The America’s Got Talent Season 11 quarterfinals are about to come to an official end, as viewer vote tallies are revealed and the judges choose the final member of the Top 21 (before choosing the final wildcard member of the Top 22).
And milking the Olympic cow for all its worth, NBC has dragged the most decorated Olympian of all time away from his bong to co-host the live results show. Michael Phelps — he of 28 medals, 2 DUIs and 1 newborn — fresh off five golds and zero Zikas in Rio, will now help decide between a shitty kid magician and a transgender comedienne.
Who Fails to Medal?
There is a fair bit of discord among us BuddyTV AGT experts as to who will round out this batch of semifinalists, and if history has taught me anything, it’s that Derek Stauffer’s picks will be spot on and Catherine Cabanela and I can go pound sand. And in this case, I hope she does because her picks are downright nutty in my book. I mean, for the love of god, she gave Malevo the gold and Kadan Bart Rockett the bronze. And Derek predicted both Linkin Bridge and Julia Scotti will be eliminated!
- Catherine’s bottom 5: Vello Vaher, Ronee Martin, Alla and Daniel, Linkin Bridge, Blake Vogt
- Derek’s bottom 5: Vello Vaher, Ronee Martin, Alla and Daniel, Linkin Bridge, Julia Scotti
- My bottom 5: Vello Vaher, Ronee Martin, Alla and Daniel, Kadan Bart Rockett, Malevo
So I think we can all agree Vello, Ronee and the super hot lady who creepily ballroom dances with her tot are on the outs, while there seems to be consensus that Brian Justin Crum and Grace VanderWaal are completely safe. But then, the drama begins.
Stepping Up to the Podium
The meddlesome middle consists of The Passing Zone, Edgar, Linkin Bridge, Malevo, Kadan Bart Rockett, Blake Vogt and Julia Scotti, and frankly, I will be disappointed if Kadan and Brooklyn aren’t sent back to the kiddie pool talent show. Conversely, I see no alternate reality in which Blake doesn’t advance.
Comparing these two magicians is like pitting Skylar Katz against Eminem in a rap battle, and not only because Blake is already a professional who is well known and well respected in the industry. If you want to argue he never needed AGT, I can get on board with that, but pulling a card from an uncracked egg was pretty damn cool (even if I wish he’d let Simon do the unfolding in order to deny himself the sleight of hand opportunity to swap them).
In my world, the professionalism of The Passing Zone and Julia Scotti would propel them into the next round, along with the likability and potential of Linkin Bridge. I was bored by Malevo, as their brief reprisal from my disdain came to its end, and even though Edgar was the best its ever been, it was the first time they showed us anything. Plus, Nikki Leonti is a star being held back.
My hopes and dreams go straight to hell if any of Malevo, Kadan or Edgar is up for the “Dunkin’ Save,” though, and let’s not forget this is the same round you heartless bastards sent home a 14-year-old kid who dances without the benefit of sight in favor of Gary Vidar. The emotional backstories around aren’t quite as compelling this time around, but hey, Blake has allergies.
Before the 10-minute recap that follows the new one-hour recap (seriously, why bother watching the two-hour version?), Nick Cannon introduces Michael Phelps to thunderous applause and chants of “USA” and asks him what it felt like to win his 23rd gold medal. It felt good, Bob. And now, Phelpsy can retire on his terms.
Then it’s time to re-live the past. The non-highlights include: Grace voting for Ronee, Simon eating Kadan’s PB&J, the members of Linkin Bridge getting choked up, Howie making Daniel cry, Mel losing her mind for Malevo, Brian Justin Crum hugging his mom, the juggled humans screaming, and happy applause for Grace. I hope you didn’t turn on the TV until after this is over.
Nick reveals the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-place acts competing for the Dunkin’ Save, and they are: Linkin’ Bridge, Malevo and Ronee Martin. Interesting…
Who is Headed to the Semifinals?
Before the first results, Michael Phelps pretends to be a huge fan of the show and even admits they watch it “every night” right after dinner. Then following a quick trip to the Dunkin’ Lounge, where coffee and donuts are enjoyed by all, no matter the age, it’s time for the first results.
Nick summons Alla and Daniel and Kadan Bart Rockett, and ugh. Just ugh.
Kadan Bart Rockett is safe
Stop voting for kid magicians, America! Next to learn their fates are Grace VanderWaal and Brian Justin Crum, and this has to be a two-for.
Grace VanderWaal is safe
Brian Justin Crum is safe
Howie predicts we’re looking at the final two right now, and Simon nearly had a heart attack thinking one of them might go home. I wasn’t worried.
The recycled-act filler of tonight’s show will be provided by Recycled Percussion, which has been headlining a show in Vegas ever since a Season 4 stint on AGT that saw them become the highest-placed non-singing act when they finished in third (they lost that distinction when Olate Dogs won Season 8).
And here I was worried our only sideshow entertainment was going to be the presence of an American Olympic hero.
These guys mix drums with flashing lights and rock and roll, and it’s all very enthralling for the few moments I’m glancing at the screen. Tickets for their show start at $50, though, so I imagine people enjoy it for much longer. Check it out next time you’re in Sin City and let me know. Otherwise, I’ll be putting my $50 on red.
The Results are in
Five acts are still waiting to find out if they’re staying or going, and Julia Scotti, Vello Vaher and Edgar are next to the front of the stage. After a 20-second pause…
Edgar is safe
Vello was obvious, but wow to Julia Scotti. I wrote last night that I didn’t think she’d get the votes she deserved, and it turns out I was right about something. I still thought she’d pull through, based on seasoning.
Nick calls The Passing Zone and Blake Vogt, and the next act in the semifinals is … 14 seconds later…
Blake Vogt is safe
So our four eliminated acts thus far are Julia Scotti, The Passing Zone, Alla and Daniel, and Vello Vaher, meaning none of us is perfect in our prognostications.
Before the final results, it’s time for Olympic-inspired judge fun. In a game called Ranked Out, Simon will be doling out medals to the other three on a variety of criteria.
Mel B. gold, Heidi silver, Howie bronze — Topic? Who has the worst accent?
Heidi and Mel for the gold, Howie bronze — Topic? Who is the most irritating?
All three for the gold! — Topic? Who is the biggest diva? They all agree Simon wins that moniker.
Nick Cannon gold, everyone else on the far side of the stage — Topic? Who would you most like to be stranded on an island with?
And that’s it for Ranked Out! Hope you needed to use the bathroom or something.
How Many Singers Make the Cut?
The results of the Dunkin’ Save are in, with three acts vying for America’s rapid votes.
Malevo wins the Dunkin’ Save
No real surprise there, and I bet they’ll be clogging, drumming and whipping in the semifinals. Can’t wait. Now, it appears the judges will be choosing between their favorite singers. Will it be Linkin’ Bridge or Ronee Martin?
- Mel B. chooses Linkin’ Bridge
- Howie chooses Linkin’ Bridge
- Heidi chooses Ronee Martin
- Simon chooses Linkin Bridge
For once, we don’t need to go to the actual votes to break a tie, because boys from Louisville are moving on!
That’s it for the quarterfinals, with two sets of 11 performances all that stand between us and the finals. Were you happy with the results or was there an eliminated act you thought should have stuck around? Which advancing act did you want gone, and who are you hoping nabs the wildcard?
As we move forward, and in light of those who vote for Kadan Bart Rockett, please allow to me recycle a popular PSA from my childhood.
Just say NO to kid magicians. That is all. Goodnight.
America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays at 8pm and Wednesdays at 9pm on NBC.
(Image and videos courtesy of NBC)