Thousands have auditioned but only a few acts can state that they are semifinalists on this season of America’s Got Talent. Each of these acts are some of the best undiscovered talent in the country and come from diverse backgrounds that share the same dream: to win $1,000,000 cash prize and becoming a headlining act in Las Vegas. In order to survive the night and earn America’s votes, they must be able to set aside all of their nerves to deliver one impressive performance. So who delivered tonight and who earned X’s from the show’s panel: Sharon Osbourne, Howard Stern and Howie Mandel? Read on to find out….
The first act to appear on the AGT stage was Andrew De Leon. After a rough vocal rehearsal, Andrew came out and sang “Ave Maria.” He is always a treat to watch and he showed off his incredible vocals once again that earned a standing ovation from the audience. However, Andrew received mixed reactions from the judges. Howie thought that Andrew did well but Howard admitted that there were times the he could not relate to him. Sharon also suggested to let Andrew take off his make-up and see the real him.
After being voted back into the semifinals last week during the Wild Card round, Todd Oliver and his dog Irving returned for one more shot at the $1,000,000 prize. Before Todd’s performance, Howard stated in the pre-performance package that Todd needed to keep it simple. He did take Howard’s advice and surrounded himself with a Jay Leno like set and scored with his material that included Prince Harry and Jay Leno jokes. Howie stated that he was a possible headlining act but Howard countered and said that Todd was a headliner act that deserved to go into the finale.
Married couple Donovan and Rebecca was the third act to take the New Jersey Performing Arts Center stage this evening. Both Howard and Howie stated in the pre-performance package that they showed grace and strength throughout the competition but the former stated that it could get artsy-fartsy. There was not anything artsy-fartsy about this act as it contained incredible stunts that showcased Rebecca’s strength. The performance earned a standing ovation from Mrs. Osbourne and stated that they really deserve to be in the finale.
Chicago native Edon hopes that tonight’s performance showed a different side of him. It was a big risk to sing One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” and he pulled it off with the help of a big band. His performance received a standing ovation from Howie and Sharon and the crowd started chanting his name. However, Howard stated that the song bored him.
The fifth act to take the stage in the first semifinal was the Scott Brothers. Last time, the duo delivered with an impeccable hat trick that earned them that spot in the semifinals. They transported us to a Mad Men meets Nordstrom’s world where two mannequins came to life. While they showed off superb footwork and movement, Howard stated that their act started to feel similar to their last performance and Sharon wished that they were on next week’s show instead of tonight.
Dittelman returned to the AGT stage and this time focused his act on Howard Stern. He asked the King of All Media to color in his self-portrait that he made at his original audition behind Dittelman’s back. At the end of the 90-seconds, Dittelman revealed that he was 100-percent correct with Howard’s predictions and earned a standing ovation from Sharon and Howie. The act left Sharon speechless and Howie complemented him on his ability to bring his act to a whole new level.
America’s favorite dancer is back to prove that he is dancer that really wants to be there. He did a routine to Chris Brown’s “Yeah (3X)” that wowed the crowd and received a standing ovation from Howie Mandel. The former Deal or No Deal host said that Turf is the show’s best dancer but Howard was worried that America thought that his act would be repetitive.
The first YouTube act to perform in the semifinals was Smithville, Virginia native Bria Kelly. Last time, the aspiring singer performed an impressive cover of Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead.” However, in the pre-performance package, Bria battled a lot of nerves preparing from her act. She had great stage presence and tore up the stage when she sang P!nk’s “Perfect.” However, she got mixed reactions from the judges. Sharon loved the song choice but Howie said that she did not stood out which Howard countered and said that Bria did stand out.
Sand storyteller Joe Castillo hoped to open America’s eye with another impressive story. While he delivered an unbelievable story, Howard thought that it started to look familiar Sharon stated that it was different. While Howie compared him to the Beatles of sand storytelling, it was another storyteller that stole the night. Earth harpist William Close took his act to a whole new level by adding new elements and continued to astonish everyone in the audience and earned a standing ovation from all three judges.
Comedian Tom Cotter was the eleventh act to perform for a spot in the finale. During his pre-performance package, Tom revealed that his father would be attending the semifinals for the first time in his run on AGT. For the first time ever, a random judge chose Tom’s material. Howie chose college and Tom focused on the college experience all in 90-seconds. He earned a standing ovation from all three judges and Howie said that he needed votes.
The final act of the first semifinals was the Academy of Villains. Despite losing a dancer and changing their routine at the last minute, this militant San Francisco-based hip-hop dance crew brought the house down and received a standing ovation from Sharon and Howie. While the two judges praised the group, Howard rained on the parade and stated that they were very similar to the next act.
Here’s how I graded tonight’s performances:
- Andrew De Leon: 9.5/10
- Todd Oliver: 9.5/10
- Donovan and Rebecca: 9/10
- Edon: 10/10
- Scott Brothers: 9/10
- Dittelman: 10/10*
- Turf: 8/10
- Bria Kelly: 9/10
- Joe Castillo: 9/10
- William Close: 10/10*
- Tom Cotter: 10/10*
- Academy of Villains: 9/10
The acts where I put a * next to their score are the acts I predict who will move on to the finale.
Tomorrow evening, Steve Harvey and Neon Trees will provide the entertainment and the three acts competing will be revealed.