The America's Got Talent judges just got the shock of a lifetime with an eerie and unexpected performance during Tuesday's Season 16 final auditions. Russian dance illusionist Pasha had the judges worried when he initially told them his wife, Aliona, had missed her flight and wouldn't be able to make it to their joint audition.
"I'm in a real jam and I'm trying to figure out what to do. … We're supposed to dance a new number," Pasha told the judges, telling them he had never performed alone before. "I am very worried. … If you could give me an opportunity, hopefully, I could make it work." While judge Howie Mandel praised Pasha for the "ultimate 'the show must go on,'" the whole panel was skeptical he would be able to pull off his act solo.
That skepticism turned to shock when Pasha left the stage and host Terry Crews wheeled out a pair of life-size eerily realistic marionette-esque robot dolls. The dolls then began to dance, bending at angles so impossible the judges were unable to see how Pasha could possibly be behind the performance. At the end of the hypnotizing routine, the female robot flipped up her dress to reveal Pasha dancing solo underneath the two conjoined characters.
Judge Sofia Vergara was truly shocked. "I love it! That was so surprising! I've never seen anything like that in my life!" she exclaimed. Mandel commented, "If people just tuned in, you're gonna freak a lot of little children out!" Heidi Klum chimed in, "It was… weird," to which Pasha responded with a smile, "I know." Even Simon Cowell was impressed. "You got us, didn't you? We were all thinking, 'This is going to be terrible,' but actually, it was great! It was a great surprise," he told Pasha. "We love to be surprised, and that's what you just did. And that's why you've got four yeses."
America's Got Talent will return with the live shows on Aug. 10 after taking a break while NBC airs the Tokyo Olympics. The six Golden Buzzer acts that are automatically performing during the live rounds include Cowell's pick, indie-pop singer and cancer survivor Nightbirde, Klum's pick, the quick-change artist Léa Kyle, Mandel's pick, the Northwell Health Nurse Choir, Vergara's pick, Broadway showman Jimmie Herrod, Crews' pick, the World Taekwondo Demonstration Team, and the first unanimous Golden Buzzer, child opera prodigy Victory Brinker.