Little person, big voice. The vocal gymnastics of 11-year old Mara Justine on a Whitney Houston tune proved to be a big success with the judges on America’s Got Talent (2.4/8) last night. While the Garden State native isn’t America’s next sweetheart yet, making it as one of the contestants to get through Judgment Week on the 2-hour NBC competition show on Tuesday certainly moved her a step towards that goal. Her next stop is of course the live shows at Radio City Music Hall where things will really heat up on AGT. Not that things weren’t hot last night with candidates in six categories like kid singers, magic and comedy competed to progress to those live shows. And that was OK for AGT. Back after weeks of repeats and recap specials, the show dipped 8% from it last original on July 1. On a night of scant original competition, the 2-hour AGT was the top rated and most watched show of the night with 10.3 million viewers.
Leading into AGT last night, NBC had the debut of Food Fighters (1.0/4) at 8 PM. Unlike his now postponed new Travel Channel series, this Adam Richman-hosted show went ahead despite the controversy over some of his comments on social media. Maybe that wasn’t the best idea as the cook-off game show was down 23% from the premiere of the comparable Hollywood Game Night on July 11 last year on NBC.
The only other originals on last night were Extreme Weight Loss (0.9/3) and Celebrity Wife Swap (0.8/3) on ABC. The former lost 10% among the key demo from last week. Now facing a new AGT, CWS slide a hard 27% in preliminary numbers from last week to tie a series low. With the return of AGT and CBS and Fox all encores last night, NBC won the night with a 2.0/7 rating and 8.40 million viewers.