Howard called season 10 of America’s Got Talent “the season of the magician.” On the first night of the semifinals, though, it was the night of the musician. Not in terms of memorable “wow” moments, but in terms of volume. Of the 11 acts that were in the first group, six performed a musical number.
While that might not have been exactly fair to the singers left in the competition, it made my job much easier. The glut of singers and musical performers separated the contestants quite nicely. It was easy to judge the musicians all in one group and the other variety acts in another. Doubtless, America will do the same when casting their votes. Some of the musicians rose to the top, but it was the variety acts who dominated. It’s the comedians, magicians and dancers who are more likely to earn those coveted top five spots that Howie would not stop mentioning. These are my best guesses for who those five acts heading to the Top 10 will be, as well as the identities of the bottom six heading home.
America’s Got Talent Recap: The Semifinals Get Underway >>>
Derek Hughes: Derek’s semifinals act was so different from all of his other performances. Since Derek’s been successful up to this point, that change of pace could spell his doom. That could be the only reason, though, because he did manage a very nice trick. Not only was it different from Derek’s history, it was also different from all the other acts of the night. Inherently, that just makes him stand out and that’s nothing but helpful in earning votes.
Drew Lynch: I’m not sure if Drew can be called the frontrunner of America’s Got Talent. He might not win the whole thing, but for now he has more than enough support to send him through. Drew’s so charming and instantly likable. He also has the sympathetic story that makes people want to root for him. I appreciate that he acknowledged he can only really tell one joke a performance, but he always manages to make it work for him. This was especially true in the semifinals. The final punchline was clever and very unexpected, the two essential ingredients for a good stand-up joke.
The CraigLewis Band: The CraigLewis Band was really on another level. It was quite easy to judge the other musicians against one another. Benton Blount and Mountain Faith Band share a similar tone and genre. The same can be said of Arielle Baril and Samantha Johnson. These four will split the votes among themselves. The CraigLewis Band is unique. They stood alone and in the spotlight in the semifinals. They proved that you don’t need a catchy or popular song to make an impression. You just need stellar vocals.
Siro-A: Though no one really mentioned it, I do think there were slight missteps in Siro-A’s first live show performance. They didn’t always sync perfectly with the video. It was still amazing and the flaws made me love them even more because it proved them to be human and not freakish dancing cyborgs. In the semifinals, Siro-A was absolutely flawless. I’m confident that they will go through, but now I’m less confident that they aren’t freakish dancing cyborgs.
Oz Pearlman: There is definitely an expiration date on Oz. There are only so many times he can “read the judges’ minds” and have those same judges swear they weren’t in on it. Unless Oz incorporates actual audience members into his show, his act might get real repetitive real fast. If he had performed on a night that had more magic acts, he might be in real trouble. For now, he’s safe.
Who’s Going Home?
Ira: The semifinals musical number injected more personality than Ira’s quarterfinals performance. The fact that it was a musical number already means it was way too similar to the quarterfinals, though. This is significant because, if you remember, Ira just barely got through last time. I enjoy Ira (and his mother). The whole act definitely has a really fun and wholesome, family-friendly vibe with just a dash of old-school Muppets edginess. Sadly, this type of act just doesn’t connect with the majority of America anymore.
Samantha Johnson: In terms of talent-level and quality of performance, Samantha should absolutely be safe. She is one of the better singers I’ve ever seen on America’s Got Talent. I’m worried about how America will receive her. It was a slower song and didn’t have a ton of vocal pyrotechnics. As I will mention, she’s also likely to split her vote with another singer.
Arielle Baril: Arielle and Samantha really seem to be competing against one another and it’s a competition no one will win. It’s an odd thing to say because they have wildly different genres of music, but they do fill a similar niche as an artist. They are both young female singers with powerful voices. Whether you like it or not, the majority America is going to make comparisons between them, and vote for their favorite and leave the other one out. Considering that fact, neither might receive the proper number of votes and both will be headed home.
Mountain Faith Band: I actually thought turning The Weeknd’s “I Can’t Feel My Face” into a bluegrass song was ingenious and cute. The fact is, I was pleasantly surprised that Mountain Faith Band made it through. They didn’t “bring it up” for the semifinals. It’s not their fault, really. They just don’t have a big or splashy enough sound to make it through to the finals. They’re very pleasant, but the majority of America won’t view that quality as essential.
Benton Blount: Benton was another musical act that I was happy but surprised to see in the semifinals. I like him personally and enjoy his genre. He has a very soothing voice and I would love to hear his album. All that being said, I don’t think he’s moving forward. Benton, like Mountain Faith Band, just doesn’t have that showy quality that makes him stand out from the other non-musical acts. He’s just a guy and a guitar and he needs that extra something this late in the competition.
Metal Mulisha Fitz Army: The judges clearly love these guys, but I wasn’t remotely shocked that America didn’t vote them through originally. If you’re not watching them in person, Metal Mulisha Army fall flat. I’ve already talked about how I don’t like how America’s Got Talent presents the outdoor acts and that didn’t change at all in the semifinals. There was nothing different about Metal Mulisha Fitz Army, aside from some extra fire. Therefore, there is no reason to think they’ll make it through to the Top 10 without the judges’ intervention.
America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8pm on NBC
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