America's Got Talent is in the quarterfinals stage of Season 16, which marks the point in AGT when the fates of the contestants lie in the hands of voters rather than just the panel of judges, so the stakes were higher than ever when two comedians took the stage for the first night of quarterfinals. They both managed to win over enough voters to advance to the next round of competition with highly unique acts, so how did Gina Brillon and Kabir Singh make their sets relatable while also remaining highly individual? I spoke with both comedians after their quarterfinals performances, and they shared their insight.
Gina Brillon came to America's Got Talent with some comedy sets that involved talking about her childhood in the Bronx, her Puerto Rican heritage, and her family. When the time came to perform to try and win votes from viewers at home as opposed to votes from the four judges like when she got four yeses in the auditions stage, the pressure was on, but the results speak for themselves, as Brillon was advanced out of the quarterfinals. Shortly after performing her quarterfinals set, Brillon shared how she approached holding on to the individualism that worked so well in her audition while also delivering something that would be relatable and connect with viewers from home:
For his part, Kabir Singh earned a standing ovation during his America's Got Talent audition, and his quarterfinals performance was a hit with the in-person audience as he drew on his Indian heritage while telling jokes about his mom's texting and "racist Siri." The voters from home didn't send him straight through out of the quarterfinals like some others, however, and his advance came courtesy of the online public vote over singer Madilyn Bailey and Beyond Belief Dance Company, with Beyond Belief ultimately being eliminated despite their Clueless dance number. Singh also shared his process of choosing jokes to relate to voters en masse while holding on to his individualism, saying:
America did ultimately choose to advance him, but it was a closer call than perhaps he might have liked. Still, thanks to Gina Brillon and Kabir Singh both advancing out of the first batch of quarterfinals performances, they stand as the most successful Season 16 comedians to date thanks to their unique takes on comedy that have clearly appealed to a broad audience. After the first quarterfinals eliminations, it's clear that performers need to up the ante if they want to stay in the running.
There are still more comedy acts in the running for the top prize of $1 million and a Las Vegas show, however, so be sure to keep checking out new episodes of America's Got Talent on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC for the latest acts, and don't miss the results episodes on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. For more viewing options now and in the coming weeks, be sure to check out our 2021 fall TV premiere schedule.
Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.
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