The America’s Got Talent Judge Cuts came to an end Wednesday night, with 28 advancing acts joining the five Golden Buzzer-winning auditions in the quarterfinals. But any math whiz or Rubik’s Cubester will tell you that’s only 33.
Sure, they could probably do three live shows with 11 acts each, but who doesn’t like a good even number? And as such, the Top 36 are headed to the Dolby Theater to compete for your votes.
At the conclusion of the show, AGT posted the three wildcards selections who have been added back into the running for the $1 million grand prize. And the results are quite satisfying.
Wildcard No. 1: Steven Brundage
Rejoice, America! Your outrage has been heard and your petitions answered, as Rubik’s Cube magician Steven Brundage is back! Ever since he was indefensibly and tearfully sent packing after his Judge Cuts routine that I rated the best of the night, I have been unable to get through a recap without mentioning his name or sadly pining for his return (you can read my most extensive rant by clicking here).
And now those prayers have been answered. Brundage’s act is wholly original and captivating, and even if you have some sort of clue as to how he does it, the presentation is so flawless that it allows for a true suspension of reality.
After all, magic is only magic if you believe it’s magic.
Even if the rest of my wish list is unrequited, this alone is enough to quell my bloodlust over unjust eliminations. And yes, I signed a Change.org petition.
Wildcard No. 2: FLIP
These 10 young ladies are part of the DM Nation studio that churns out AGT contestants year after year. It’s all a similar style of dance that has had varying levels of success each season, but I ranked them seventh in their Judge Cuts show.
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So while FLIP is certainly deserving, they were a predictable snub that wasn’t going to generate a lot of outrage. But I’m glad to see them get another shot.
Wildard No. 3 Sila Sveta
The projection dancers who recreated Sleeping Beauty in their audition only performed once, which means their inclusion in the Quarterfinals is the equivalent of a sixth Golden Buzzer. The crucial element to these types of acts is to properly blend storytelling with the technicality of the dance, and I felt they needed to tighten things up a bit.
There is also the innate challenge of overcoming the fact that projection dancing is much more compelling in person than it is on a television. But if they can mature and develop with a focus on striking that balance, they could be contenders.
I, for one, am very satisfied with these wildcard picks, if not only because they correct Season 11’s most egregious error. How do you feel about the choices, and do they make you more excited for the live shows?
America’s Got Talent season 11 airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8pm on NBC.
(Image and videos courtesy of NBC)