-time finalist in the Williams SING-OFF Competition, through which area students are chosen to perform during Highmark First Night Pittsburgh. She also has appeared in the WPXI Holiday Parade.
Her acting credits include the Netflix series, “Mindhunter,” and Sony Pictures’ “Faith Under Fire: The Antoinette Tuff Story.”
Marina has penned 10 original songs, including “Move a Mountain,” which rose to No. 1 on The Fab Chart at fabchart.net, and “You’ll Always Be My Hero,” a song and video of the month choice on the MÓB Radio podcast.
Her awards include TalentWatch Dream Night Champion and National Talent America Tri Star Award Winner.
She has performed at Opry Mills Nashville, Harlem Globetrotters World Tour halftime show, opening ceremony for the first BRICK makerspace by LEGO and CMA Fest Nashville Spotlight Showcase, along with singing the national anthem for Major League Baseball, USL Professional Soccer, West Virginia Derby and boxing matches.
Marina also dances, models and plays piano, ukulele and guitar. As a dancer, she has trained with the Abby Lee Dance Company and Millennium Dance Complex in Pittsburgh.
Just seconds after Roberta Battaglia's America's Got Talent audition began, judges Simon Cowell, Sofía Vergara, Heidi Klum, and Howie Mandel knew they were witnessing something special.
The 10-year-old singer took on the Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga A Star Is Born ballad "Shallow" with grace and poise, proving that she has what it takes to compete for the AGT title this year. Moreover, the preteen was able to send her childhood bullies a strong message about not letting negativity get in the way of your dreams.
“You know what? Let’s see who’s going to bully you after this," Sofía told Roberta right before slamming her hand on the golden buzzer. Soon after, Roberta was showered with golden confetti on the AGT stage.
“When I got the golden buzzer, oh my God, I was feeling so excited to go to the live shows,” Roberta told CBC Kids News. "I was bursting with happiness and tears."
The Toronto native's background in music and performing undoubtedly prepared her for the NBC competition series, as did coaching from her father, Alessandro, who is also a musician. Alessandro reportedly moved to Canada from Italy in 2008, right before Roberta was born.
“All of my family loves music. My grandfather was a music professor, my dad plays the keyboard and saxophone and sings, so I followed in his footsteps. We’re just a family of music," Roberta said.
CityLife.com reports that Roberta began singing with her father when she was only two-and-a-half years old. Since then, she's continued to perform at various galas, community events, charity functions and more.
Pre-AGT, she landed a second-place finish on the CNE Rising Star Talent Competition for juniors in 2019. In response to Roberta's success on AGT, the talent organization announced their support of the young singer on social media.
But that wasn't Roberta's only time in the sun before Got Talent. Back in March 2019, the young vocalist gained attention for covering — yep, you guessed it — "Shallow" on the Canadian morning show Breakfast Television. To date, the Youtube video of her performance has over 800,000 views.
NBC’s America’s Got Talent is currently in its 15th season. This summer’s panel of judges (Heidi Klum, Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, and Sofia Vergara), recently saw dancer Amanda LaCount’s AGT audition. While the 19-year-old contestant stole the heart of many America’s Got Talent fans, Klum hit the red buzzer in the middle of LaCount’s act. Then, Klum got criticized for “body-shaming” the dancer on Twitter. But the season 15 contestant explained recently that she was not thrown by Klum’s “X”; she was having fun onstage.
LaCount told the site Gold Derby about her nerve-wracking audition. Even though Klum hit the red buzzer on the dancer (who performed to “Nails Hair Hips Heels” by Todrick Hall), LaCount knew the show must go on.
“There wasn’t a second in my head where I thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m gonna stop,’” she explained. LaCount, who has a ton of professional dance experience (especially for her age), knows that the main goal is putting on a good performance and connecting with the audience.
“I’m having fun,” the teenager said. “And if I’m having fun, then the audience is gonna enjoy watching it.”
Still, the judges weren’t initially all in on LaCount. Mandel was going to vote “no” on the contestant — explaining he didn’t believe she could win the show. However, the audience started chanting for a “yes,” and he changed his mind.
Klum also explained after LaCount’s performance why she hit the red “X.”
LaCount, now 19, created #breakingthestereotype, a hashtag to motivate young dancers who might not “look” the part.
Then, her 2018 Instagram video, in which LaCount danced to The Greatest Showman hit “This is Me,” went viral for its message about body-positivity.
Per the dancer’s website, LaCount has a long career in dance behind (and, no doubt, ahead of) her. She has danced with notable pop artists Lizzo and Lady Gaga, not to mention “The Ellen Show, Meghan Trainor, Katy Perry, DWTS, The Voice, and her National Dance Tour Amanda LaCount Live.”
Sofia Vergara moved to tears by recovering addict's 'AGT' performance: 'I know very well the sickness of addiction'
Regular NBC talent-show viewers might have recognized Nolan Neal when he auditioned for America’s Got Talent on Tuesday; in 2016, the now 39-year-old Nashville troubadour came to The Voice Season 10 with a heartbreaking and unforgettable backstory. Years ago, after being signed to Hollywood Records in 2000 and then Virgin Records in 2006, Nolan got into a heated phone conversation with his musician father, who told Nolan he’d never make it in the industry. Nolan’s dad then threatened to take his own life. Nolan hung up in a state of panic and anger and refused to answer when his dad tried to call him back, and the two never spoke again. Shockingly, Nolan found out the next day that his father had indeed died by suicide.
After his father’s death, the guilt-stricken singer-songwriter understandably started “downward-spiraling,” partying so hard that he damaged his singing voice and lost his deal with Virgin while in the middle of trying to record his album. Eventually he went to rehab and got sober for good 10 years ago, and after a brief stint fronting the hard rock band Hinder in 2014, Nolan decided to give The Voice a try. Though he didn’t turn any chairs on The Voice Season 10, when he returned in Season 11 a few months later, he was a four-chair success. He appeared to be on track to win the entire show, but despite his early frontrunner status, he got cut in one of the most shocking Knockouts in Voice history.
Nolan didn’t discuss his Voice past when he returned to television this week on AGT, but he was an open book when it came to discussing his father’s suicide and its aftermath. “My dad, he was a good guy, but he was just unwell,” he said. “When it happened, I really felt like I didn’t matter that much, like I wasn’t important enough for him to stick around. I blamed myself, for sure.”
Nolan also alluded to the fact that AGT was yet another rare opportunity — and maybe his last opportunity — in a life filled with tragedy and near-misses. “I really do believe in fate, and it means the world to me to have this chance,” he said. And while Nolan had never taken his chances on those other big TV talent shows, American Idol and The X Factor, he was well aware of judge Simon Cowell’s reputation, and this survivor was ready for a tough, honest critique now that Simon is AGT’s main panelist: “Simon, he knows talent, so if I am just a washed-up singer, I know he’ll tell me.”
Nolan needn’t have worried. After he poured his pain into a gritty original ballad — something he didn’t get the chance to perform on The Voice — called “Lost” (actually the first song he wrote after getting clean), he received a standing ovation from all four judges and the entire live audience, with Simon telling him, “You have an amazing voice. I don’t think you have to be a judge to judge this. I think it was quite clear to everyone sitting in the room today that we heard and saw something pretty spectacular.”