STAR TALENT: Some AGT up-and-comers from this season’s final auditions

STAR TALENT covers acts who have participated in and are possibly best known from their appearances on talent shows, both in the U.S. and around the world.

I’m gonna kick this new column off with a spotlight on four incredible young acts who made their debut on the 6/30 edition of America’s Got Talent, in a really unusual situation – this was the last of this season’s audition shows, and was the only one shot without a live studio audience. And since a show like AGT is largely fed by audience reaction, these four performers really stood out, and should all four make it through to the live shows, which the show is still hoping to pull off in some way in mid-August, they are going to be huge with the live crowds.


Fifteen year old Brodie Gage and his seventeen year old brother Alex play a multitude of instruments, they sing, but they really excel at one instrument, and it’s one you don’t normally think of when you think of teenagers. These two brothers brought the judges’ house down with an incredible soulful and fun HARMONICA duet, an original piece called “Trading Eights“. and had there been a live audience on hand, the sound of screaming teenage girls would have been echoing throughout the halls. These two young men are focused squarely on making it in music, and because of their unusual choice of lead instrument and their incredible talent, I think they’re going to do just fine.  They utterly blew our minds last night, and I immediately added their song to our TKR HitzOne playtion – I think they’re going to be one of this year’s most popular performers.

Brothers Gage – Official Website
Brothers Gage – You Tube
Brothers Gage – Spotify


Jacob has already built up a huge following online and on numerous television appearances. This 12 year old piano and drum prodigy has an autism spectrum condition called Persuasive Development Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified, or PDDNOS, which is related to Asperger’s Syndrome. When he was a mere lad of four, he found music, and hasn’t looked back since. He is an incredible showman, working explanations of his condition into his routine, and his music is absolutely GLORIOUS. On the show, he debuted an original piano composition, then jumped over to the drums to play along with Fall Out Boy‘s hit “Centuries“. and utterly blew the mind of the judges. Although he hasn’t released anything new on record recently, he has a YouTube channel, one earlier album on Spotify, and a grip on the hearts and minds of everyone who has seen him perform. He has what it takes to WIN IT ALL this season – we’ll see what happens…check out his video “The Colorful World” on his YouTube channel – it tells you his whole story. And it’s an amazing one at that…and he’s only scratched the surface.

Jacob Velazquez – Official Site
Jacob Velazquez – YouTube
Jacob Velazquez – Spotify


Kenadi is beating the odds – she is the only member of her immediate family not suffering from Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that will eventually leave a person totally blind. And her music is utterly phenomenal. An aspiring country performer, she performed an original song, “One Way Ticket To Nashville“, that lit up the judges. Online commenters were calling her a combination of country superstar Reba McEntire and previous AGT winner Grace VanderWaal, and that is a difficult to beat combination, and it’s also spot on. Her songwriting is fantastic and very personal, reminiscent of the songwriting skills that came out of 2019 AGT finalist Benicio Bryant. Her voice and her guitar are truly terrific, and I think big things are coming for Kenadi on the country music scene in the next few years – she’s got the entire package, and her whole family backing her up.

Kenadi Dodds – YouTube
Kenadi Dodds – Instagram
Kenadi Dodds – Facebook


Somewhere in the middle of NINE kids in his family, young Elijah (no last name or age given, but according to his Instagram, he’s 14) blew the judges minds with his rendition of Ariana Grande‘s hit “7 Rings“. With an amazingly bright and bubbly personality, it’s instantly clear why this young cellist identifies with season 9 AGT finalists Emil and Dariel, who brought incredible rock style to their cello playing as well (and were one of the reasons I first got drawn into AGT during that season).  Although Simon wasn’t happy with his backing track – I think he felt it was overproduced, and told Elijah to fire the people who made it – his parents – he said he definitely saw something special in him and gave him the first of four “yes” votes from the judges. Now, if he makes it to the finals, they need to get him together with Emil & Dariel, and also with season 12 AGT semifinalist dance prodigy Merrick Hanna – together I think they could produce something really special. And I have a feeling we’re going to be seeing plenty more from this young man and his siblings, all but one of whom also play instruments of one type or another (the youngest is too young to pick one up yet at 14 months, but methinks the future will see the youngest following their siblings into music). He’s got a distinct “you have to love me!” vibe about him…

Elijah De La Motte – YouTube
Elijah De La Motte – Instagram

Whew! There’s so much just in this one episode; there were several other performers we’ll no doubt be spotlighting in the future as well. And this season has got it’s share of standouts and we’ll bring you those as we go throughout the rest of the season. And don’t forget to check out Star Talent each and every time you see it – and check out the links for the performers who appear here – you will NOT be sorry!

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