America's Got Talent's live performances at Radio City Music Hall debuted Tuesday night with the first 12 acts of the quarterfinals. It was a decent night of performances, making it a battle to choose which seven acts we think will get their pink slips tonight.
Let's look back for a moment to the auditions featured in my 'One Act to Watch' articles and review for a moment. My first pick from the auditions was Miguel Dakota
. My first pick from the second week of auditions was Smoothini, The Ghetto Houdini
. Third week: soldier singer Paul Ieti
. Forth week: 13-year-old singer Mara Justine
. I was gone the week of July 1, but I would have featured Jonah Smith as my 'One Act to Watch,' though saying so now after the band has already made it past judgement week sounds a bit like cheating. Well, hell, I'm sticking with it anyway.
America's Got Talent Recap: The First 12 Acts Perform Live >>>
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12 Acts on Deck for Quarterfinals Round 1
Of my five picks for acts to follow, only Miguel Dakota was chosen to strut his stuff during this first week of live performances at Radio City Music Hall. My other acts did make it to the quarterfinals and we'll be seeing them over the next couple of weeks, but for now let's discuss who from last night we think will be moving to the next level come the semifinals.
Joining Miguel Dakota last night were acrobats Flight Crew Jump Rope, wholesome singer Julia Goodwin, little girl fan dancers Jasmine Flowers, powerhouse crooner Emily West, Bronx funnyman Dan Naturman, the harmonizing The Willis Clan, teen tappers Sean and Luke, dance troupe Baila Conmigo, suicidal strongman JD Anderson, actrobat duo Valo & Bobby and cranial readers David and Leeman.
Of these 12, only five will move forward; the remaining seven are crap-out-of-luck. Though all of these acts were entertaining, some of them didn't reach their potential because of a poor song choice or not enough of a difference in quality or excitement over their previous performance. Though to be fair, several acts that were great during the auditions kinda sucked during judgement week. If they made it past judgement week/boot camp all the way to Radio City, then we are comparing their entire body of work to date, not just last night's performance. Got it?
Those Least Likely to Pass Go and Collect $200
Here's the tricky part about predicting acts after live performances and audience voting: it's not a list of who I think will advance, it's a guess about who I think America will vote for to see in the next round. In order to do that, we have to make some assumptions about the demographics of that body of people who would take the time to watch, debate and cast votes on the acts.
According to TV by the Numbers, America's Got Talent leads its competing networks in the 18-49 age group. The split for female versus male? I do not know. I'll check into that and get back to you. For now, I'll do my best and we'll find out tonight how I did.
The seven acts I predict will not move forward are Julia Goodwin, Jasmine Flowers, Dan Naturman, JD Anderson, Valo & Bobby and David and Leeman. Each of these either had some stinky trouble last night or just didn't set themselves apart as much as the next six.
It's a Toss-Up for the 5th Act to Advance
Yes, I said six acts to move forward, because these two are a toss up for the fifth position as far as I'm concerned. Baila Conmigo is phenomenal, but Sean and Luke appeal more to the younger crowd and the teenie boppers. So who will vote more? I think the young girls will out-vote us more, ahem, mature voters -- mature meaning old, not necessarily wiser or less nimble. On the other hand, those kid dancers are pretty amazing. Every little girl dreams of being a dancer at one time or another, so maybe the young female audience will be split on this vote. Me, I'm still conflicted.
The Willis Clan
Okay, I know I listed the 12 siblings who call themselves The Willis Clan as #12 in my performance rankings
, but that was because last night's rendition of "The Power of Love" was nowhere near as powerful as their previous two performances. However, taking into consideration the audition and the judgement week delivery, I truly feel this group of blended voices has a good shot at advancing. Besides, everyone loves a good family and upbeat renditions of old favorites.
If this Veronica Lake look-alike doesn't advance, it will be an absolute scandal. She's been amazing all three times she's taken the stage to belt out her tunes. Her first performance was my least favorite and she's gotten better and better every time.
Same goes for heartthrob Miguel. This guy reminds me a bit of Enrique Iglesias -- who will perform during tonight's results show -- but Miguel has a million times more humility than Enrique and I doubt he'll be trying to French kiss fans on the stage during his final performance. The mere fact that all the women in the audience, Mel B and Heidi Klum included, were ready to throw their panties onto the stage last night should be enough to get this boy to the next level. That's right, folks, if you think girls and women don't vote with their panties (and always have), then you just haven't been paying attention (or maybe you're dead). Miguel is going forward. Period.
Flight Crew Jump Rope
These predictions have been in no particular order, so keep that in mind. My final pick for the semifinals is Flight Crew Jump Rope. They are upbeat, fun, energetic, gravity-defying, and what they do looks like something we should all be able to do but can't because we don't have nearly the grace or practice they all do. And what synchronicity! Besides, who doesn't have memories of jumping rope as a kid? There's an eternal youthfulness to this kind of performance. Who would have thunk it, right?
Tune in Tonight for the Results
That's all I got, folks. My esteemed colleague Bill will see you back her tonight to recap the results.
America's Got Talent airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 9pm on NBC.