We’re making our way through the quarterfinals and Nick Cannon is really trying to make the long process enjoyable for everyone, despite “the best behaved judges in the business” (even Nick can’t say that with a straight face). This includes Howie, who thankfully has lost the hat from last night, but unfortunately is still spouting his unending commentary, including a plug in for the Olympics (“I have to say: Go for the gold!”) Nick tries to move right past this, and onto the results!

Group 1: Rock Star Juggler Mike Price, Jacob Williams and Cristin Sandu
The first three acts get called onto the stage, and based on last night’s performances and feedback, it’s not difficult to predict the outcome of this one. Young comedian Jacob Williams was wonderfully awkward in a genuine, hilarious way. The other two danger acts (flaming juggling pins and balancing) both experienced mishaps that will probably prevent them from moving forward. One side note: did they all coordinate their clothes? All three guys are wearing the same vibrant red. Nick announces that Jacob Williams is indeed moving on to the semifinals; we can look forward to Jacob and his “pimp stroll” (Nick’s words) again!

Next is a segment of “a day in the life of America’s Got Talent,” in which we see some behind the scenes shots of rushed last-minute rehearsals and the crazy logistics of breaking down and putting up sets during commercial breaks for the live shows. We also get to see more of Howie’s incessant questioning of “hat or no hat?” After the segment airs, Howie has now donned a sombrero and I think the audience is way past the point of caring.

Now it’s time for one of two entertainment acts outside the competition to fill up the AGT results show–it’s the winner of Britain’s Got Talent, 17-year-old Ashleigh and her dog Pudsey! Sharon’s gonna love this. The expectation is high, if an animal act won the whole show. Ashleigh basically dances around with the well-trained dog and once Pudsey starts jumping through her looped arms and twisty-turning through her legs, it’s fairly impressive. But ultimately, it doesn’t strike me as a million dollar act (no offense, Britain) Maybe the Brits really like dogs.

Group 2: Lightwire Theater, Inspire the Fire and All Beef Patty
This group is even more obvious than the first; clearly Lightwire Theater is the act to go through. All Beef Patty tried to step it up a bit, but according to Howard, she’s “not a big Vegas act” and Sharon thought she could have gone bigger. Howie gets on his Olympics soapbox again and calls AGT “the Olympics of talent,” to which no one responds. OK, enough of that, Lightwire Theater is moving on! Sharon says she almost feels sorry for all the other acts last night, because this group was so clearly ahead of everyone else.

Group 3: Elusive, The Untouchables and Jake Wesley Rogers
Elusive knows everyone is comparing him to Turf and he appreciates the competition, because it pushes him to work harder. One of the small girls from The Untouchables says she doesn’t hope–she KNOWS their act was enough for America (huge confidence there, but she’s probably right). Howard’s critique of Jake’s lack of connection to his “Toxic” song choice was spot-on, though the hipster-in-the-making has clear talent. This one’s a little bit more difficult to guess, but I’m going with The Untouchables–and Nick confirms the energetic young dance group has earned their spot!

The last entertainment portion of the night comes in the form of “Australian DJ sensation” Havana Brown. DJ Havana comes strutting out in a sparkly see-through leotard and basically sings along to the autotuned club single “We Run the Night” while dancing and tossing her long locks around. Not that she’s bad, but it makes me wonder if some of today’s pop stars would make it far on AGT (you know, without all the elaborate sets, backup dancers and flashy fame).

Group 4: All Wheel Sports, Wordspit and the Illest and Spencer Horseman
Now that the top three acts have been announced, we’re left with three acts and one spot. It’s a tougher call, but the first two group acts were a bit hectic for my taste in their performances last night and although Spencer should have stepped in front of the curtain for his escape act, I’d still like to see more from him. Before the judges vote, one act must be let go and it’s unfortunately Spencer. He looks a little surprised, but says, “Maybe I’ll see you in the wild card round.”

A girl from All Wheel Sports gives a very rehearsed answer as to why they should stay, while Wordspit just singles out Howie by saying “this isn’t a game, this is our lives,” which makes Howard smile. Then it’s time for the crucial votes and, as expected, Howard votes for the original band while Howie votes for the multi-sport act (but not before defending himself to Wordspit and the Illest). Sharon hates being in this powerful position, especially with two very different, very talented acts. But Nick says the clock is ticking, so when she’s pushed to it, she picks… All Wheel Sports!

Tonight’s results, with the exception of perhaps the last one, were unsurprising, but hopefully next week’s last round of the quarterfinals will have more unexpected moments in store. And please, less of Howie’s hats.

(Image courtesy of NBC)

Jenn Lee

Staff Writer, BuddyTV

Jenn grew up in Ohio before moving to Seoul, Korea, where she attended international school and failed to learn Korean. From there she went on to earn a BA in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania before settling in Seattle, where she now spends too much time pondering the power of narrative in TV shows and novels. While she loves a good smart comedy (a la Community or Parks and Recreation), her favorite current show is Breaking Bad; all-time mentions include Arrested DevelopmentLost and Friends. When she’s not consuming television or literature, she’s savoring pastries and searching for the city’s ultimate sandwich.