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America's Got Talent Wild Card Jordan Conley Breaks Down His Disney-Filled Comedy Set, Plus The '90s Character Who Didn't Make The Cut

Jordan Conley as wild card of America's Got Talent Season 17
(Image credit: NBC)

Warning: spoilers ahead for Week 5 of America’s Got Talent Season 17 qualifiers.

The final round of qualifiers performances are officially over for Season 17 of America's Got Talent, as the fifth week saw the final eleven who advanced from the auditions take the stage once more. Among those eleven was none other than Jordan Conley, who became the wild card winner after beating out three other nominees. He was the only comedian of the night, and he had the audience (and judges) in stitches by the end of his set, which included enough Disney references to make any ‘90s kid rejoice. Speaking with CinemaBlend afterward, he broke those references down and revealed that one classic character sadly couldn’t make the cut.

Jordan Conley had three minutes to prove to voters that they made the right decision in choosing to bring him back as the wild card pick, and he got plenty of laughs almost as soon as he strolled out onto stage. It was when he started rattling off Disney references that the set really took off. He kicked off the Disney section by saying:

I know I am not tough. You know how hard it is to be a thug when you were born and raised down the street from Disneyland? You can’t be no thug and have a theme park brain. Like, I can’t cry over Mufasa’s death and then rob a liquor store. If I became a thug, I feel like my thug phrases would have theme park references.

He started strong with a shout out to The Lion King and one of the saddest deaths in movie history, then started pitching ideas for his Disney-themed phrases, including Cinderella with a mention of a glass slipper, Aladdin with “riffraff” and “street rat,” Beauty and the Beast, Toy Story, and then closed out with more Lion King

As somebody who knew the lyrics that he was quoting well from my days with VHS tapes and a VCR (and now kind of want to use a Disney+ subscription for a blast to the past), I asked Jordan Conley how he brought his Disney set together, and he broke it down:

The Lion King's easiest because that's like the all-time favorite in my mind. Some of them I threw in because of other people's favorites. Toy Story's my second favorite so I was kind of going in order for like, 'What's my favorite? Let's go Lion King, we have to throw in Toy Story.' Beauty and the Beast was one because of other people's favorites, but I do like Beauty and the Beast. And then Aladdin is like – come on now. I gotta throw in Robin Williams somehow.

Mufasa’s death may be famous for how heartbreaking it is, but who could argue that opening with The Lion King (1994) was anything other than a great choice? He continued to deliver references to the Disney Renaissance era with a shout-out to Beauty and the Beast (1991) and Aladdin (1992), the latter of which famously featured comedy icon Robin Williams as the voice of the Genie

But with just three minutes to win audiences over and hopefully make it to the AGT finals and a chance at the $1 million prize and Las Vegas stage show, there are only so many animated movie references that can fit. Jordan Conley shared the character who didn’t make the cut: 

If I could find a way to throw Mushu in, I would. But then at a certain point, I'm just rambling. Just throwing references out there. So I got to limit it at a certain point.

Alas, Mushu from Mulan (voiced by another comedy legend in Eddie Murphy) wasn’t included (and didn’t appear in the Mulan remake either), but Jordan Conley made sure to show the character a little love while speaking with press after his performance. 

Whether or not his set is enough to advance him to the finals remains to be seen, but viewers can do their part and vote for him via the official America’s Got Talent app and the NBC.com voting page until voting closes on Wednesday, September 7 at 7 a.m. ET. If you missed his set (or just want to experience it again), take a look:

Find out if Jordan Conley will advance to the finals with the results episode on Wednesday, September 7 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. The competition is stiff, with only two of the night’s eleven acts moving on. The episode brought back Mayyas as Sofia Vergara’s golden buzzer pick, and the dance group was also my original prediction as the act that would win Season 17. The judges had their highest praise of the episode for Mayyas, so they seem likely to move on. But who else? 

The pole-dancer who eventually won over Simon Cowell returned, and Kristy Sellars seems like a contender for another who could be in the Top 2. Dancer Max Ostler received warm praise in his return after his emotional audition, and there weren’t many on the night who were panned by the judges. I would say that Jordan Conley's odds are pretty decent, but you can always expect the unexpected with America’s Got Talent

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. 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.