The World’s Best premiered Sunday, following Super Bowl LIII, and the world-spanning talent show — designed to serve as a competitor in the same niche field as America’s Got Talent— kicked things off with some impressive auditions.
Hosted by The Late Late Show‘s James Corden, The World’s Best also features a panel of three celebrity judges — Drew Barrymore, RuPaul and Faith Hill. However, one major change between this talent show and other similar shows is the so-called “Wall of the World.”
Situated in an array of round cubicles behind the three main judges are 50 experts in a vast array of entertainment fields from different countries around the globe, who all weigh in on whether or not the contestants can move on.
After auditions, those trying out have to earn 75 points to move forward, and this is where the show gets somewhat convoluted. Each of the American celebrity judges can give between 1 and 50 points. Then, their scores are averaged out, and each of the 50 international judges can vote to add one point, and if the hopeful gets the required amount, they move on to the battle rounds later in the season.
Still with us? Good. Here’s a look at a few of the best performances from the premiere, all of whom will be coming back to battle in the future.
1. Kukkiwon — Taekwondo Masters
From: South Korea
These choreographed martial arts performers wowed the judges with an impressive showcase of their varied skills.
2. TNT Boys — Singers
From: The Philippines
This musical threesome of young singers, all of whom rocked stylish black and blue suits, won the hearts of the judges almost immediately with their stage presence and flawless vocals.
3. Enkh Erdene — Singer
While he’s from a small village and doesn’t speak a word of English, this didn’t stop Enkh from belting out an unbelievable cover of George Strait’s “Amarillo By Morning,” which easily earned him passage to the next round.
4. Manami Ito — Violinist
As revealed in the pre-taped package before her performance, Manami began playing when she was a child, but quit after losing her arm in a devastating car crash. However, she took up the instrument again later in life with the help of an amazing prosthetic arm, and brought several judges to tears with her incredible performance.
The show’s final act, a British escape artist named Matt Johnson, was handcuffed and submerged in water inside a locked box. As time clicked down, it seemed that he was having trouble getting out, and it seemed it could be in serious danger.
Which is exactly when the rug was pulled out from under everyone’s feet, and it the episode ended on a real shocking “to be continued,” meaning fans will have to tune in next week to see if this man drowns.
It feels like a bit of a strange incentive, but this kind of cliffhanger really does set the show apart from other talent shows, which seem to prefer using cliffhangers between commercial breaks while always ending episodes with some sense of closure.
Fans can tune in Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS to see what happens to Johnson, and some of the world’s other incredible performers.