Episode Overview: With the auditions over, and the 20 semi-finalists selected, it's time to see the first ten semi-finalist performances on America's Got Talent. Will nerves get the better of some of these amateur entertainers? And now, judges no longer have the power to control their fates. It's now the viewer's opinion that counts.
Tonight, we will see the first half of our set of semi-finalists. Of the semi-finalists, only five will be able to move on to the next round, so the stakes are high.
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The first act up is Johnny Lonestar, the rodeo act. He's wearing shiny gold pants and a great big grin, and successfully carries off his rope routine. The judges are tickled - even Piers Morgan - but want him to bring some variety next time if he makes it through. One can't help but wonder if this kind of old-timey act has the slightest chance with the public, but we'll have to wait to see next week.
Julienne Irwin is next to take the stage. She is the young woman, novice performer, with a powerful voice and a surprisingly confident stage manner. She is a little flat this evening, but the judges still love her wholesomely beautiful presence, and think there's no question that she will make it through to the next round. When looking at her, so clear-eyed and clean-cut, you can only hope that no image consultants get a hold of her and tart her whole act up.
The only magician to make it to the semi-finals of America's Got Talent, Kevin James, now makes his appearance. Although his creative and gory performance last time wowed the judges, this time his act lands with a thud. He runs around stage with a "severed hand" that is so obviously his own and, as David Hasselhoff puts, there is no pay-off to the act. Sharon Osbourne asks if he's saving the best for last and he confirms he is, but will the audience vote him on to see it? I think overconfidence got the best of him, but maybe being taken down a notch will get him back on track.
Robert Hatcher, another vocalist, sings a Whitney Houston song well. The judges think his overall presentation says "star," but he can maybe dial back the hand gestures because he doesn't need to try to so hard. His day job is working in the sewers, but his infectious smile makes you hope this might be his ticket out.
The teen band Jonny Come Lately sings "Crazy Little Thing Called Love." It's pretty solid, although the bassist has a technical issue. The judges feel, though, that since they are a group of kids, they should bring a fresher energy to the stage and want to see more originality if they make it to the next round. Agreed - as impressive as their performance might be for their age, there's not very far to go if they continue to just ape a musical genre without adding their own flair.
Now Kashif, the gangly Bollywood dancer takes the stage. I sincerely want to like his act, and but he really doesn't have a whole lot to offer beyond novelty. Indian dancing seems to require some level of precision and tight movement but his presentation is sloppy and his affect slightly flat. Sharon and David still like him, though, and hope for the best for him.
Butterscotch, the beat-boxer/singer, performs next. The song is "Summertime," which she starts with a relatively convincing trumpet sound. Her performance is strong, and Piers - even though he hates her camoflauge outfit - thinks she is one of the most inventive and original performers he's seen. Everyone loves it.
The next act is the martial arts group Sideswipe. They do their routine of impressive kicks and flips, and of course, expose their rock hard abs. The audience and the judges seem to really enjoy this, but Piers think they do need to add a little more dance in order to amp up the entertainment value.
Manuel Romero, the young vocalist, sings "Have You Ever Loved a Woman?" His performance sounded slightly flat to this recapper, but the judges love him.
Last up - The Glamazons, or "plus-sized Pussycat Dolls" as they've been called. They sing "Hot Stuff." Maybe the acoustics were bad because once again, their performance seemed slightly off-key. However, they are charming and really sell the performance, so the judges enjoy it.
Next week, the next ten America's Got Talent semi-finalists, and the results of the audience voting. Tune in to see if your favorite made the cut!
- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of NBC)