The first group of semifinalists performed on America's Got Talent
Tuesday night, and if it's any indication of what's to come, they're going to have to stop calling this the best crop of talent ever in the promos.
I know that's standard reality TV fodder, but the show was a disappointment as a whole, with only a few acts succeeding in standing out.
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Still, with half of acts advancing to the top 12 and six-ish that didn't deserve to make it this far in the first place, the predictions actually don't appear to be that difficult. It really all hinges on three factors: sex appeal, the opera vote and fanaticism of Catapult fans.
Let's break it down.
Tone the Chiefrocca, while entertaining, is gone. So are Red Panda and Angela Hoover.
Locks to advance include Forte, which won the night despite a performance that wasn't my favorite of theirs, and Cami Bradley, who, like the judges, I may be in love with. And I'm talking forever love. Her husband is a lucky man. I'm sure she has some annoying traits or personality flaws or bites her nails or has toes that hang over the edge of her open-toed shoes or something like that, but that's a discussion for a different forum.
Unless, of course, anyone knows her and wants to add some insight into the seeming perfection that is Mrs. Cami Bradley. We're all on the edges of our keyboards.
Anyway, another guaranteed top 12 member is comedian Taylor Williamson. I still think he can do much, much better, and I'm not a huge fan, but he certainly won over the judges and the audience with his best set so far.
I also think this will be the end of the line for Innovative Force. As much as I've advocated for them in the past, their performance was clunky and too many others moved ahead of them.
That leaves five acts for three spots, and here's where it gets a little tricky.
Magician Collins Key is young and attractive with a good fan base, but his trick was long and drawn out, which made it look clumsy when it's only supposed to last 90 seconds.
America loves Jonathan Allen's backstory and has adopted him as its own after his parents disowned him for being gay, but he definitely came up lacking compared to Forte (even though I still got goosebumps).
And one week after Catapult was dubbed "the greatest act in AGT history" by Howard Stern, they delivered a performance I was convinced was about suicide until halfway through it.
How those three acts fare directly affects Dave Fenley and Duo Resonance, who were both solid but not spectacular. Plus, Howard criticized both. I didn't hate Dave's song choice in and of itself. I thought it was clever, but the Spice Girls cover wasn't a good fit for his voice and he lacked an emotional connection.
Duo Resonance did what Duo Resonance does -- an acrobatic strongman routine while gazing lovingly into each other's eyes. It's nice, but it can also be a bit sickening, you know, with all the love.
I'll be the first to admit, I'm not pulling for Catapult. After dedicating their amazing, spectacular, blah, blah, blah performance to the victims of the Newtown shooting, the emotional hook this week was some guy who lost his job for a shot at a million bucks and a professional paid stage act. I don't know what his job was before, but it doesn't exactly rank high on the pity scale.
Then Howie Mandel did a huge favor to Jonathan Allen by announcing after Forte's performance that the trio had just knocked him out of the competition. That should get him the extra votes he needs to stick around, unless there just aren't enough opera fans out there.
So my predictions for who will advance to the top 12 are: Forte, Cami Bradley, Taylor Williamson, Jonathan Allen, Collins Key and Catapult.
C'mon, America, back me up. I haven't had a perfect week yet. And if you don't, it better be Duo Resonance or Dave Fenley. At the expense of Catapult or Collins Key. Don't you do anything stupid, like put Angela Hoover through. Don't you dare.
Which six acts do YOU think are advancing?
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(Image courtesy of NBC)