Spoilers ahead for the July 13 episode of America's Got Talent Season 16 on NBC.
The auditions round of America's Got Talent continued with the latest episode, with the stakes higher than ever with no golden buzzers left, and the odds are pretty good that AGT won't bend the rules to make show history twice in one season. A lot of acts were being eliminated, and even a pair of cute dancing kids didn't seem necessarily safe when they first walked out on the stage and revealed that there is some awkward history between their family and judge Howie Mandel. Fortunately for them, their energetic dance was enough to put Mandel in the mood for an apology!
8-year-old Michael Novikova and his 6-year-old sister Angelina took the AGT stage for a dance to Fleur East's "Sax," but not before dropping the bombshell on Howie Mandel that he'd already judged a Novikova family act, as their older brother joined forces with their mom for a dance act six years before. Mandel was pretty harsh in hitting the buzzer on their brother back then and dropped some blunt comments on him, and their mom clearly had a grudge to hold. Check out Mandel facing the family he wronged, as well as the dance number itself!
Their brother may not have been destined to make it out of the live shows round of America's Got Talent while dancing with their mom, but Michael and Angelina Novikova were great enough that Howie Mandel was out of his seat by the end of the dance and encouraging his fellow judges to join him in the ovation. He even shouted "Wow!" a couple of times for good measure. Not only were the kids positively adorable, but also brought the kind of energy and skill to win another shot at $1 million! And that's not all.
Caught up in the emotion of a job well done by Michael and Angelina Novikova (and egged on by fellow judge Simon Cowell), Howie Mandel found himself prompted to apologize to the family for his comments six years ago. Mandel obliged, saying to their mom:
I don't mean, ever, to hurt anybody's feelings. I'd like to personally apologize to you and your son. I am so sorry. Please accept my apology. Please. Please?
Although the younger dancers' mom didn't come right out and graciously accept Howie Mandel's apology, Angelina Novikova delivered possibly the cutest moment of America's Got Talent Season 16 so far by saying "We all forgive you" and "Everybody makes mistakes." Can I give Angelina a golden buzzer just for being adorable? The very good news is that Mandel and the rest of the judges all voted to advance the Novikova siblings to the next round of competition.
Whether or not Howie Mandel will continue being so nice to them remains to be seen, as the expectations for the acts will be even higher as the fight for $1 million gets more intense. As much as I enjoyed their dance, I can't say that they stand above all the competition that AGT Season 16 has showcased so far (although they definitely stand above some). Anything can happen at this point. Find out with new episodes of America's Got Talent on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.