Spoilers ahead for the America's Got Talent Season 15 results episode on September 9.
America's Got Talent has officially determined the first round of competitors who will make it to the finals, each getting one big step closer to the grand prize. The latest results episode would determine the fates of some of the highest-profile acts of Season 15, including spoken word poet Brandon Leake. The Dunkin' Save round was the element of the episode to watch, however, with three very different yet formidable acts on the block: death-dropping aerialist Alan Silva, singer Archie Williams, and drummer Malik Dope.
Alan Silva won the viewer vote with the Dunkin' Save, so it fell to the judges to choose between Archie Williams and Malik Dope. This marked the second time Dope was in the bottom two with his AGT fate in the hands of the judges in Season 15, and it was also his last. Although judge Howie Mandel voted for Dope to advance to the finals, Sofia Vergara and Heidi Klum both voted for Williams. With no Simon Cowell, who is still absent from AGT due to his back injury, the final vote was 2-1, with Williams moving on.
While no act could have gotten this far in a season of America's Got Talent without packing a talented punch and both acts up for elimination were worthy of praise, I wouldn't be surprised if Archie Williams' advancement is a bit divisive among fans due to why the judges voted the way they did.
Sofia Vergara had such a hard time choosing between Archie Williams and Malik Dope that she could ultimately only point at Williams, but she went with the singer over the drummer. Although Howie Mandel voted for Malik Dope, he did clarify for viewers that Williams teared up in his previous performance because he was surprised by a picture of his daughter and couldn't get his composure. Dope got Mandel's vote ultimately because of his originality.
So, why did Heidi Klum drop the deciding vote for Archie Williams? Klum told Malik Dope that he has a bright future ahead of him regardless of what happened in the vote, and then told Archie that "you have had most of your life taken away from you" and that she wasn't going to do it to him again, so she chose him. Klum was of course referring to Williams' decades in prison after wrongful incarceration, and he was all smiles and gratitude in response.
While I certainly won't argue that Archie Williams didn't deserve the win, it is worth noting that he is sticking around due to his story as well as his talent. Would the vote have gone differently otherwise? I do wish that both acts had been able to stick around to the finals.
Between his voice, his story, and his snazzy suits, Archie Williams has been a joy to watch during Season 15. As for Malik Dope, I'm with Howie Mandel on appreciating his originality in delivering an act that hasn't been done time and time again on AGT. Hopefully Heidi Klum is right and Dope does indeed have a bright future ahead of him!
Find out if Archie Williams gets further in the competition when America's Got Talent continues heading toward the grand prize, with new episodes on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. One contestant already has an idea on what he would do with the Las Vegas residency if he wins, but the competition is stiff! Be sure to vote in our poll below about the judges' save in this episode, and check out our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule for some upcoming viewing options.