Arguably the most entertaining episode of the season, last night’s “America’s Got Talent” semifinal performances proved this season’s talent pool is deep.
Because there’s room for only three acts to advance, that depth means there’s going to be some talented performers going home.
As a whole, last night’s acts performed well. At this point in the competition, however, viewers would do well to apply celebrity judge Howard Stern’s philosophy and consider whether the act is one worth paying top dollar to see.
Using this point of view, choosing three semifinalists is an easier task.
Before unveiling my three finalists, I’ll reveal who I think won’t advance.
Operatic singer Andrew De Leon is obviously gifted, but I don’t think he would have mass appeal within the opera-going community, especially because he lacks formal training. I think America’s fascination with De Leon—due in large part to his back story—will wear off this week and he’ll be sent home.
Although ventriloquist Todd Oliver—and his dog Irving—finished strong with his faux talk show bit, he bombed early with a couple of jokes, which could prove to cost him at this point of the competition.
Contortionist dancer Turf has some smooth dance moves, but his anatomically-bending act is difficult to watch and, to be honest, uninspiring once you’ve seen it a time or two. Claiming he’s worked harder than any other act won’t be enough to save him, nor will his constant pleadings that this shot means the world to him.
Teen singers Edon and Bria Kelly, while gifted vocalists, will fall victim to voter disinterest created by the overabundance of singing competition shows that clutter the airwaves. Thanks, “American Idol” and “The Voice.”
Mind reader Eric Dittelman impressed me—and predicted my geometric shape choice—but I don’t think I’d pay to see him perform. He’d make a good NBA halftime act, but I’m afraid he’s not a Vegas headliner.
Donovan and Rebecca are impressive physical specimens, but I don’t think their act is Vegas headline worthy, either. I could, however, see them as part of the entertainment at Circus Circus.
The Academy of Villains dance group was a one-hit wonder and, in spite of a decent performance last night, should be sent packing.
Light and sand artist Joe Castillo has been one of my favorite acts to this point, but I think last night’s demonstration was confusing and definitely not his best outing. After seeing what he does a time or two, the fascination wears off. Definitely not an act I’d pay to see.
Contrary to what the judges thought, I found The Scott Brothers’ act to be extremely entertaining. Visually stunning and musically and choreographically impressive, I thought the brothers showed they have what it takes to headline in Vegas. I, for one, would pay top dollar to see them perform.
Tom Cotter’s comedy act was brilliant and contained genuinely funny content. What else can you ask for? I—as others already have—would pay to see his routine.
William Close’s Earth Harp performance was good, but not as dominating as the judges seem to think. I liked that he incorporated some electric guitar and kept the vocals he added during the quarterfinals, but aside from those elements, he’s still playing the massive Earth Harp. How different can that be?
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Close eliminated tonight, though I don’t think he will.
After tonight’s “America’s Got Talent” results show, only 15 acts will remain in the hunt for the show’s $1 million grand prize, 12 of which will perform in next week’s second semifinal show.
“America’s Got Talent” airs tonight on KSL 5 at 9 p.m. in Provo, immediately following the Republican National Convention. A summary episode of last night’s show will broadcast before the RNC at 7 p.m.