Watch America's Got Talent's World Taekwondo Demonstration Team Surprise The Judges With A Performance Worthy Of A Marvel Movie, According To Howie Mandel


Spoilers ahead for the August 24 episode of America’s Got Talent Season 16 on NBC.

The final night of quarterfinals competition on America’s Got Talent’s sixteenth season has come and gone, with the final twelve performers hoping to secure a spot in the semifinals starting next week. Some acts received more applause than others, but one clear standout was World Taekwondo Demonstration Team. Terry Crews’ golden buzzer pick returned with a number so powerful, fast, and athletic that even the judges were taken by surprise, and Howie Mandel shared after the episode why he thinks their moves are comparable to a Marvel movie. Plus, Terry Crews revealed his thoughts on how his golden buzzer pick performed, and more!

World Taekwondo Demonstration Team certainly made the most of the stage, and their performance was dazzling enough that it deserves to be watched multiple times. And really, it’s not hard to understand why Howie Mandel made a comparison between their moves and blockbuster action sequences. Take a look:

World Taekwondo Demonstration Team may have been Terry Crews’ golden buzzer choice during the auditions, but all four judges looked like they’d happily hit a golden buzzer for them if they’d had the chance, which wasn't the case even for some of the best acts last week. It undoubtedly didn’t hurt that they were the last group to hit the stage on the last night of quarterfinals, and what they delivered really did feel like AGT was saving some of the best for last.

And in fact, the act was so fast-paced, elaborate, and gravity defying with so many moving pieces that it almost seems impossible without special effects or safety wires. Howie Mandel was so impressed that he compared the performance to a “Marvel movie the musical.” When he spoke with CinemaBlend and other press after the live show finished airing, Mandel explained his comparison and weighed in on how their second AGT performance compared to their first:

I just thought, you know, I love those kinds of movies and I love adventure. I always like karate movies. But these days when you see these fight scenes, a lot of it is digital and wire acts and things like that, and then when you're sitting in a room and there are no wires, and there's people flying a story and a half in the air and breaking three different things at three different levels. It's almost unbelievable to the eyes. There's no special effects. This is live, and these people who have trained for their entire lives, for what they are going for is a like an Olympic gold medal. These are the best of the best and really when you're in the room there's nothing more exciting to watch.

There certainly didn't seem to be anybody at the Dolby Theatre who would disagree that World Taekwondo Demonstration Team put on a thrilling performance that all but defied the laws of physics. That said, there is a reason why this particular performance might call a Marvel movie to mind more than their audition.

Group members Hyeri Shin and Long Nguyen also spoke with press following their quarterfinals performance, and Shin revealed that the theme for the night was "struggling against an outside enemy." Considering that the banner at the end of their act read "Peace is more precious than Triumph," the act at least came to a happy ending with its theme! Only time will tell if the group gets the happy ending of advancing to the semifinals.

The performers shared their reactions to the Marvel movie comment from Howie Mandel, as well as the praise from the other judges:

Hyeri Shin: We're so grateful to hear that all the great comments and then so honored to perform it.Long Nguyen: We're just super excited. It was a great opportunity to be on stage, but to hear these judges after they seen so many acts, give us positive feedback, it's very uplifting to hear that.

There wasn't any negative feedback to be heard for World Taekwondo Demonstration Team, and all of the judges seem pretty confident that the group will easily advance to the semifinals after the results are tallied. Their remarkable performance came after they were advanced straight to the quarterfinals courtesy of Terry Crews' golden buzzer. Crews shared what it meant to him to see them do so well in this performance:

You know, it's wild when you pick a golden buzzer and you just really really hope, you kind of wonder, 'Did I make the right decision?' You really really hope that they do better than they did the first time, and they did. World Taekwondo Demonstration Team is an incredible Olympic-level talent. And tonight, they really topped it. It was crazy. Guys like flying in the air, two stories high, breaking boards. And what I also love about it is that it was both men and women doing their thing, showing how strong they were, how powerful they were. It was all about working together, which is what Taekwondo is all about. And the signs, the peace. It's a big show. It's so wonderful. And they would be perfect in Vegas.

The Taekwondo group certainly knows how to deliver the kind of spectacle that would fit right in on a Las Vegas stage, especially considering that some of the most recent America's Got Talent winners were rewarded not just for their talent, but for how unique they were in presenting it to audiences. This is a show that crowns champions from multiple genres, after all. What other show would feature a young singing ventriloquist as a winner in one season, only to go for a magician the next season, a powerhouse singer next in Kodi Lee, and then most recently a spoken word poet?

There's still stiff competition, largely in the form of other golden buzzer winners like Victory Brinker and Jimmie Herrod, but World Taekwondo Demonstration Team just proved that they're one of the acts that could be tough to beat as Season 16 continues. Of course, that's assuming that viewers from home responded to their performance as well as the judges and live audience at the Dolby Theatre did, but I'm guessing World Taekwondo Demonstration Team won't have any trouble advancing to the semifinals.

If you want to show your support for them, or any of the others from the latest round of quarterfinals, you can vote for your favorite America's Got Talent acts here and on the AGT app until Wednesday at 7 a.m. ET. To find out who will advance and whose AGT journey has come to an end, tune in to the results episode on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

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. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).