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During a pre-make-up session in his dressing room, "AGT" judge Howie Mandel explains the pressure of the performers, the precision of the crew on the day of the live show.
Dan McMedan, USA Today

This is the time everyone is waiting for: Live shows are here!

Tuesday's episode of "America's Got Talent" kicks off the first quarter-finals, broadcast live from the Hollywood Dolby Theater. That means anything can happen.

Only seven of the 12 acts will reach the semifinals in September, adding more pressure to the rest of the Wow America contestants. And the competition is stiff. The field on Tuesday included three Golden Buzzer bearers – Cody Lee, Sophie Pecora and Luke Islam – and Wildcard Anssie Burns, who returned after tearful elimination in the judges' cut.

Life, however, has not been a problem so far for Lee, who judges Gabriel Union said it "changed the world" with its audition and did the same again on Tuesday.

& # 39; AGT & # 39; goes live: Best Acts Go to the Finals of the Best Summer Show

More: & # 39; America & # 39; s Got Talent & # 39; ;: Wildcard Ansley Burns receives a standing ovation for her return.

Lee, a blind autism singer, performed a powerful rendition of Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge over Troubled Water", displaying his vocal range and impressive piano skills.

Simon Cowell revealed Paul Simon specifically OK & # 39; d Lee to perform the song "because you saw your audition", which has over 42 million views on YouTube.

"I want to thank Paul Simon, who never gives permission to sing (" Bridge over troubled water "), because it's very valuable to him and he gave (Lee) permission within 30 minutes," said Cowell.

Cody Lee awakened the judges of America's Got Talent on Tuesday. (Photo: Trey Patton / NBC)

Lee's performance brought tears to the eyes of Union and Julian Hoff and prompted the crowd to repeatedly chant "Kodi! Kodi! ”In applause.

"Who you are, what you stand for and what you continue to do, make the world a more beautiful place," Union said of his Golden Buzzer act.

Cowell added, "You truly are one of the most extraordinary people and talents we have had the great happiness of every show we have ever done. God bless you."

Impressionist Greg Morton also raised the bar with his voice impressions of "The Lion King", "Shrek", "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective", "The Brave Heart" and "Guardians of the Galaxy"

if you're going to own the stage or not, and you've actually proven me completely wrong, "Cowell said. "This is such a step up from your previous audition."

Howie Mandel added, "You are one man's greatest spectacle."

Other acts performed on Tuesday include black light artist Alex Dois; Bir Halsa Dangerous Act; singer Carmen Carter; Emerald Belles Dance Training Team; girl group GFORCE; the acrobatic Messudi brothers; and the Voices of Service quartet.

The fate of the contestants is no longer in the hands of the judges. It depends on America.

Fans can vote up to 10 times for any act on NBC.com/AGTvote or through the America & # 39; s Got Talent app. Actions reaching the semifinals will be revealed during Wednesday's show of results, which will include guest appearances by "AGT" winners Shin Lim and Bianca Ryan. (NBC, 8 EDT / PDT)

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