The second batch of 12 to hit the Dolby Theatre stage in the America’s Got Talent quarterfinals was by far more compelling than the first, with the novelty acts dominating and one vocalist soaring above the rest.
Sure, there were some clunkers and a few mistakes, but I was on the edge of my seat or sitting back in awe far more frequently than the first go-around.
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The tipping point will be just how many singers make the cut, but I’m hoping they will bunch together and give added weight to a few of my favorites who others believe are in trouble.
Regardless of the outcome, I feel comfortable saying this season has featured the best juggler, mime and contortionist we’ve seen in 11 seasons. They’re three types of acts that not only have slim chances of advancing, but they are also ones of which I’m generally not a fan (unless it’s a super hot bendy chick, but I’m partial).
Yet Viktor Kee, Sofie Dossi and Tape Face are true performers who bring an unbridled sense of showmanship to otherwise mundane genres.
There seems to be a general consensus that The Clairvoyants, Viktor Kee (despite the drop) and Steven Brundage are all safe, and while I’d contest the judges’ proclamation that Calysta Bevier was flawless, she was clearly on a different level than her like-talented competition.
Also, I don’t seen any scenario in which FLIP, Moya Angela, Ryan Stock and AmberLynn, and Sos and Victoria aren’t four of the five eliminated acts.
The dancers from the DM Nation studio lacked a highlight-reel moment, Moya was fine but didn’t stand out, the quick changers made several catastrophic mistakes, and AmberLynn f–king shot her boyfriend in the neck with a flaming arrow.
That leaves ThroWings, Sofie Dossi, Sal Valentinetti and Kadie Lynn Roberson competing for three spots, and as long as it’s either of the singers going home (hopefully Sal), I’m cool.
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Personally, I don’t get tired of watching ThroWings or Sofie, even if their respective routines have all been relatively similar. I agree they should mix in something that’s obviously new, but the acrobats upped their game with the back-breaking flip amid strobe lights, and the fact that a 15-year-old can bend in more than half while inverted without her arms snapping is forever astonishing to me.
The first set of results were adequate, though I still would have gone with Sila Sveta and Hara over Musicality and Lori Mae Hernandez. Let’s find out how America voted this time.
Nick Cannon kicks things off by launching right into the recap, complete with behind-the-scenes commentary, and the highlights include: Heidi threatening to also dump her water on Simon, Moya’s mom hypothesizing that it’s Mel B. who was “a little off,” Simon messing with Mel B.’s chair during a commercial break, Ryan Stock getting checked out by the doctors while AmberLynn cries, Sal Valentinetti doing his best Seth McFarland, and Howie Mandel ballroom dancing.
Or upon further examination, highlights include: None. But I had to write something while that was all happening. Then we check in on the injured party, who blame the mistake on an equipment malfunction. Better than faulting the woman you encouraged to shoot you, I guess.
The sixth-, seventh- and eighth-place vote getters competing for the Dunkin’ Save are Kadie Lynn Roberson, Sal Valentinetti and ThoWings, and that’s actually pretty much what I expected. So far, so good. Now everyone vote for ThroWings!
Chillin’ in the Dunkin’ Lounge
Ahhhh, back to the Dunkin’ Lounge, where the holes are doughnuts and the doughnuts have holes. It’s a wild party that provides just enough time for Nick to get back to the stage to announce some results.
Sos and Victoria and The Clairvoyants are first to learn their fates. Gee, this is a tough one.
The Clairvoyants are in the semifinals
I’m sure they saw that coming. Next up are Viktor Kee and Steven Brundage, and I will lose my sh-t if it’s not both.
Viktor Kee is in the semifinals
Steven Brundage is in the semifinals
Thank. God. They embrace, and I want to get in on that. Dang. Steven had to be thinking “not again.”
We’ve got time to fill, and this is the portion of the show when successful former acts return to prove that AGT actually can launch careers. And this week, it’s Season 6 runner-up iLuminate collaborating with Fitz and the Tantrums.
They sing “Handclap” while dancers adorned with flashing lights flip and spin behind them. People pay money to see this, and it’s wild fun, but now is a great time for a bathroom break (I took one … I love results shows).
Nick announces that the whole team will be back for Season 12, which precedes a video vignette in which he trains the next generation of potential judges during a skit called Judge School. The kids are cute and Nick deserves an Emmy, but c’mon, I’m free. How about a “blogger of the week” Golden Buzzer?
Back to the Action
If you’re still awake and paying attention, it’s time for the next set of results. Nick summons FLIP, Sofie Dossi, and Ryan Stock and AmberLynn. While we wait for the dramatic pause to be over, I have to address the misfire.
I’m not going to lie, I’m upset I didn’t get to recap that moment live. I imagine it would have gone something like this: “He swallows a curved sword, then an arrow, then a metal stake with a target on the end of it, while she climbs a ladder and lights the previously-mentioned arrow on fire. She takes aim with the crossbow, and HOLY F–KING S–T SHE JUST SHOT HIM IN THE NECK WITH THE GODDAMN FLAMING ARROW! Ohhh my God, I hope he’s not dead.”
Sofie Dossi is in the semifinals
That leaves one spot for two acts before we get to the save, and Moya Angela and Calysta Bevier step forward. Wow, everything really is going according to plan.
Calysta Bevier is in the semifinals
Maybe I’m clairvoyant?
Three Becomes Two
The results of the Dunkin’ Save are in, and I have high hopes that the judges will be choosing their favorite singer. I mean, they had to split the vote, right? And if the save does go to Sal or Kadie, the judges have to recognize that we have enough of them already. It’s not like either is going to show us something new, but ThroWings still could.
Sal Valentinetti wins the Dunkin’ Save
Dammit, dammit, dammit. Oh well, at least he’s representing my alma mater. Lose the Italian stereotype shtick and I might be able to root for you … a little. Either way, now it’s up to the judges.
Howie chooses ThroWings
Mel B. chooses ThroWings (“We don’t have anything like you on the show.” BAM!)
Heidi chooses Kadie Lynn
Simon chooses Kadie Lynn
Oh come on! Another tie sends it back to the votes, and…
Kadie Lynn Roberson is in the semifinals
Ugh. Profound disappointment. At least as profoundly as I can be disappointed in the sixth-place results of a reality show quarterfinal.
America’s Got Talent will now be on a two-week hiatus so the good ol’ US of A can kick the rest of the world’s butts at sports. I do love the Olympics, though, with a particular affinity for swimming, track and field, and, of course, women’s gymnastics.
What did you think of these results? Obviously, I found them to be pretty accurate except for the ending, which (of course) Derek predicted perfectly. (The Dude is like Punxsutawney Phil.)
Which advancing act do you think has the best shot to win it all, and which elimination disappointed you most? We’ll be back on August 23 for the third and final group of 12 quarterfinalists, and then we’re a stone’s throw from crowning a new champion.
But for now, it’s all about Michael Phelps. Oh, Say Can You Seeeeeeee…
America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8pm on NBC.
(Image courtesy of NBC)