Spoilers ahead for the latest episode of America's Got Talent Season 16 on NBC.
The auditions stage of America's Got Talent Season 16 continued on June 22 with an episode packed with talented acts that resulted in several unanimous votes yes from the judges, one golden buzzer from Sofia Vergara, and one singing dog named Casper with his human partner Pam Quinn. Pam and Casper performed pretty early in the night, but by the time they scored a yes from each and every one of the judges, I was convinced that the auditions stage is the best part of AGT.
The auditions stage is when acts like Pam and Casper really get to shine. Their rendition of Celine Dion's "All by Myself" was hilarious and impressive in its own way, even if some of the judges felt that Pam dominated the mic and the performance could have used more of Casper's vocal stylings. They were a lot of fun to watch. But are Pam and Casper going to win America's Got Talent Season 16? Honestly, probably not.
The judges get to pass along a wide and sometimes whacky variety of performers in the auditions stage before they have to start narrowing things down more, which is how acts like Pam and Casper, Sethward the Peacock (formerly known as Sethward the Caterpillar and Sethward the Walrus), contortionist Roman Kricheli, and others will be advanced to the next stage but don't have the best odds of winning over showstoppers like the golden buzzer winners.
Of course, champions like Darci Lynne Farmer and last season's Brandon Leake prove that some unconventional talents truly can win the day, but the odds are pretty good that the top prize will go to a musician or a magician or something more expected. And that's not a bad thing – Season 13 champion magician Shin Lim remains one of my favorite acts of recent seasons. But the auditions stage of AGT reliably delivers a mix of amazing acts with the potential to go all the way with some more bonkers acts that AGT history suggests won't be making it to a million dollars.
None of this is to say that Pam and Casper absolutely aren't going to win America's Got Talent Season 16, and for all I know I could be eating my words in a couple of months, but the duo delivered the kind of act that we don't always get to see once the competition gets stiffer. It was goofy and fun and surprising, and AGT shines when it serves up what nobody could have seen coming. Even if those aren't the acts that make it to the end. Just take a look at Pam and her doggy pal singing some Celine Dion:
The auditions stage of America's Got Talent Season 16 isn't over just yet, and you can catch the next new episode on Tuesday, June 29 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. It's anybody's game at this point, and the fates of the performers still lie in the hands of the judges until later when viewers get to start voting from home. For now, check out the competition that may or may not make it to the finals with new episodes!
For some more viewing options now and in the coming weeks as the weather outside continues to heat up, be sure to check out our 2021 summer TV premiere schedule.