Is Darci Lynne, the 12-year-old ventriloquist, the one to beat on America’s Got Talent? It looks that way. The pre-teen dedicated her performance to Mel B after receiving the Golden Buzzer and wowed the judges during the first AGT live show with jokes and a performance of Jackson 5‘s “Who’s Lovin’ You.”
But she’s not the only performer wowing the judges.
“America has a tough job,” judge Heidi Klum told E! News after the reality show’s first live show. “We saw 12 acts today, but only seven will go to the next round and that’s going to be really hard. For me there were more than seven great acts tonight.”
Klum cited Darci, Yoli Mayor, roller skaters Billy and Emily England and daredevil Bello Nock as acts that wowed her during the live show. There were “three or four” acts that Klum said she didn’t fully love—she declined to name them—but “the rest I really, truly loved.”
Judge Howie Mandel said this year is probably the most stacked in America’s Got Talent history.
“I would imagine in any two-hour episode that we had over the last 12 years, no two hours have been more jam-packed with that level of talent you saw tonight,” he said, citing Darci, comedian Preacher Lawson, 9-year-old singer Angelica Hale and Christina Guardio, the 17-year-old singer he gave his Golden Buzzer to, as amazing acts of the night.
When it comes down to it, Simon Cowell said Darci will be the one everybody is talking about.
“Everyone’s going to be talking about the end act, Darci, who is already on her way to being a star. You can feel it in the room. Being America’s Got Talent, it wasn’t just the singers who did particularly well,” Cowell said, citing Bello (“He’s nuts, that guy.”) and In the Stairwell as favorite acts.
Rounding out the judging panel is Mel B, who said it’s going to be hard for America to vote, because “From Darci to Preacher to the two brother and sister roller skaters… I mean everything was just on point,” she said.
America’s Got Talent results show airs Wednesday, Aug. 16 on NBC.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)