Wednesday marks a big night for America’s Got Talent, as voters name four additional semifinalists while the judges somehow get the final say in five others. That means we’ve got nine acts filling out the Top 24, and the pressure is on…

Me, that is. The pressure is on me. 

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After what I have dubbed my “first-ever five-for-five prediction perfection” (which I can continue to use as long as it’s my most recent attempt, then I can only yearn), I am now tasked choosing just nine out of 33 possibly advancing acts. 

Sure, some are throwaways, but in this case, the latter four selections are predicated on the first five being correct. I have a better chance of picking a perfect NCAA Tournament bracket. And those odd are like one in 13 quintillion. But that’s what I get paid the big I-write-this-blog-nearly-for-free bucks for, so here goes.

Your Blogger’s Humble Picks for the Final Nine Semifinalists

As always, what I think will happen is different from what I think should happen, so let’s start there. If I had my druthers, Quintavious Johnson, Emil and Dariel, Nina Burri, Extreme and Jonatan Riquelme would be moving on. Those are the acts I think are most deserving, with Jonah Smith, Flight Crew Jump Rope, the Willis Clan and Adrian Romoff taking the wildcards. But that is not what is going to happen. 

Quintavious Johnson, Emil and Dariel and Kelli Glover are locks. Of this I am sure. The million-dollar question (which becomes the $100 question, then the $50 question, and so on) is Smoothini, who was a favorite going in but tanked with kid magic on the big stage at Radio City Music Hall. The potential is there, but does he have the following to go through when he doesn’t deserve to?

I submit that he does not. And what this does is open the door for Howie Mandel to NOT choose Juan Carlos as his wildcard. He was up close for the magic, and he pushed it to the ends of the earth. So I don’t think America picked the Ghetto Houdini, but Howie will. 

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The fourth spot goes to Extreme, leaving the judges to choose between Jonatan Riquelme and Nina Burri. Howard will pick the former, while Howie and the girls will choose the bendier option. Which is fine, because Howard then picks Jonatan as his wildcard. Heidi votes through Adrian Romoff and Mel B. saves Wendy Liebman. Or vice versa. But those are the acts they pick, and it’s off the chain.

Now on to a set of mediocre comedy from Taylor Williamson!

As always, the blog is live, so keep the comments coming. We’ll fill the filler together!

The Live Blog Begins Now

After the recap of the recap, which follows the recap show of the actual show (because you can never have too much AGT in a week), and an Ice Bucket Challenge from Mel B, Nick Cannon and his shiny-yet-human-looking blue suit launch right into … the first commercial break. 

Mel nominated Heidi, Nick and Victoria Beckham to donate some of their riches to ALS research, and Nick promises to do his naked. David Beckham did his shirtless yesterday, and methinks Posh should follow suit. 

Man, a full 15 minutes in and absolutely nothing has happened. 

The First Results

After a brief chat with season 8 runner-up Taylor Williams, who actually gets to perform a set this time (Nick Cannon, teasing auditions, “So if you want to be like Taylor and NOT win, come on out for auditions!”), we’re treated to some footage of the chick from Extreme getting engaged. 

The next logical step is a trip the Reddi Whip After Party, because who doesn’t love to watch Nina Burri eat strawberries and whip? Or hear Quintavious use a whipped cream can as a microphone? At least they treat their sponsors well.

First up to learn their fates are Emil and Dariel, Dom the Bom’s Triple Threat and Extreme, which means my perfect streak has come to an end right from the get go. 

Emil and Dariel are in the semifinals

No big surprise, and I knew Extreme was going to be one of my borderline picks. Oh well, at least she got a rock out of it. 

Back-to-Back Results

With two performances and wildcards on deck, we’ve got to get these results out of the way. So next out are the Bad Boys of Ballet and Jonah Smith. Could Jonah sneak in? Or is this our first double elimination of the season? After 22 seconds of suspense…

Jonah Smith is in the semifinals

Nick calls on Quintavious Johnson and Mothman Dance, and this is as clear cut as they come. Even Mothman knows it. On a side note, I always find it hilarious how they make the performers wear the same costumes as the night before. Some of these folks were sweating up a storm.

Quintavious Johnson is in the semifinals

Three down, two plus four to go.

Taylor Williams Tells Jokes

Here’s what I said about him last week, when I thought he was going to perform: “It is now Taylor Time, and I’m very interested to see what he has in store after a year of polish. I was hit or miss on him last season, because I thought success and confidence had a negative impact on his downtrodden and socially-inept persona. He’d be wise to lean heavily on his back-and-forth with Heidi, which was a key moment that helped propel him to the finale.”

Well, all I can tell you is the audience seems to love it. I laughed out loud once, when he made the joke about entering Japan’s Got Talent, winning a million yen and buying a bagel. His Heidi mention was a knock, saying he’d rather have won a million bucks than gotten a mouth kiss from her. Then he announces that he’s getting his own NBC sitcom before admitting it’s not true. 

Look, I get his likability, but I just don’t see him as a million-dollar act. Nor the runner up to a million dollar act.

Now You See Me

A trio of illusionists are up next, and one guy interacts with a screen while another multiplies and discolors birds. Then a dude comes out with a chainsaw and we do some classic assistant-cut-in-half stuff. Nick plays along and touches the sawed guy, who grabs his arm and garners a scream before the illusionists staple the dude back together. Then there’s one final bird trick, and the audience goes wild. 

Turns out one of these guys made it to the semifinals back on America’s Got Talent Season 2, and now the trio is headed to Broadway before a worldwide tour. Was it better in person? I’m sure. Good, but I also didn’t see anything I haven’t seen before. Am I too hard to please? Do I need to apologize to my girlfriend?

Before we get back to sending people home, Nick reveals some of the acts that will take the stage during the first semifinal show next week. They are: Aerial Animation, David and Leeman, Andrey Moraru, Sons of Serendip, Miguel Dakota, Paul Ietti, Dan Naturman, Emily West and Mara Justine. So yeah, basically every singer still in the competition. Thinning the herd much? You think?? That’s at least five, so if you rely on your voice to bring home the bacon, better bring your A game next week. 

The Final Results

Nick summons Jonatan Riquelme and Smoothini, and this is a BIG result.

Smoothini is in the semifinals

BOOOOOOOOO to you, America! Boo to you. And boo to me. We both got it wrong.  

That leaves One Voice Children’s Choir, Nina Burri and Kelli Glover. I don’t think there’s going to be much of a discussion here, even though it makes me sad.

Nina Burri is eliminated

I guess when you have 100 members, there’s a lot of family and friends out there to cast votes. So now it comes to the judges, and all is going as expected at this point. No one is picking the choir.

We’ve got five minutes left, and time is running thin. I’m thinking they’re not going to announce the wildcards until the semifinal shows. Which messes with my rankings, but what are you gonna do?

Mel B. picks Kelli, Stern concurs and Howie brings it home. 

Kelli Glover is in the semifinals

The credits were rolling before Mr. Mandel made his choice, and that’s it for the quarterfinal shows. The four acts that will round out the top 24 are open for speculation, so make sure you sound off on who you think each judge will bring back. I’ll go through the comments and my own picks, and I’ll choose four to include in my Ranking the Semifinalists post that goes up Thursday.

So who is worthy of a another chance? You’ve got 28 acts to choose from, and we’ll find out next week who is getting a second shot at the crown. Be sure to tune in and watch along live with BuddyTV as we hit the home stretch in the quest for a million bucks! See you then!

You can watch America’s Got Talent every Tuesday and Wednesday night at 9pm on NBC.

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(Image and videos courtesy of NBC)

Bill King

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Emmy-winning news producer & former BuddyTV blogger. Lover of Philly sports, Ned, Zoe, Liam and Delaine…not in that order