showed off her ventriloquism skills and a wooden pal she called 'Mr. Grumpy' on Wednesday's quarterfinal results episode of .
It was the first time she'd unveiled the dummy for AGT, though he'd appeared as a plot point for her character Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on the show Modern Family, which ended in April.
'Hi Sofia!', Mr. Grumpy 'told' the Colombia actress, 48, as she sat with pro ventriloquist Darci Lynne, 15. 'I haven't seen you in a long time! You look beautiful. You look younger every day.'
The elderly character looked exactly as he had on Modern Family with a red polo buttoned up to the neck, a shock of wild gray hair and an angry disposition.
Darci, who'd won AGT season 12, politely watched Sofia move her lips to make him speak.
He remembered her work with the dummy as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on their hit show, where her character claimed her beauty pageant talent was ventriloquism.
On AGT, Darci introduced her elderly puppet Edna to Mr. Grumpy, claiming they would get along well, but Sofia's dummy just insulted Edna, calling her 'old.'
When Edna asked that AGT judge Simon Cowell, 60, help her with Mr. Grumpy, judge Howie Mandel, 64, showed up instead to accommodate her.
On his lap, he carried a puppet dressed to look exactly like Simon, with sunglasses, a white T-shirt and a sling around his arm, a sly nod to the judge's recent e-bike accident.
'Hello, darlings!' Howie-as-Simon said, in a bad British accent. 'Sofia, I don't like Edna, I love Edna!'
'Howie, you're moving your lips!' Sofia cried, to which Howie responded, 'What's great about the way that I do ventriloquism is that you cannot see the puppet's lips move at all!'
Sofia shooed him offstage, telling him she took this seriously and wanted to work with Darci.
As 'Simon' left, Edna looked after him longingly, and sang a few bars of Carole King's (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.
'Bravo!' Sofia said, in Mr. Grumpy's voice, and Edna pointed out that her lips were moving.
'It was me talking, right, it was Sofia talking!' Sofia protested. 'But he can sing too!'
Mr. Grumpy then launched into a cover of Lionel Richie's Hello.
'That… that…11 years, you said?' Edna asked.
The one-hour show was the end of AGT's season 15 quarterfinals, and viewers learned which five acts of the 11 that performed Tuesday would be going to the semifinals.
The first contestant through was Kenadi Dodds, 15, a high school student from North Logan, Utah, who had played piano and sung an original song.
She earned a standing ovation from the judges, with Howie—who'd earned boos on Tuesday after saying her song 'didn't do it for me personally'—smiling as he stood.
'I knew America would see that sparkle in you, and that you have that special something,' judge Heidi Klum, 47, told the crying teenager. 'And Howie was wrong, and you were right.'
The next act through was Broken Roots, a Chicago-based musical duo that also failed to win Howie over the night before with a cover of U2's I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.
Joey Kar and Austin Edwards collapsed to the stage and wept after going through, with Joey saying, 'There's God, there's fate, there's love, there's America! We love you!'
Sofia, who called the pair 'all-American men' on Tuesday, said she was excited for them, remembering that AGT initially cut them after the auditions, then brought them back.
The third contestant through was poet Brandon Leake, 27, from Stockton, California, who'd recited a piece about the challenges of living as a Black man in America.
Howie, who'd given Brandon his Golden Buzzer in the audition rounds, told him, 'I've never been more moved in my life on this show from any other act. We need you on this show. We need you in this world. And we need you in the semifinals.'
The comic told Brandon he'd re-watched his performance 'a hundred times' and had just two words for him, which he wanted to share 'with everything that is me': 'You matter.'
The fourth contestant through was Celina Graves, 30, a singer from San Diego, who'd previously wowed with her chill-inducing vocals on London Grammar's Strong.
As the winner of the show's Dunkin' Save, voted on by viewers during the show, she had a fan in Heidi, who said she'd fallen in love with her talent immediately.
The judges then voted on the fifth act, with Sofia and Howie picking The Bello Sisters, a trio of Italian acrobats aged 13, 19, and 22, over Resound, a musical trio from Richmond, Virginia.
Other acts not going through included comic Alex Hooper, 34; dancer Noah Epps, 12; Romania's Lightwave Theatre Company; C.A. Wildcats cheerleaders of Texas; and California's Divas and Drummers of Compton.
During an interlude, Duo Transcend, who'd placed second on AGT: The Champions 2 last May, did an acrobatic routine as country singer Cam crooned 'Till There's Nothing Left.