Season 15 of “America's Got Talent” truly made the best of highs and lows for this week’s June 30 show auditions, but even the most “out-of-the-box” competition in talent TV Shows can’t escape the truth of the global pandemic. Just as last week’s preview clip hinted, all the performers taking this week's stage tossed, twirled, sang, and played their hearts out, offered their funniest routines, and even heartfelt spoken words-- all without the live audience.

As Variety reported on July 1, “America's Got Talent” still grabbed top ratings, but its share was down 11% from just a week ago. It's a comfort to know that Heidi Klum and her hubby are well and safe at home, too.

Despite the best efforts of guest judge, Eric Stonestreet, Howie Mandel, Sofia Vergara, and Simon Cowell to muster the loudest enthusiasm possible, the supermodel’s spirit and energy were certainly missed.

From the soaring skills of a Texas cheer team to a history-making poet who got a shower in gold, youth and unlikely wisdom poured from the talents on the “America's Got Talent” stage. Only the four people on the panel were heard, but America was cheering.

Texas spirit and a musical double-threat delight shine on ‘America's Got Talent’

It's hard enough to be the opener in the auditions for “America's Got Talent,” but imagine being a cheer team without a single clap, whistle or “Whoo!” from a rowdy crowd.

Football is a religion in Texas, and cheer competitions are a close second, just ask the parents. The CA Wildcats did more than fill every centimeter of the AGT stage with their vivacious routine, the troupe soared to the skies, hoisting countless members to untold heights before miraculous catches.

Howie Mandel usually hates anything resembling a dance group, but this time, he called this ensemble “incredible,” and his three peers agreed. Whether by sublime synchronization or opening act luck, we’ll be seeing these high-flyers for a while longer.

There was something special about Jacob Velazquez from the moment the 12-year-old from Florida walked out on stage, but that was only the beginning.

With his enthusiastic family rooting from the wings, Jacob explained his affinity for music. He was diagnosed with PDDNOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified), which is a form of autism.

In a June 30 South Florida Sun-Sentinel feature, Jacob's mother described how her preschool son played a classical piece he had heard her play, thinking that his father had come home early, and was the one at the piano. Jacob said only that music helped him to express himself. When he sat at the piano, his original composition flowed with yearning and passion, beyond what words could say. In a flash, the boy went behind a red curtain, and soon was slaying on the drums. He was not just good with the beat, Jacob had the flash, spinning the sticks again and again.

Simon Cowell certainly credited “showmanship” in Jacob's arsenal and called him “a prodigy.” From one drummer to another, Eric Stonestreet was blown away at his tone and double-instrument talent. Don't be surprised to see Jacob sticking around for quite a while in future “America's Got Talent” rounds this season.

Harmonica brothers, humor, and words straight from the heart leave ‘America's Got Talent’ smiling and stunned

Howie Mandel told the Brothers Gage that he had never seen any performance where the harmonica was the main focus. (Too bad he's ever been wowed by Blues Traveler or the great John Popper.) The teenage duo dazzled Howie and the other judges on the panel with their high-energy “harpoon” playing, pulling out three separate harmonicas for the key changes.

The siblings dashed down to the judges’ level, letting them see the pure musicianship. They soon got four yeses and rousing approval for the next round. With their talent and boy-band appeal, these boys have a better than a good shot at staying around on “America's Got Talent” for a few weeks.

Kenadi Dodds did more than her part on behalf of country music. The teen sang with such authenticity one her original song about a one-way ticket to Nashville that no one could help but feel her heart. Simon Cowell commended Kenadi because she already knew who she was as an artist, and Howie Mandel reminded her that her life had already changed, simply from these moments on “America's Got Talent.”

Humor was professional and personal in this AGT installment.

Michael Yo is a well-known host for Yahoo and CBS in entertainment, but for this appearance, the entertainment entity wanted to be judged only for his standup, and he impressed. On the other hand, Crystal Powell was looking for her big break, and she got it with her routine on the need for different kinds of girlfriends. Her swagger, inflection, and use of the stool as a spy window was pure genius. Simon Cowell loved her, and “America's Got Talent” voters may have a crush, too.

Colossal heart and immense talent fused together for Olympic track star turned singer, Shevon Nieto, and poet, Brandon Leake. Both performers epitomize strength, courage, and overcoming through their lives and their art.

Nieto was preparing for her third Olympics when she got the call that her fiancé, who was coaching high jump, had been terribly hurt in an accident when his foot slipped. He was paralyzed, but he and Shevon married. Through their journey of life together, songwriting came to her as a way of speaking to her husband and strengthening herself. Her song, “Through the Good and the Bad,” was a testament of fortitude and devotion, and left the panel completely in awe and wonder. This “America's Got Talent” story deserves to be shared with America as many times as possible.

Brandon Leake remembers growing up in a rough neighborhood, yet being surrounded by his mother's love. He doesn't remember much about the arrival of a sister, only that she was there, and he was compelled to take care of her.

As he grew older, Brandon began to sense bitterness about his environment, and he wrote it all out onto pages. No one watching “America's Got Talent” had never witnessed anything so raw and real as the interpretation of Leake’s tribute to his little sister, in life, and in death. His words were also radiant with lessons and purpose that he found along the way. The judges were almost in rapture. Sofia Vergara related her story of the loss of her brother in tears after the rendition. Howie Mandel was also moved and he made his move to the golden buzzer, forever changing. Brandon's life. Social-distancing prohibited hugs, but there was love in every elbow bump.

Expect ‘America's Got Talent’ to proceed differently in weeks to come

The TV landscape has changed dramatically under pandemic conditions, and “America's Got Talent” took further precautions for the sake of health and safety after pulling back on live audience performances.

In weeks to come, performances are captured via iPhone or other device and viewed on screens by the judges, who sit socially-distanced in a viewing room. Simon Cowell described to ShowbizCheatSheet this week how each member of the panel arrived separately to “America's Got Talent” and wore face masks. The together time won't start until judge cuts, and some programming will feature the panel from their homes. This season will be memorable for AGT but the talent is still surging, no matter how many are around to see.

An abundance of caution has to take a starring role.

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