One of the wonders of “America's Got Talent” is that no matter how a performance goes, those 90 seconds can powerfully transform a life forever. Performers often don't have any inkling of their ability to inspire countless lives until they take the “America's Got Talent” stage. Conversely, even acts who get solid X’s develop quite devoted followings and thriving careers from the exposure to the world.

This week's June 25 Week 5 of Season 14 auditions was a smorgasbord of spirited acts who certainly were worthy of the AGT stage, at least mostly.

Simon Cowell couldn't keep his eyes from rolling or his hands away from the red X when Nick and Lindsay Williams walked onto the “America's Got Talent” stage. The couple opened with their operatic routine of violin and song, and Cowell had already decided that the pair were doomed by the time they transitioned to danger artists, with Lindsay flinging knives at her husband while he sang, even using her feet.

Howie Mandel, Gabrielle Union, and Julianne Hough joined the audience in being completely captivated, and they all made quips about the validity of throwing sharp things like the new way of showing disapproval on “America's Got Talent.”

Simon Cowell made a surprising move, asking the Mrs. to throw a knife at him with her feet, and telling her: “If you don't kill me, I'll change the X to a yes.” Blindfold and all, Lindsay laid back and took aim at her high-value target, whose eyes were saying everything.

Simon survived unscathed and stayed true to his word. This daring couple will have to do something even more unique in the next rounds.

More surprises and a second chance

Simon persisted in showing little enthusiasm for young dancers, Izzy and Easton. While Julianne Hough was delighted that the teens were about to take on contemporary dance, Simon Cowell proclaimed his disdain, much-preferring ballroom style.

From their first flowing, exquisite moves, it was clear that these were not the typical teen dancers. Their elegant routine of a soldier’s departure and return from war was powerfully adult and encompassing. The panel of judges was pleasantly stunned, and Simon Cowell soon offered his love for contemporary dance. “Way to go,” Gabrielle Union praised, as Howie Mandel lauded the “intensity” of the performers and their routine.

Julianne Hough reminded that “when you're the best in the class, go to another class,” and that's just what Izzy and Easton did.

When Alabama singer, Lamont Landers, walked on stage, he thought he was ready for his “America's Got Talent” moment. In his profile, Landers described how music was his refuge after his parents divorced. He now makes his living as a full-time musician. His honest and soulful vocal gifts were evident on Al Green’s “Let's Stay Together,” but Simon Cowell had more surprises up his sleeve.

The often snippy judge asked the nervous Landers to stop, then asked what his other song for the audition was. When Lamont mentioned Marvin Gaye, Simon Cowell told him to go away and come back with something really different later in the afternoon.

“I want you to really think about it,” Simon insisted.

At first, Landers was resistant, asking the crowd what they wanted. Simon again encouraged the contestant to rethink the opportunity. After time for reflection, Lamont Landers worked out an arrangement of Calum Scott’s “Dancing On My Own.” He also reworked his attitude. When he returned, he thanked the judges for the second opportunity and explained that he only learned the song “thirty minutes ago.”

Nerves were still taking over the performance, and Simon encouraged Landers to “slow down.” Julianne Hough immediately responded: “That's much better,” and the entire panel began to hear the real artist coming through. The whole panel commended Landers’ courage and maturity in tackling the decision, and Simon reminded him that “I really love your voice.” The judge further elaborated that fear of failure had kept the musician playing it safe for too long.

Being an artist means taking risks.

Dream moments and defying fears

Death is a deadpan comic who hopes to make portraying the Grim Reaper “relatable.” Predictably, the black-robed comedian died on stage with his truly lackluster performance. Gabrielle Union didn't even get her desired “smokey eye” tips before Death ran out of time.

The Ndlovu Youth Choir could not have brightened up the “America's Got Talent” stage at a more needed time to lift the mood. Beyond the ensemble’s colorful costumes, their spirits invaded the entire auditorium with infectious joy. Every note in their performance of “My African Dream” was an affirmation of overcoming their lives amid the poverty of South Africa. “Just because you live in poverty doesn't mean that you are poverty,” one member explained.

Their perfectly interlocking harmonies and dance had everyone on their feet to offer standing ovations.

“You did not disappoint,” asserted Gabrielle Union of the aspirational performers. Julianne called them “magical,” while Howie Mandel praised that they brought “culture and light” to the AGT stage. “The energy is bouncing off you,” Simon Cowell insisted. Fans and followers can only hope that this choir has many more dreams to come true in America.

The act called Phobia is actually comprised of two psychologists who employ their own virtual reality software in assisting patients to overcome anxieties and fears. Howie Mandel was the perfect subject for their “America's Got Talent” audition. They called him to the stage, knowing full well of his germaphobe tendencies and his fear of heights.

His virtual reality session was projected up on screens and portrayed him crossing a Grand Canyon passage via a narrow cable, and rescuing a person along the way.

Mandel’s fright was on full display, as he chose to cross on his knees. Ultimately, he was able to take the hand of the person in distress, too. Mandel described the feeling as “amazing,” and Gabrielle Union said. It was “exhilarating” to witness Howie overcome. Simon loved that the experience was “so different.”

Soul-touching to the finish

Emanne Beasha is as delightful as any 10-year-old can be. She offered her giggles and smiles to the judges as easily as her explanation for singing opera. The tradition was passed down from grandmother to mother to her, but nobody expected what would come in her audition.

Every longtime follower of the competition recalls Season 5, when Jackie Evancho performed the same “Nessun Dorma,” among other selections, and so surprised the judges that they asked her to prove it was her own voice.

This time, Emmanne shook out her nerves, and let out immaculate notes with the classic, along with her own interpretation. Simon Cowell called Beasha “unbelievable” and Gabrielle Union declared her “a star.” Julianne Hough told her never to lose “who you are” and to always realize “your presence.” The family was off to celebrate with some of her dad’s ice cream, and Howie Mandel was correct in saying that her dreams had just come true.

There is a lot of love between Lukas and Falco.

The boy who never thought he would fall in love with a dog has his beautiful shepherd, Falco, wrapped around his heart. Their roping routine set to “Footloose” was utterly fabulous. Falco was flawless in tying Lukas up finishing with a leap into his arms. Lukas wanted to dedicate this AGT performance to his dog, who is now nine years old and may not have many performance years left. This was a shining moment of complete and mutual devotion and the judges lapped it up as much as the crowd.

Verba Shadow completely swept up the panel of judges and the audience with their powerful depiction of family, love, civil war, separation, and loss. The shadow dancers richly encompassed the realities of life in their Ukrainian homeland.

Howie Mandel described the performance as “beautifully disturbing” as Julianne Hough applauded the art form. Gabrielle Union related that it was “a haunting experience.” Time will tell if these artists can stay powerful, fresh, and different for weeks to come.

After such heavy themes of humanity, dancer Ben Trigger pulled the trigger on pure fun. The plus size dancer didn't take long to remove his gold lame jacket and strip down to a skimpy black leotard, complete with fringe tassels. Ben strutted and sashayed for all he was worth, spinning the tassels right in Simon Cowell’s face before he dramatically laid down right on top of the golden buzzer. The golden confetti shower might not have been legitimate For Ben Trigger, but Howie Mandel called it his favorite golden buzzer moment ever.

Simon also lavished love on “hilarious” Ben, and Gabrielle Union called the dancer “a whole show.”

Julianne Hough credited that Trigger made use of “what your mama gave you,” and now America will see how the dancer surprises again through the next competition rounds. No one ever knows what will happen in an “America's Got Talent” golden moment.