Though last week was a bit of a lull in terms of overall talent (no offense, Tampa - you might fare better in the next round), this week Austin brought it big time. Sure, there were the usual duds (sorry, Lulu), but there were plenty of standout acts that had us captivated, shocked and tearing with emotion. Here are the top standout performances of the week. Sebastian De La Cruz
We've seen a fair share of cute kids this season, but this young man might be the most charming and talented yet. As the 10-year-old star backed by a mariachi band, he has a surprising gentlemanly demeanor that makes him instantly likable. In the words of Howard, "you're personality plus."
The Bandbaz Brothers
Skilled acrobats seem to do fairly well on America's Got Talent
because their physical feats are so evident and enthralling. But this 59-year-old retired acrobat and his nephew pushed the edge with their act that highlighted not only amazing balance, but also the crazy, risky nature of balance itself. Their moments of nearly crossing over into collapse made their success that much more impressive.
Like many of the most impacting acts on AGT
, Tim Poe's performance starts with his back story. After spending 14 years in the military, Poe was injured by a grenade in Afghanistan that left him with a stuttering speech problem. He tried singing to overcome his impediment, and the result is nothing short of mesmerizing.
David "The Bullet" Smith
This probably could have been a standout act strictly based on the fact that it got Howie, Sharon and Howard to come outside and stand in the rain. Though there wasn't much detail given as to the skill required for being a human cannon, it was clear from David Smith's past injuries (including a broken leg) and his wife's commitment to the act that this is a serious vocation for the couple. When the actual act culminated in his landing unharmed, there was both relief and great applause.
The Aurora Light Painters
This was one of those acts I believe would have been significantly better to watch in person, as both the crowd and the three judges seemed thoroughly wow-ed by this quirky group of "light painters." As pioneers of this new art form (described as "technology plus magic"), they get major props for originality, which is huge in this competition.
Andrew De Leon
You have to give credit to AGT
for this performance - it was probably the most surprising moment of the season so far. Yes, we saw that young Andrew was a goth outcast who admitted to using singing alone in his room as an escape. We heard he was inspired by Marilyn Manson and saw his freakishly blue contact lenses. But then the timid outsider opened his mouth and the sound that emerged was so unexpected, so beautiful, it brought everyone to their feet and vulnerable girls to tears. Even with singers a dime a dozen on this show, Andrew was probably the
standout act of the week.
(Image and videos courtesy of NBC)