The second week of “America's Got Talent's” Season 14 Judge Cuts got very serious for the hopeful performers, and for the panel of judges, on July 23. In keeping with the diverse collection and scope of performers, the judges also draw from a wide range of disciplines for their invited guest judges. It doesn't hurt that Gabrielle Union also happens to be married to NBA, and former Miami Heat, superstar Dwyane Wade. The sports icon took his judging duties very seriously.

Several favorite acts stepped up their prior performances, while others couldn't quite shake nerves or conjure up a performance worthy of the Universal Studios stage.

Nonetheless, it was a night of soaring and special performances among the 18 acts, and Dwyane Wade decided that one was worthy of his golden buzzer.

Slashed and slurped

Bir Khalsa, the act, comprised of three best “brothers” one of whom was 7 feet 6 inches tall, towering above even Dwyane Wade, opened the night with slashing fright.

The tallest member spun himself on a razor-sharp triple-faceted spear before he placed an enormous block of ice on the smallest member.

With force comparable to a jackhammer, the block was sliced, then pounded into pieces, but still, the small man's body was still somehow intact. The audience reacted in horror but couldn't help becoming fascinated by the spectacle. Julianne Hough had a curly wig for this evening, and the scare of slicing a melon blindfolded on top of a head was enough to curl anyone's toes.

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The terror had Wade enthralled, while his wife said they were “awesome, in a freaky-deeky way.” Wade noted their “passion for danger,” and Simon Cowell praised that the trio really “turned up the heat.”

The little girl group, GFORCE, got through their first audition mostly due to being darling, and Simon Cowell counseled that they had to really do something different to “teach” instead of seeking advice.

The independent-minded young ladies took those words to heart. They offered their original song, “Simon Says,” directed at you-know-who. The audience roared in approval.

The ensemble crafted some really original steps in this routine, and Cowell was smiling. Howie Mandel was not impressed but Gabrielle Union declared that she became a judge “for this moment.” Her famous husband opined “whatever you're selling, I'm buying” to the girls, and Simon Cowell praised their effort as a “way better audition.”

Julianne Hough is still a huge fan of the 47-year-old bilingual singer, Olivia Calderon.

Hough gave the hopeful another standing ovation, saying that “you belong on the stage.” For the rest of the panel, however, this performance was not a winner. Nonetheless, Olivia deserves to be heard and to have her talents respected on stages somewhere.

Dom Chambers produced full glasses of beer out of paper bags multiple times in his first audition. For this critical performance, the comic magician made Siri his assistant and she then conjured the seven of diamonds from the deck and from his phone.

Fantastically, she also stirred up Julianne Hough’s choice, a tequila sunrise, poured from the telephone and verified to taste. Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union were also impressed, but Simon Cowell dubbed the effort “not as dynamic” as the previous performance.

Some fall short, others rise in celebration

The mid-portion of the evening had a dip, with some formerly favored acts falling short. A London slice-and-dice performer couldn't cut his way through the competition.

Lamont Landers, who was graciously granted a second chance and good advice from Simon Cowell, gave a heartfelt performance, but Cowell insisted that “it's not filling the space,” while other judges were moved by its layers of emotion.

Adeline Bates did both male and female vocals in her one-woman duets, but this time, the judges unanimously deemed her double-sided singing as not so great.

Gingzilla delighted everyone in his/her audition performance of “She's a Lady.” The effort for Judge Cuts seemed more demure and didn't fit with the daring attitude of the Australian talent.

“This was not a step up,” Simon summarized.

Moods were lifted by light artist, Alex Dowis, who was out to deliver a performance to change the mind of Simon Cowell. He developed a timely and touching tribute to the US space program, literally depicting John F. Kennedy, gazing at the moon. The technical artist continued to chronicle the American journey until Neil Armstrong's steps on the moon. It was a rousing success, and Howie Mandel compared it to the mission of “America's Got Talent”-- to support chasing a dream.

Simon maintained that his critiques always make better artists.

The acrobatic dance group, V. Unbeatable, were simply unbelievable in their tosses to soaring heights and synchronicity in a dazzling routine. To think that these dedicated performers practiced in the impoverished places of Mumbai, India, devoted to their dream, is even more spellbinding. They embody the essence of courage, and still keep their artistry. “WOW” was Julianne Hough’s only input. Simon Cowell described that the group is proof that “we need each other,” and hopefully, the competition can do something for these youth.

Dwyane Wade asked his fellow judges to “feel my heart,” pounding in his chest.

Wade then felt his way to the golden buzzer, and the dream of these artists and athletes was taken to another level. Congratulations came from the whole panel, and expect these performers to go deep in the competition. For them, everything is at stake. One of the primary performers described how every performance was dedicated to a young performer who passed away after being paralyzed from a fall. That kind of inspiration sparks great things.

Blues, big laughs, and bigger cuts

With only six slots remaining, the critiques only got tougher on the “America's Got Talent” contenders. It was a tough night for contemporary dancers, of all varieties and ages.

Shadow and light artists from Ukraine, Verba Shadow, created a dramatic spectacle of “good versus evil” in Simon's opinion, complete with lots of witches, and possibly a unicorn. Howie Mandel was unclear on the story, despite Gabrielle Union calling the presentation “so good.”

The 65-year-old blind blues singer, Robert Finley, found his magic.

He topped his audition performance with another original song, “Medicine Woman,” and wowed the judges and the audience once more. Finley is not only an artist who knows how to rock 'n roll, but his persona proves how his a showman with his own seasoned life story. Gabrielle Union said that Robert “put everyone on notice.” Dwyane Wade simply asked: “Can we adopt you?” Howie Mandel praised the pure authenticity of the “America's Got Talent” dreamer, while Simon assured that “you’re not messin’ around.” This man and his family already have dreams come true ahead of them.

The sensual acrobatic couple, Duo Fusion, definitely prove their connection and tremendous combined strength in every routine. No one can doubt female power after witnessing any of their lifting and balancing feats. Valerie Sassafras wasn't so fortunate in her round. No one appreciated the bemused backup dancers in the quirky performer’s performance, and only Gabrielle Union proclaimed that she would “fight for you” to Valerie.

Comedian Ryan Niemiller was the closer in this round of performances, and the self-effacing, yet comic genius killed it with his routine about dating and perspectives on the disabled in general.

His hilarious gags showcased a variety of social dilemmsa, such as the pervasive misconception that if someone’s limbs don't work, then neither does anything else. Niemiller was real, relatable, and a riot. Simon Cowell declared that it showed that Ryan was “having the time of your life” onstage. Howie Mandel simply said: “I love you.” Everyone is rooting for this “America's Got Talent” funnyman who has more than earned his big break.

After deliberation, the judges determined these talents to be the ones moving forward

V. Unbeatable

Dom Chambers

GFORCE, who got loads of hugs

Robert Finley

Bir Khalsa

Alex Dowis

Ryan Niemiller

Courageous acts and cuts go deeper next Tuesday.

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