The glowing “America's Got Talent” smiles faded for many within the first group of 18 acts on July 17, because by the end of the night, their dream of the million dollar prize was dashed, but hopefully, not their determination. The competition for this first week of Judge Cuts was more than brutal -- it nearly turned deadly for husband and wife trapeze artists Mary and Tyce of Duo Transcend. Comedian Ken Jeong joined in as a guest judge and “The Hangover” star saw a lot to like coming from the stage, and really seemed meant for his temporary role.

The beautiful sounds of children's voices moved Jeong to make a golden decision, and he and Heidi Klum had their own proposal after being put in the line of a bow and arrow rather than staying in the safety of their seats. By the end of the night, only seven of the acts would remain in contention, and thankfully, everyone was alive to compete another day.

Off with a stomp

The combination of determination, inspiration, and resilience rises in every step of Filipino dance troupe Junior New System, and they wore their high-heeled stilettos again for a rousing routine that had the whole audience and most of the judges on their feet as the first act of the night. Simon Cowell reiterated that he couldn't go against “what the audience says,” and the end of the night brought a good result for the boys.

Married singers Us the Duo did enough to win over most of the audience and the panel with another breezy performance of an original song, “Stop Just Love,” but when the Voices of Hope children's choir took the “America's Got Talent” stage with their unified voices and spirit, something almost magical happened. In their pre-performance profile, many of the members echoed the love for their director.

They insisted that she “could be Beyoncé,” but found her calling in guiding these young talents over pursuing her own career. They proved their loyalty and gratitude with their exultant performance of “How Far I'll Go” from “Moana,” and Ken Jeong went right for his golden buzzer, without much flourish. The children were so excited that they were collecting the bits of gold confetti as keepsakes of the moment, and the panel stood in applause to concur with the decision.

The danger gets real

On the heels of that soaring moment, danger artist who doesn't speak a word, Aaron Crow, came right up to the judges’ desk to do his recruiting of assistants. As much as Heidi Klum adores lapping up the suspense of dangerous acts from behind that desk, the supermodel wasn't so keen on coming to the center of the stage, along with Ken Jeong, who continued asking, “Is there a way I can get out of this?” Crow placed a ring in Heidi’s hand, and then attached it to the tool he used to core an apple, leaving it in the center. The silent slayer had previously slashed a pineapple on top of Howie Mandel's head, and this time, he directed Klum and Jeong to stand perfectly still as he placed a small platform with the apple resting on it on the top of Heidi’s head, with Ken as the “holder.”

Daredevil Crow then gathered his huge bow and arrow and put himself on a spinning platform, taking direct aim at his comparatively tiny target.

Heidi was screaming, and visibly shaken. Howie Mandel called to her to be completely still. Crow continued spinning until, in a flash, the apple was perfectly split. Ken Jeong took the ring and placed it on Heidi's finger, and she accepted with a kiss before they joyfully returned to their chairs. Heidi scolded Mel B fiercely for not telling her the level of danger in the aim of the spinning huntsman, but everyone came out unscathed.

Christina Wells captivated the judges and the audience with her performance of “Never Enough” from “The Greatest Showman.” Mel B and Simon Cowell pointed out that the performance wasn't perfect, but the singer’s heart still spoke all that was necessary through every note, and Simon was assured that “there's better to come.”

In case any viewers doubt that what happens on the “America's Got Talent” stage is completely real and spontaneous, Mary and Tyce, who are Duo Transcend, can verify this truth.

In their initial audition, it was revealed that Tyce already suffers from a progressive eye disease, and the performances depend on “the feel,” and even the sound, of the catches and connections between the couple. The first performance closed with a stupefying, last-second, one-handed catch of Mary's ankle. This time, fire was added to the already extraordinary danger.

The judges always ask for the highest possible danger quotient, so Tyce was out to deliver, donning a blindfold as the last catch approached. The cameras scanned to Mary's mom, holding the couple’s young son, watching every move. It seemed that Tyce had made the final grab with his wife, until her ankle slipped from his hand, and she fell to the floor.

With mouths agape, the judges and the rest of the country wondered over Mary's fate, until she rose with a smile. She was alive, and not too worse for wear. No one would talk about the bruise on her back until later, but she has time for healing because she and her husband will be moving on in Season 13’s “America's Got Talent.”

The couple actually wanted a redo of their finale, but Mel B admonished, “No, it's fine!” The couple desperately wants their own Las Vegas show so they can be at home with their son instead of being on the road for so much of their time. Ken Jeong reminded that the competition is called “America's Got Talent, “ not “America's Got Perfection,” and Simon reiterated that a mistake doesn't make the couple “non-amazing, it makes them human.” Hopefully, surviving the live shows should be the last worry on their minds.

Moving on with Voices of Hope are Us the Duo, Christina Wells, technical illusionist Mochi, Aaron Crow, Mary and Tyce, and Junior New System.