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A supermodel, a Spice Girl, a comic cut-up, and the self-proclaimed King of all Media criss-cross the country in search of million-dollar talent.

Recaps by Chico Alexander, Lee DiGeorge & Gordon Pepper, GSNN

Host Nick Cannon
Judges Melanie "Mel B" Brown
Heidi Klum
Howie Mandel
Howard Stern
Announcer Joe Cipriano
Creator Simon Cowell
EP Simon Cowell
Trish Kinane
Sam Donnelly
Jason Raff
Rob Wade
Packager SYCOtv
FremantleMedia North America
Origins Radio City Music Hall, New York City
Web www.nbc.com/gottalent 
Airs 8p ET Tues & 9p ET Wed, NBC

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uly 23

(C-Note: some of the acts that you are about to read involve real danger in front of a live audience. They were designed, practiced, and supervised by professionals, taking the contestants' safety into full account. They are extremely dangerous and should NEVER be attempted anywhere, by anyone, at any time.)

It's the greatest stage in the world... in the greatest city in the world... hosting the greatest talent search in the world. Welcome to Live Shows from RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL! Here is where the dream of $1 million ends and the chase begins.

Radio City Music Hall

As the judges and host are welcomed by the World Famous Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, we are finally set to begin with 12 acts. Four of them are heading to the next round tomorrow.

But enough talking about it, let's start being about it. First up, an 11-year-old with an amazing voice who swept herself into this stage. Singing "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", it's ANNA CHRISTINE.

THEY SAY: Mel says that she's got a mature voice for 11. Howie says that she's an old soul. Howard says that's one of his favorite songs. Heidi admires her courage.

WE SAY: Great voice, but sounds really nervous and rather boring. A good start. Not a GREAT start.

Next up, a dance act with the most amazing thing you'll ever see on television... it's tellAVISION. They tell a vision... of a first date in a field. And as a testament to live television, they get their package up LATE.

THEY SAY: Howie says that it was rough, but they made it worthy of Radio City Music Hall. Howard thinks it's artsy fartsy, and that the dance is not exactly strong. Heidi says that she likes the idea, but she's not particularly moved. Mel thought it was creative.

WE SAY: It tells a good story in a magically unique way.  It's a wide open field and the kind of act suited for Las Vegas. But you have to wonder if that's it or is there more?

From a tour of duty of a musical tour comes AMERICAN HITMEN. This band of brothers survived several tours on the War on Terror. Today, they're going to get by "A Little Help From My Friends".

THEY SAY: Howard says that the emotion of the song was drained on stage. Heidi thought that they were better than this performance. Mel liked it. Howie loved it, thinking that the song was fitting.

WE SAY: Injecting new life into a rock classic. But you needed to inject some soul as well. 

Next on stage is a "mystical being" with one of the most talked about auditions in the preliminary round. Aside from floating, he also plays the pan flute. SPECIAL HEAD wants to touch as many lives as he can. He's certainly chosen the right stage for it. He'll attempt to physically alter the matter of his body, by floating and then disappearing... and reappearing at the Radio City marquee... Live TV, folks.

THEY SAY: Heidi says he is sticking in people's heads... but when he disappeared, she saw "a little bit of your 'Special Head'." Mel doesn't want to be happy. I don't know... Howie wasn't moved. Howard... makes it simple: "Special Head has run out of steam."

WE SAY: We saw the props. It was a weak act. Time to go home.

Next up, five FRESH FACES, one dance group. They've been dancing best friends since they were 3. They do everything together. Will they dance together to Ikona Pop's "I Love It".

THEY SAY: Mel compares them to "mini Spice Girls". Howie thought it was wonderful, BUT it was "an amazing dance recital". Howard thought it was sweet and cute... but it wasn't enough. Heidi thought that this was a very good family act.

WE SAY: They're cute. They're fresh. They're very green. Cute, fresh, and green don't win the money.

Batting sixth is teenage illusionist COLLINS KEY, a magician who relates more to people his age. He's done closeup for the judges. But tonight, he'll perform something America has never seen before. His trick involves the America's Got Talent judges using the show's Twitter. The prediction made ONE WEEK AGO TODAY... "In my dream, I was #prancing in #NYC with #BradPutt who injured his #back.... Oh, sorry, that mean the answer was written on the back." And indeed.. Howard said "#TUCHAS".

THEY SAY: All of the judges say that he's a great performer for 17.

WE SAY: Great stage presence, real connectivity with the audience... Collins is a threat. 

Starting the second half of play is NYC comic KEVIN DOWNEY JR. He's going to "swing for the bleachers, hope I don't suck!" His set is about getting Minute Rice and NesQuik for his sexual performance.

THEY SAY: Howard thought he was the real, loving his material and his delivery. Heidi wasn't pleased. Mel was lost halfway through. Howie agrees with Howard.

WE SAY: ... The judges are free to buzz his act, just a reminder. And honestly, I wish that they did.

AARALYN & IZZY are a band from Boston, but they're not kidding around when it comes to their music. They can't stand pop music... or Justin Bieber. So where do you go? Screamo. They're singing an original song... "Dog Poop." (X's: HOWARD)

THEY SAY: Howard loves the kids, but the act is getting old. Mel wasn't that keen in the first place. Heidi called it bizarre. Howie wants them to duet with Jackie Evancho.

WE SAY: .... Give them a couple of years.  

Next up, 25 feet of chains, five padlocks, a straitjacket, a tank of water, and 90 seconds are all that separates ALEXANDERIA THE GREAT from certain death. Will this mother of two survive her latest brush with an escape that Houdini himself REFUSED to do?

THEY SAY: Mel is not sure that it's a full show. Howie says it's thrilling. Howard says that she's death-defying and that Houdini would be proud of her. Heidi was on the edge of her seat. 

WE SAY: SHE'S DONE IT! And in under the allotted time, too. But it's too scary to get a vote.

THE KRISTEF BROTHERS are a well-balanced pair of funny, crazy, bad boys of circus balancing. They're competing to give a better life for their kids.  They're certainly... well-balanced.

THEY SAY: Howie says it's the best of the night so far. Howard admires their athleticism. The ladies admire... everything else.

WE SAY: It's reminiscent of Blades of Glory. Part genuine ability, part comic mischief. They definitely have a future in showmanship. Perhaps also in this contest.

Next up, hip-hop from Honolulu, the dance crew HYPE. They have a lot of support from the 808 state, but will they win the votes after they're dancing in a water fountain?

THEY SAY: Heidi says that they didn't really blow her away. Mel was non-plussed. Howie loved the blending of classic and hip-hop. Howard says it was "above average", and that "above average does not win America's Got Talent".

WE SAY: Good... but honestly, too much build-up for not enough payoff.

BRANDEN JAMES has always gone to music as therapy, so much so that it touched his mother to the point where she apologized for her earlier ostracism for him being gay. He closes the show with "You Raise Me Up".

THEY SAY: Branden was a winner before he got on stage, and he'll be a winner AFTER. That's the judges' consensus.

WE SAY: A great way to close the night. The kicker? Branden is only going to get stronger.

Time to go to the NYC braintrust of Lee DiGeorge, Gordon Pepper, myself, and our special guest prognosticator Evelyn DiGeorge.

Lee's Picks: Branden James, Kristef Brothers, Collins Key. Wild Card (Anna Christine vs. tellAvision, Anna Christine winning.)
Gordon's Picks: Branden James, Collins Key, Anna Christine. Wildcard (tellAvision vs. Kristef Brothers. Kristef Brothers winning.)
Chico's Picks: American Hitmen, Branden James, Kristef Brothers. Wildcard: (Anna Christine vs. Collins Key, Collins Key winning)
Evelyn's Picks: Kristef Brothers, Branden James, Anna Christine. Wild Card (Collins Key vs. Kevin Downey Jr., Collins Key winning.)


To see tonight's episode in its entirety, or to apply to be a contestant on the next season, go to www.nbc.com/gottalent.