The best part of last night’s performance show was either Donovan & Rebecca, or Howard & Howie. Howard, just calling a spade a spade and noting everything that has made me uncomfortable about America’s Got Talent for years, made television history and he put Howie Mandel and his stupid hat in their place. Nick Cannon did a good job hosting last night, too.

The first result is coming at us fast. Tim Hockenberry and Turf are first to the stage. It could be either of them! Sharon says she can not predict who will move forward, and neither can I. It will be both of them maybe? I like Turf’s jacket. Nick Cannon says, “wow … BOTH OF YOU ARE GOIN’!” Nice one, Nick, you almost had us there. He wanted to start things off on a high note, evidently.

“I love doing hidden camera, I love annoying,” Howie tells us, as though this is to advertise this upcoming segment. Why are we watching this? I would so much rather be watching the Orville Redenbacher fake enthusiasm segment. Anyway, Howie dressed up as a fake guest services person at the hotel and humiliated all the contestants in the name of … I don’t know what. Worst of all, there was no reveal, so we never knew if he ever told the contestants that he was pranking them or not. Awful.

Gavin DeGraw is here to provide the evening with some much needed content. He and Howie are both wearing hats. Hats are in, everyone. So are leather jackets, if you want to be a cool guy on TV. The performance ended weirdly as he went to each individual judge and started hugging them and sitting in their laps, then just kept hugging them until the song was over, then hugged Nick Cannon. Look out for Gavin DeGraw, everyone, he’s a hugger!

“It’s tough enough for the acts on this show,” Nick says, beginning this week’s excuse for the Orville Lounge. You know what I love? Being forced to stay in costume while I eat individual bags of pre-popped, room temperature popcorn in a room full of other people who want attention as desperately as I do. I love it!

Lisa Clark Dancers, The All Ways, Aurora Light Painters, and Big Barry head to the stage next, and I’m willing to bet that none of them made it through to the Top 4 this week. Sure enough, Nick announces that NO ONE has made it through in this group. Every rose has its thorn. Nick focuses on Big Barry, who seems to be a Bit Butthurt about the way this week went for him. Howard thanks him for being here and for being a good sport, which he has been to be Howie’s puppet.

Tom Cotter, LionDanceMe, and Hawley Magic head for the stage next. My guess is that this round will go to Tom Cotter. I like the way Nick says “Hawley Magic,” though. Tom Cotter moves through, and the judges are on their feet. It looks like Howard and Howie are arguing again. Is this still about Big Barry? Tom looks genuinely moved, and we’re all happy for him, especially Sharon.

Back from last year’s show, and honoring the Olympics, it’s Traces. I wish the Olympics were more like this, quite frankly. Or I wish that it was all rhythmic gymnastics. Seeing them jump through those rings was pretty awesome. I enjoyed it immensely.

The three remaining acts, Ben Blaque, Donovan & Rebecca, and Danielle Stallings, wait to hear their fate, which will be sealed ultimately by the judges. If the show was America’s Got Douchebags, I think I know who would be a shoe-in. I’m surprised Donovan & Rebecca weren’t easily in the Top 3. I thought they were tremendous. Ben Blaque is no longer in the running, which leaves the choice between a 13-year old singer and a strong, married, aerial arts and balance act. I really hope they choose Donovan & Rebecca. They each plead their cases to the judges, promising that they have more to show and want this so badly.

Howard commends both acts, but chooses Donovan & Rebecca because it’s “their time.” Sharon wants to encourage acts like Donovan & Rebecca, but has a soft spot for the 13-year old. She asks for a minute, and Howard makes the most of it. Sharon chooses Danielle, so it’s up to Howie. Oh no, Howie. Go ahead, Howie, break a heart. They’re both what this show is all about, but Howie makes the right choice and selects Donovan & Rebecca to move through.

(images courtesy of NBC)

Carla Patton

Writer, BuddyTV

Originally from Seattle, Carla recently took a husband and moved to Austin, Texas, where she is finally using her television “problem” to her advantage. It’s sort of like Dexter, but boring and less murdering. Carla’s favorite shows include 30 RockThe Amazing RaceProject RunwayModern Family, anything with murder, and pretty much anything gross and weird (CSIThe BachelorToddlers & Tiaras, etc.). Favorite canceled shows include: Arrested DevelopmentVeronica Mars and Average Joe. In her spare time, Carla leads tours of downtown Austin on a Segway (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!), blogs about Netflix Instant, and visits elementary schools telling children they don’t need math to succeed (just kidding, stay in school, kids).