In my predictions for the first round of live shows for America’s Got Talent season 10, I felt pretty confident. I didn’t get them all right, but I still consider a 85% (6/7) success rate pretty good. I’m much shakier when it comes to my predictions for the second round. There wasn’t quite the same number of standouts in this installment like there was in the first round. This is not to say that America’s Got Talent was a dud in week two, but the acts were much more close in terms of talent level and success. It doesn’t matter, though, because as Howard Stern was quick to remind us with his assessment of every single act, only seven can move on. So who will that seven be and who are the five going home?
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Who is Safe?
Derek Hughes: Sleight of hand is really hard to pull off in a large theatre setting. While some of Derek’s jokes were hit and miss, his magic was incredibly on point. It wasn’t a big trick, but his repetition and presentation made him stand out. Derek did the best thing a magician can do with an audience: make them want to see more.
Arielle Baril: After Samantha Johnson and Alondra Santos were almost eliminated in the first live round, I don’t know what to make of America’s taste in young female singers. Judging by just the performance, however, Arielle’s operatic voice was absolutely beautiful and stunning for a performer of any age. The fact that she is only 12 is downright extraordinary. Regardless of her actual chances, she deserves to be in the Top 21.
Uzeyer Novruzov: The future of Uzeyer’s act is uncertain. He is just one man and there are only so many ladders in the world, so it doesn’t appear like there is much more he can do besides actually breaking his neck. I doubt America will vote with that kind of foresight. He was easily the most exciting act of the second live shows, and if that doesn’t secure him a spot in the Top 21, nothing will do it.
The CraigLewis Band: Unlike the other band of the night, Craig and Lewis came out swinging immediately. They had personality, charm and boundless energy. The CraigLewis Band had perfect harmonies and managed to be flashy without overdoing it. They didn’t shamelessly do vocal pyrotechnics in an effort to impress, which would be very easy to do considering the song choice. They sang the song and did it wonderfully.
Sharon Irving: Since “Glory” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, I’ve seen multiple reality show contestants perform it. Sharon’s rendition was definitely my favorite. She connected to the song on a very personal level and it came through in her performance. This is not even to mention her voice, which was gorgeous.
Who is in Danger?
Ira: This is a complicated one. If this was the voting public’s first exposure to Ira and his mother, I don’t think their chances are very good. Ira’s act has always been the best in the interaction between the fictional mother and son, and that was largely absent from the main act. There is no denying the infectious fun of Ira performing “It’s Not Unusual” with his own felt band, but it wasn’t exemplary of what makes Ira special as an America’s Got Talent contestant.
Freckled Sky: This was the perfect marriage of video and dancing. It wasn’t an immediately exciting dance routine and that could hurt them. They were easily the best dancing act of the night and deserve a spot and chance to perform their beautiful “visual poetry.” Whether America will decide to reward them that chance is another matter entirely.
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Who is Going Home?
Animation Crew: I so desperately wanted to like this dancing troupe. They really should be joy personified, but their actual dance moves were rather boring. The video game display was the star attraction and the actual dancers were a distraction. The audience gave them a standing ovation, but I don’t think the viewing public will do the same.
Damone Rippy: I think a lot of Damone’s act will be lost in translation from the Hudson River to the small screen. Damone’s more likely to make people want to own a flyboard than to watch him use his flyboard more. The teenage girl vote can’t be underestimated, but Damone’s act has pretty much looked identical since his first appearance — at least it does to the uninformed public.
Myq Kaplan: Myq definitely is trying for an awkward comedian persona. His live show performance was just plain awkward, though. It might be because the audience wasn’t properly miked at the beginning of his routine, so several jokes were met with stony silence. Comedy is subjective, but none of his material was particularly clever in my opinion.
3 Shades of Blue: If 3 Shades of Blue’s vocals were as strong throughout the performance as when they finished, I’d have no problem saying they’re safe. It did appear that nerves plagued them at the start of their song. They definitely have the talent, but they didn’t blow the roof off of Radio City Music Hall and that’s something that a rock band should be capable of doing.
DM Nation: I would love to see an all-female group like DM Nation win America’s Got Talent, especially since the previous winners of the competition have been an almost complete sausage fest. Unfortunately, though, I don’t think DM Nation made enough of an impression to feel secure in their chances. Sadly, they might end up being forgettable in the grand scheme of the night and end up heading home.
America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8pm on NBC.
(Image courtesy of NBC)