'America's Got Talent' Semifinals Part 1 Preview: The First 12 (or So) Acts Perform
'America's Got Talent' Semifinals Part 1 Preview: The First 12 (or So) Acts Perform
Bill King
Bill King
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
We're finally down to our top 24 on season 8 of America's Got Talent -- err, sort of. And we've got a preview of the 12 acts set to hit the stage tonight -- err, sort of.

In somewhat baffling moves, AGT has only released the identity of two of the four wildcards, meaning we only know 22 of the top 24 acts. And what is seemingly unrelated is that we only "officially" know 10 of the 12 acts set to perform Tuesday, and even that's not confirmed. Then we had a surprising development about an injury you'll read about below.

The rest of this list has been pieced together from Twitter feeds and speculation, which is also what sustains Howie Mandel's career. That and the fact that he created Bobby's World and starred in Little Monsters.

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This all makes my job just a teensie bit more difficult, but hey, the judges have been on that bandwagon all season long, doing everything they can to ruin my predictions. I was three for four for the third straight week after steadfastly refusing to accept that my dear Sprice was not destined to make it to the semifinals, unless he gets picked by Howie as a wildcard. (I can't see Howard picking him after the negative comments he gave last week.)

There has been an immense clatter online to save Chloe Channell, but again, both male judges could've picked her during their almost-always-botched 4th and 5th place judge-off, during which only Heidi and Mel B. went with the young singer. 

Instead, the girls used their wildcards on Duo Resonance (a solid choice) and Tone the Chiefrocca (the "Whaaaaattt??" moment of the season thus far, after Slap Happy or whatever that time waster was called making the quarterfinals). 

It's worth noting that Tone was the only pimp-spot act that did not make the semis, with Branden James, The American Military Spouses Choir, Jimmy Rose and Catapult all moving on after performing last. 

I would argue that he deserved to advance out of his group following his raucous show closer, but the judges somehow put Angela Hoover through before Mel B's bizarro decision brought him back. And I still have Tone ranked higher than Angela.

But at this point, Tone's reappearance is moot. He's not going to win, and he could have (and would have) performed in the finale anyway. 

So on to the matter at hand ... who do we know is taking the stage in the first group of semifinalists? And who do we have high expectations for? We've seen enough of everyone to have a good idea of what each will bring, so it should be a bit easier to guess which six acts will make the top 12 and which six are headed home.

(On a side note, I have an issue with them going back to this top 12 round being inserted between the semifinals and the finals. It goes quarters, semis, finals, as in 4-2-1. Those are basically the definitions of the words, and this half-round in the middle annoys me. But I'm also a grammar freak. Anyway...)

Angela Hoover: I hope she hired someone to help her come up with better material, otherwise she's probably a throwaway.

Taylor Williamson: He's endearing, but he also needs a slight upgrade in material. I think there are only four acts that are near-locks, so he could leapfrog someone and end up in the top 12. 

Tone the Chiefrocca: He'll get a nice reception, but if he didn't make it through last time, there's no chance he'll move on now.

Duo Resonance and The KriStef Brothers: Like I said in the top 24 rankings, pick your strongman poison. Elegance and love? Or crass humor and homoerotic entertainment? They do the same thing, but they are polar opposites. The fact that they're in the same show sets up the confrontation of the week.


An Update on the KriStef Brothers: Apparently the KriStef Brothers posted the following message on Facebook, further complicating the lineup for this week (and this is exactly what was posted, so don't blame me for style): "Serious news. Kristef Bothers Will not perform this week. A Serious injury was sustained to Kristofers neck during a high fall in Rehearsal. He is OK and and is in the healing process, we must just give some time to make sure we can deliver the best performance we can. Sorry everyone for not making this episode but we will SEE YOU CHAMPIONS .....SEPTEMBER 3RD....!!!!!!" 

There is no word on whether or not another act will take their place, or if we'll do 11 this week and 13 next week. Man, this show is a mess!

Jonathan Allen: Notice that Jonathan is NOT performing the same week as Branden James, because we want to save that sing-off until the top 12. America loves this guy, and he'll wow us again.

Cami Bradley: She has the best non-opera voice in the competition, and she hasn't done anything close to faltering. She's likable and talented, and she should also breeze through.

Collins Key: He's a bit of a wildcard (not a literal one), because his tricks are cool but his showmanship is sometimes lacking. It'll be interesting to see what he comes up with, but he's on the fence at the moment.

Dave Fenley: He reminds everyone on Twitter to vote for him, but he'll need a better song choice to have a shot. He has to pick something that we wouldn't pick for him just because of how he sounds. 

Catapult: Oh, wow, am I in the minority or what? Look, I think they're good, but they're nowhere near deserving of the praise that has been heaped on them. And guess what, Catapult? You can only channel one national tragedy to garner votes for yourself. So what now? There have been plenty of shadow dancing acts better than them, so they better bring it in a way that blows me away. 

Forte: My top-ranked pick heading into the semifinals. These guys give you goosebumps when they harmonize.

Innovative Force: I like them and think their moves and stunts are dangerous, original and fun to watch, but I don't know if they can wow voters enough to get through. But who knows if anyone is actually going to perform this week or what?

If I had to pick six from the group, it's Forte, Cami Bradley, Jonathan Allen, Duo Resonance, Collins Key and Catapult. I'll miss Innovative Force, though. Which six acts do you expect to move on to the top 12?

At least we know Tone the Chiefrocca won't let us down. We know exactly what to expect from him.

You can watch America's Got Talent Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 9pm on NBC.

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(Image courtesy of NBC)

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