'America's Got Talent' Season 15: Lightwave Theater Company pulls off moving last-minute act, but was it enough?
Although the puppet troupe gave an incredible performance, Howie Mandel was in a notably critical mood and wasn't impressed
'America's Got Talent' Season 15 quarterfinals kicked off with another episode on Tuesday night, September 1. This is the last quarterfinal episode where viewers get to vote for their favorite contestant and now only five slots remain in the semifinals, with 11 acts to go. As host Terry Crews reminded us, this was the night that each act got to live out their dream and hopefully change their life. Tonight was truly an international affair, with contestants performing from as far away as Romania and Germany, as they telecast their performances for the judges on the set of Universal Studios in California. As usual, all three judges Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, and Sofia Vergara were present and accounted for, with Simon Cowell still recovering from his horrific bike accident a few weeks ago, which had left him in a critical condition that required surgery.
Speaking of critical moods, Howie was in a mood to critique as well tonight. As he matter-of-factly pointed out, contestants could no longer get by on the strength of their previous performances and they really needed to up their game if they wanted to get into the semifinals. Hopefully, the Lightwave Theater Company got the message all the way in Romania, but their introductory video showed that they were really struggling to get their act together. The five-member live puppet troupe revealed that due to the coronavirus pandemic, they were struggling to prepare their props and other stage materials that they needed to get their act underway. The company's spokesperson Petru Stratulat revealed that Romania had been under a state of emergency in the months leading up to the AGT quarterfinals, while the troupe's founder, Cristina Andreea Ion, confessed that she was finding it hard to source materials in time for the show.
So although they were still far behind schedule, the group worked speedily and patiently as they quickly wrote a new script and performance that they could pull off given their current circumstances. It was revealed that even up till the final day of their televised segment, they were having stage and logistics issues that necessitated last-minute adjustments. However, after viewing their wonderful production on stage, it was hard to imagine that so much had gone wrong behind the scenes, because their narrative was both moving and inspirational.
Their story took off from where their last performance ended in the audition round, focusing once again on a little girl and her dog. This time, they were joined by a little puppy, who would prove to be the savior of the story. Using a backdrop of brilliantly designed lights, the Lightwave Theater Company showed how the world was still under the grip of the deadly coronavirus and people were now forced to quarantine indoors, apart from their loved ones. We were then shown how an elderly neighbor of the little girl was left all alone at home, which prompted a beautifully choreographed sequence set to a lovely cover of 'Fix You' by Coldplay. As the song played out against a starry backdrop, the little girl sent a bird carrying a flower to the elderly neighbor, which then bloomed into a flowery bridge that spanned the distance between the two neighbors. The dog then used the flower bridge to cross over to the neighbor's side and present her with the little puppy, who would be her faithful companion during the quarantine period. It was a deeply emotive sequence that ended with the words "Be there for each other."
However, even though their act and message was on point, Howie wasn't too impressed and buzzed them out, saying that it was too similar to their previous audition. He reiterated that people needed to change up their game a bit more and Sofia agreed with him, saying it seemed too old. However, she also stated that she understood the challenges the Lightwave Theater Company had faced and was impressed with their beautiful story. Heidi was their most vocal supporter, saying that their message to do something nice for each other was incredibly relatable, especially during these Covid-19 plagued times.
On social media, fans seemed to agree, with one fan saying "Don't listen to Howie and his stupid buzzer, that was amazing!"
Another moved viewer said that they had been moved to tears by their beautiful story.
#AGT i dunno what is up with howie tonight but lightwave theatre is leaving me IN TEARS. Simply beautiful.— amanda stone (@a3tuallyamanda) September 2, 2020
So now it's up to the American viewers to decide. You can vote up to 10 times for your favorite act till 7 am on Wednesday, September 2, morning, so make sure those votes count. Join us for the results show on Wednesday night, September 2, as we find out who makes it to the semifinal episodes, along with the remaining contestants.