Atlanta saxophonist Avery Dixon makes it to ‘America’s Got Talent’ finals; local comic Lace Larrabee does not

The first live show of the season for “America’s Got Talent” this week featured two Atlantans: saxophonist Avery Dixon and stand-up comic Lace Larrabee.

There were 11 competitors and just two slots open for the finals.

For Dixon, the night went swimmingly. He was one of the two performers voted into the finals Tuesday night during the live reveal.

The producers clearly liked him by giving him the final slot of the night. Host Terry Crews had already given him a Golden Buzzer guaranteed slot into the semifinals.

Dixon, 21, was a premature baby who grew up teased for being small and having a breathy voice. But he was able to let his feelings out with his sax. “I never felt like I was good enough,” he said, on the show, until he was on the “AGT” stage. “It’s like washing out that doubt.”

His sax version of Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground” brought the audience to its feet.

Simon Cowell compared him to Carrie Underwood and predicted he will be a “superstar... You were great the first time. This was incredible. Your confidence and talent, everything is brilliant. I’m so happy for you!”

Sofia Vergara: “There’s nothing better you can do!”

Howie Mandel: “You as a human being, you have grown by leaps and bounds.”

Larrabee’s fate was sealed Monday night when judge Simon Cowell buzzed her partway through her set. It was one of three times Cowell “Xed” someone out that evening. None made it through.

She decided to go for jokes about her husband and mocking how small her diamond ring is. “He’s just not good at jewelry and that’s probably my fault, right?” she said, ”because I’m a proud feminist. He said, ‘I thought that meant you didn’t like diamonds.’ I’m like, ‘Not that kind of feminist!’” And later, she noted that her husband bought a “fleet” of mountain bikes, which she sees as “six better engagement rings with handlebars.”

She said she’s ready to raise children because “I’ve raised a lot of men. All my girlfriends are moms though which is weird to me because I know these women. I used to party with these women in their 20s when they didn’t care about things like tomorrow.”

She said the women knew the line “the beer before liquor gets you sicker” and asked if Cowell knew the rest of that line. (He just looked confused.) While she was making a winery joke, Cowell buzzed her, which caused the crowd to boo while Larrabee repeated part of her joke. She finished the final 30 seconds of her set but was clearly flustered.

Judge Heidi Klum: “I like you. You are a little Southern belle with a little Southern Comfort. I don’t know how you continued to do this with this X by Simon. I was startled but you kept on going. I thank you for that.”

Cowell explained why he buzzed her: “I actually did that Lace to help you because it was going downhill. There was something missing for me. It felt more rehearsed than spontaneous. You were much funnier in your first audition. I didn’t find it that funny.”

Mandel, a fellow stand-up comic said: “Humor, comedy is subjective. You have a great stage presence. You have a great delivery. Your first set was very relatable to a wider audience. I think that ladies related more. I think that’s what happened to Simon. There wasn’t stuff he could relate to.”

Vergara: “I thought your first audition was so so perfect. It was going to be hard to be more spectacular than that.”

On her social media the next morning, she wrote, “I got Simon’s little buzzer in the middle of my set on live tv last night, but at least I looked great doing it. Thanks for all the love, support and votes, y’all. I’m a grateful, hungover lady.”

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