Twelve acts entered the America’s Got Talent arena in the first live show of Season 11, but only seven will stay as the results of America’s first votes are about to be revealed. But instead of a no-holds-barred battle to the death, it was more like the Puppy Bowl.

They were trying real hard, but a lot of times it was just as cute as it was entertaining.

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There were a few performers who were like, “yeah, I’m pretty good, check me out,” while the two acts that didn’t deserve to be there in the first place predictably faltered. 

The rest were in a muddled middle full of acts that are likely to go through based on the competition, but you wouldn’t really be upset if they were eliminated. Heck, even magician Jon Dorenbos, the best of the night based on our poll, took forever to get to the payoff of his trick. 

The Breakdown

I don’t even need to elaborate on my predictions, because for possibly the first time in recorded human history, esteemed BuddyTV colleague Derek Stauffer and I are in complete agreement (Catherine Cabanela’s rankings, not so much). So I’ll let him explain it.

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He saved me from having to come up with a whole bunch more, er, words and stuff, and it’s a sweet deal. Because for those who took a tween’s political jokes a bit too seriously, I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things. 

Derek will either make me look good, or my streak of bad prognosticating is going to rub off on him. Time will tell, but there’s usually a disconnect between what should and what does happen. Still, his track record is better than mine, so fingers crossed.

On to the Show! And the Filler. Lots of Filler.

After Nick handles the introductions and Simon predicts four potential winners in this bunch, it’s time for a recap of the live show highs and lows with some behind-the-scenes commentary. 

With the exception of the Outlawz, everyone was rather pleased with their performances (I’ll be amazed if Laura Bretan doesn’t blow a voice box this season). So if you’re reading instead of watching, you made better use of ten minutes that I’ll never have back. 

As per the usual, the acts with the sixth, seventh and eight most votes are up for the Dunkin’ Save, with the judges selecting the final semifinalist from the other two. And the bubble acts at risk are Deadly Games, Hada and Lori Mae Hernandez. Time to vote!

(Also, I never understand why they make them all wear the same outfits for the results show. What if they’re sweaters?)

Cutting Loose in the Dunkin’ Lounge

Ahhhh the “Dunkin’ Lounge,” not to be confused with the “Reddi Wip After Party” or the “What’s Poppin’ in the Orville Lounge.” It’s the place where the performers hang out and provide sponsorship plugs after the show. But enough horseplay, it’s time for the first results!

Nick summons Musicality and Dorothy Williams, and it appears I ruined Derek right off the bat. 

Musicality is in the semifinals

And there you have it. 

Next to learn their fates are Jayna Brown and Laura Bretan, and unless both are through, there’s nothing but upheaval afoot. 

Laura Bretan and Jayna Brown are both in the semifinals


Multiple Personalities

The next filler break comes courtesy Season 10 winner and defending champion Paul Zerdin. The ventriloquist’s best performance involved puppetizing Howie, while his four-characters-at-once routine was so flawless that it was almost disappointing (See: Kenichi Ebina’s finale). It seemed like four people having a conversation instead of one guy talking to himself, but he still managed to best stuttering comic Drew Lynch. 

He’s currently performing nightly in Las Vegas, joining fellow AGT alums Terry Fator and Mat Franco on the Strip. And surprise! Piff the Magic Dragon also has his own show, which honestly makes me a little warm and fuzzy. Much like Piff probably is inside that costume (and why he shouldn’t wear it on consecutive nights). It’s just more proof that novelty acts are the way to go. Boo to singers!

Paul is back with his little friend Sam, who interacts with the judges and does a spot-on Simon Cowell impression. Then it’s time for a few more antics, and it’s all good, clean fun. It’s overly family friendly, but I was pulling for him to win after The Regurgitator was sent home. 

A Magical Homecoming and Magical Results

The above-mentioned Mat Franco was the first magician to win AGT, claiming the Season 9 crown. He pulls up his sleeves and makes like 1,000 playing cards appear from nowhere, and he ends the routine by sending streamers exploding from his fingertips. The dude is just consistently awesome. Remember when he cut a cell phone out of a random seat in Radio City Music Hall? Straight nutty.

We’re ready for more results, and Nick calls out the Outlawz and Daniel Joyner. Can it be neither?

Daniel Joyner and the Outlawz are both eliminated

Boom, guess so. Then it’s Sila Sveta (the obvious odd one out), Tape Face and Jon Dorenbos. 

Jon Dorenbos is in the semifinals

Tape Face is in the semifinals

So far, so good, and all that’s left is Dunkin’ Save. I can handle losing Sila Sveta, though they deserved it over Musicality, but will Twitter and the judges get it right?

Lori Mae Hernandez wins the Dunkin’ Save and is in the semifinals

Hara’s escape trick was such a clunker that under the circumstances, I’m hoping he’s out. Deadly Games has at least been consistent and gotten better each time. The judges have pondered the pros and cons, and it’s decision-making time. The loser can pin the blame squarely on the shoulders of Bill O’Reilly, because Republicans are obviously DVR’ing this results show. 

Heidi chooses Deadly Games

Mel B. chooses Hara

Simon chooses Deadly Games

Howie chooses Hara

The tie means it goes to the vote totals, and…

Deadly Games is in the semifinals

Way to go, America! You can’t count on these judges for anything!

What did you think of the results? Who was eliminated that you wanted to stick around? Which acts advanced that you expected to be on the outs? Overall, the results were close enough to what they should have been, so are you at least satisfied? 

Twelve more acts hit the stage next week, and we’ll do it all again! See you then.

America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8pm on NBC.

(Image 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