America's Got Talent” was back with a new episode on July 14 this week, featuring the final group of hopefuls daring to make their dreams come true in two minutes or less with an audition. Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, and Howie Mandel sat in their judges’ seats, sans any audience. Heidi Klum was still quarantined at home.

Fortunately, a small but exuberant group of crew and production assistants were willing to make as much supportive noise as they could. The panel proved to be especially positive and rowdy for the right reasons as well.

Even though the acts felt the love, it wasn't enough to stall the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While an opening group of talents performed on the “America's Got Talent” stage, and the announcement came across small screens to say that by the ninth day, the AGT auditions had been halted. The judges, the hopeful talents, and perhaps, the remaining elements of the season have to showcase creativity from home.

As it turns out, Simon Cowell and Heidi Klum have very similar tastes in pajamas, and some very worthy acts didn't let their big shot at “America's Got Talent” stardom get postponed when the big stage was gone. Some competitors got a lucky break by the numbers. Two affirmative votes were all that was necessary to go on to future rounds, and Sofia and Howie trumped Simon with their love of the odd and quirky offerings.

Simon asked something more from an ‘America's Got Talent’ country singer

Each of the judges lamented the loss of the audience’s energy for the performing acts. The Hollywood Reporter noted on July 15 that “America's Got Talent” still kept NBC at the top of the ratings, but the viewer numbers were the lowest of the season.

It's clear that even the best efforts with virtual broadcasting are growing tiresome to the public.

Sienna Uremovic impressed the panel with her blindfolded dance and acrobatic moves on stage and easily won passage forward in the competition. She got points for performing on very little sleep, too. She just arrived from Australia at 10 AM on the morning of the audition.

Kameron Ross was enthralled with becoming a country singer ever since he went to a Shania Twain concert as a boy. When the Texas talent came to terms with his orientation and identity, however, he started to lose engagements, especially in many strictly-religious communities like his hometown. He started to let go of his dream, but the desire never left him. He came to “America's Got Talent” completely confident in the person that he is, and in his talent.

“I've got a good feeling about you,” Simon Cowell encouraged before Ross opened with his chosen song, the Brooks & Dunn classic, “Red Dirt Road,” dedicated to his grandmother.

Simon Cowell instantly indicated by his expression that he didn't like the over-produced backing track for the song.

After a few minutes, he stopped Kameron and asked if he could do something a cappella. The vocalist swiftly went into the ballad, “What If I Stay.” Sofia Vergara was enraptured by the singer’s voice even before his second chance. She swayed with every line of his “beautiful voice,” before giving her affirmative vote. Howie Mandel gave his full support, and Simon said that Kameron could do well in the competition.

Simon doesn't get the last say for some ‘America's Got Talent’ acts

Simon Cowell also agreed with his fellow judges about the overflowing energy and high-stepping talent for an Alabama high school marching band and their dedicated director. Their Lizzo-inspired routine made Sofia emotional for her school days.

The British “America's Got Talent” judge gushed that “if that audience was here, you wouldn't be able to hear me because they would be going crazy.” Their jubilation surrounded Terry Crews backstage, and you can bet they'll be back with another special performance.

Redemption somehow came for Alex Hooper, the notorious roaster who offended everyone two years ago when he first took the “America's Got Talent” stage. The audience was especially put off by Hooper's first round of slams, and perhaps the presence of Heidi Klum helped sway her cohorts to side with her in giving Alex X’s. This time, however, the snarky comedian started with an apology for his prior offenses. His new attacks were not any nicer, but somehow, Howie Mandel and Simon Cowell found them to be a riot.

Mandel even said that he had gone back to watch the original audition, and he regrets that he was wrong about Hooper. It will be fun to see how Heidi reacts to see Alex back on the AGT stage.

Howie Mandel and Sofia Vergara also adored other acts that Simon Cowell could not stomach. They teamed up for support for a comic chicken, complete with clucks and constant puns. With two votes yes, he was good to go for another round of “America's Got Talent.” The same was true for twin brothers, The Ninja Twins, who made the 80s moves new again with their original song, and routine. “I was completely entertained,” Sofia praised. She and Howie gave his siblings hope for a future in the competition.

Comic John Hastings got unanimous support from the judges with his authentic, self-effacing routine.

He earned a big kudos from Howie for doing the hardest thing any comedian can do—perform without an audience. Simon is sure that fans will learn to love John.

Sheldon Riley was the last performer to take the actual “America's Got Talent” stage before the lockdown, and his emotional rendition of Billy Eilish’s “idontwannabeyouanymore” swept the judges away. Riley explained his personal struggle with acceptance, and Simon Cowell expressed that he was actually pleased to see the beaded veil over the singer’s face. “I love that you're a mystery,” Cowell spoke. It was no mystery that Riley was moved right on to future rounds in the competition, fans can expect that Sheldon will be staying quite a while.

Time to get cozy for ‘America's Got Talent’ quarantine auditions

It was lovely to see Heidi Klum's smiling face from home when the auditions went virtual for the last of the “America's Got Talent” hopefuls for Season 15. Her hubby, Tokio Hotel guitarist, Tom Kaulitz, was even kind enough to wave from the bed while his wife worked. The first thing Simon Cowell noticed was that he had pajamas just like the supermodel was wearing, or so he said. He rushed to go to change. The colors and patterns did share a kinship, but as Howie Mandel described to Cowell “even with pajamas, you wear them cut low in the front.”

There were still impressive talents, despite being captured on iPhones. Everyone loved the country singer who sang in his pickup in a duet with his dog.

A lovely little girl, Alexis, also delighted the judges with her dog-training gifts.

Mixed reviews came for an opera singer on her horse, and again, Simon was outvoted. A dancing family made their living room a stage and stunned the judges with their passion and talent.

“America's Got Talent” is a competition different from any other among TV Shows, especially in this unique national situation. Mentalist Max Major did a card trick like no other with Sofia Vergara, pre-selecting her ace of diamonds card from 800 miles away in Las Vegas. She was captivated, along with her co-judges, so Max may stay for more than a few weeks.

Next week, “America's Got Talent” will air a “Best of Auditions” recap.

July 28 is the date for Judge Cuts, and live shows were planned for August 11. Only time will tell if the pandemic will allow anything to happen “live and in-person” through the rest of Season 15.

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