Category: America's Got Talent

'America's Got Talent' results: Meet your four finalists

AmericatalentStory
And the "America's Got Talent" finalists are ... Team iLuminate, Poplyfe, the Silhouettes and Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.

Raise your hand if you are the least bit shocked by those results.

Yet, as expected as the outcome of Wednesday night's results show was, with voters culling the top 10 to those four, it was still sad to say goodbye to the six acts who'd made it this far only to be sent home just as their dream seemed within reach.

Between eliminations, pop-opera quartet Il Divo turned in a fiery performance, backed by a giant orchestra and with shapely violinists dangling overhead.



Without a vote for the first time this season, judges Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel became cheerleaders of sorts, or perhaps mentors, reminding the departing performers about how much they'd already accomplished and about how this wasn't the end of their careers, but rather the beginning. But it was hard not to notice the ashen expressions, the streaks of tears, the sheen of weepy snot on the faces of those who failed to advance.

The Smage Bros. Riding Show stunt bikers, called to the stage with light-up dancers Team iLuminate, were still horsing around almost until host Nick Cannon delivered the blow. Apparently caught off-guard by the results (that Midwestern optimism!), they managed to utter something about a roller-coaster ride before zooming offstage.

Singer Lys Agnes looked like the picture of misery as she and the Latin dance group Miami All Stars awaited their fates. Morgan issued a brief pep talk about both acts having "done yourselves proud," but as expected, Cannon revealed that neither would move on in the competition. The Miami All Stars director sweetly thanked everyone, including America, NBC and God, while Agnes stiffly thanked the people out there who "understand an artist's ability to be many different things." She really looked devastated by the entire ordeal, though. I hope she hangs in there OK.

Next coupling: teen band Poplyfe and pretty magician Landon Swank. I'll admit that I entertained the possibility that Swank would pull off an impressive trick and edge out the talented kids. The Poplyfe band members seemed to consider this possibility too, looking deeply nervous as they awaited word. But no, Poplyfe would advance, and Swank was left only to rattle off a few thanks before disappearing. (I'm considering it the revenge of the goldfish, despite Mandel's insistence that the wee carp survived Swank's act swimmingly.)

The smiles on the Silhouettes' faces and the miserable expressions of the West Springfield Dance Team as they awaited their results proved prescient. It was lovely to see all those tiny gold-Lycra-clad bodies jump up and down excitedly when they learned they had made the finals. (And how sweet was it when the smallest of them admitted that the news felt "good"?) West Springfield, I must say, seemed less horrified by their loss than you might have expected, generously allowing that, building on their success in the YouTube round, they had made it further than they'd ever dreamed.

That left only one finals spot and two very different singers: rat pack crooner Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. and the precociously soulful Anna Graceman. The vote went Murphy's way, and Graceman, who, lest we forget, is only 11, tried valiantly to smile through her tears. But Murphy took the news of his win almost harder than Graceman took word of her loss. Sure, it's a "dream come true," he told Cannon, but it's "hard being up here and taking it from these kids." Awww.

What did you think? Did America make the right call? And who do you think will go all the way and snag the win?

RELATED:

"America's Got Talent" recap: The top 10 take the stage

"America's Got Talent" results: Rounding out the top 10

"America's Got Talent" recap: Second semifinals, tough call

"America's Got Talent" results: Who made the top 10?

"America's Got Talent" recap: The semifinals start strong

-- Amy Reiter

Photo: Il Divo's Sébastien Izambard performs on "America's Got Talent." Credit: NBC.

'America's Got Talent' recap: The top 10 take the stage

'America's Got Talen' recap: Silhouettes

After all top 10 acts vying for the "America's Got Talent" finals had performed Tuesday night, Howie Mandel could barely contain himself: Four acts stood out as clear winners, he told us. Then he paused, "Should I say?"

Mandel's fellow judge Sharon Osbourne wouldn't let him tick off his list of favorites ("They have to vote," she remonstrated), but most of us can probably guess which acts Mandel deemed worthy of proceeding to the final four (to be determined solely by audience votes, with no judge picks): shadow-playing kid dance group the Silhouettes, teen pop band Poplyfe, swingin' retro crooner Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., and computer-enhanced light-up dancers Team iLuminate.

Each of those acts has not only talent, on display Tuesday night, but also a heartrending, overcoming-adversity story (illness, poverty, broken homes) that will likely make viewers want to cast their votes their way.



That's not to say the night -- which also featured a lovely performance (video above) by last year's winner, singer Michael Grimm, and a strange interlude in which Piers Morgan asked 11-year-old singer Anna Graceman out on a date on behalf of his 10-year-old son (she politely declined, saying she can't date until she's 18) -- didn't include other notable performances:

Miami All Stars: Alas, this team of dancers held back its usual spicy Latin flavor and served up a big slab of American cheese, dressing up as football players and cheerleaders and even bringing along a chicken-headed mascot to flap around the stage. (It's NFL kickoff week -- get it?) The chicken, Piers Morgan dryly informed the dancers, "made you look a bit silly."

Lys Agnes: The beautiful opera singer decided to show us a different side of her voice -- the low side, the rock side -- turning in an eerily mesmerizing performance of Aerosmith's "Dream On" while floating in a giant dream-catcher. The judges compared her to Cher. But while Morgan said he "felt moved" by the song, Mandel and Osbourne wondered whether the vocal switch-up would turn off the voters.

Landon Swank: In a departure from his death-defying stunts these last two weeks, Swank did some stylish, low-key business with a goldfish and a fish tank that he said went off as planned, but I'm pretty sure we were supposed to see that goldfish emerge from Swank's hand and swim around in the tank at the end. The smiling (yet, to my eyes, nervous-looking) magician assured a concerned Osbourne that the fish had not died, but … um … where had it disappeared to? I suspect that fish did not defy death and suggest that, were Swank to make it through despite the act going wrong, it would be his greatest trick yet.

Anna Graceman: The 11-year-old cutie sang Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors" while standing on a grassy knoll, abandoning her piano because, she later said, she really wanted to connect with her audience. Connecting with the audience is not Graceman's problem; the low notes are. As Morgan, who compared the singer unfavorably to last season's young Jackie Evancho, noted, Graceman's lower register pales in comparison to her solid, bluesy high notes. That may keep her out of the finals.

The Silhouettes: After plucking our heartstrings with a pre-performance video in which we learned that at least two of the group's young dancers are battling debilitating diseases (juvenile diabetes, cystic fibrosis) and that the director, who cannot have children, feels "fulfilled" when these kids call her "Mom," the group returned to form with a stirring, Americana-inflected shadow dance about hope and potential and belief. Morgan, the evening's soothsayer, hailed them for telling a story that, in these difficult times, "lifts the heart and makes people proud of being American." Proud enough to pick up the phone to vote, I'd imagine.



Smage Bros. Riding Show: Every time these guys take the stage I get scared, but probably not as frightened as the guy the stunt bikers jump over. This time the poor fellow -- "Smalls," they call him -- got nicked in the head and whomped in the leg, but never lost his good cheer. This performance wasn't quite as spectacular as the last, but it had a certain charm. Nevertheless, I suspect it's the end of the "AGT" road for these homespun bikers.

Poplyfe: Another heartrending backstory: Sixteen-year-old lead singer Kehlani Parrish told us her father died when she was 2 and her mother "had some issues," leaving her to shuttle "from home to home" as she was growing up -- until she found her way into the band, whom she calls her "brothers." "I don't think I love anybody as much as I love them," she said. The band turned in a rocking, if rushed, Jackson 5 medley, proving they have cajones as well as musical chops. Standing O from the judges. Morgan called them a "great pop band."



West Springfield Dance Team: Another zombie dance from the horror crew. Yawn. We've seen it before. The judges woke up long enough to label the act boring and "predictable." The earnest kids promised to step things up next time, but, alas, I don't think there will be a next time.

Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.: The cornrowed crooner finally stretched beyond Sinatra, tackling Dean Martin's "Ain't That a Kick in the Head" -- backed by a full retro-outfitted band. He knocked it out of the park. Morgan said Murphy was the only act so far he'd shell out his own money to see. Osbourne entreated us to "vote, vote, vote," which, despite Murphy's somewhat startling response when host Nick Cannon asked him if he was mad at him for faking him out during the last results show, I'm guessing viewers will do.



Team iLuminate: Dancer/software engineer/team mastermind Miral Kotb, who has conquered cancer, made a triumphant return to the stage in the dance group's best performance yet, eliciting glowing praise from the judges, and likely securing a spot in the finals.



What do you think? Do you agree with my predictions, or are your picks different? It's getting down to the wire: Weigh in!

RELATED:

'America's Got Talent' results: Rounding out the top 10

'America's Got Talent' recap: Second semifinals, tough call

'America's Got Talent' results: Who made the top 10?

'America's Got Talent' recap: The Semifinals start strong

-- Amy Reiter

Photo: Silhouttes perform. Credit: Trae Patton / NBC

'America's Got Talent' results: Rounding out the top 10

'America's Got Talent' results: Susan Boyle, David Guetta, Nicki Minaj and Flo Rida perform

When it came time for the judges to decide which of two acts would take the fifth and final open slot in the "America's Got Talent" top 10 Wednesday night, Piers Morgan noted that he was choosing between an act that had been an early favorite, but had had an off night Tuesday, and a middle-of-the-pack contender that had just sprinted impressively into a leading position. Which would it be?

Morgan went the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately route, throwing his chips in for the Smage Bros. Riding Show, which had really cranked up the excitement with its latest turn on stage. And Howie Mandel followed, sealing the impressively death-defying stunt bikers' victory and depriving the tremendously talented street dancer Snap Boogie of his dreams. (Sharon Osbourne had gone for Snap, but her vote was left stranded.)



The American public, however, proved more constant, voting through other longtime faves, including young shadow-dance group the Silhouettes, whose performance Tuesday night also was decidedly not its best; 11-year-old singer Anna Graceman; Sinatra crooner Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.; and heartthrob magician Landon Swank.

Going home, sadly, were college acrobatic troupe Gymkana and gravity-flouting pole dancer Steven Retchless, as well as high-dive belly-flopper Professor Splash, hard-luck dance team Fatally Unique, rope-jumping Summerwind Skippers and, yes, the Kinetic King, who hopefully declared that his Kinetic Queen was out there watching somewhere and sent her a kiss that, for all we know, sent off a life-changing chain reaction in some "AGT"-watcher's heart. (Goggles at the ready, ladies.)

I'll admit, Nick Cannon faked me out when he called Anna Graceman and Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. to the stage and then announced, despite the audience chants of "both, both, both, both" that Graceman would be the one going through. He appeared to have faked out the judges too; Osbourne looked completely shocked, mouthing "Wow" to Morgan.

But then Cannon -- that jokester! -- informed Murphy (in the midst of the singer's grateful goodbye) that, naw, man, "the ride ain't over. You made it through too!"

Phew.

All in all, an exciting results show, with interesting performances by David Guetta with Nicki Minaj and Flo Rida and the singer Susan Boyle, who found fame on "Britain’s Got Talent."



Boyle is really so fascinating to watch –- her mellifluous voice in stark contrast to her absolutely terrified-looking onstage stance.



Anyhow, what did you think of Wednesday night's results? Were the right five acts chosen to round out the top 10? And who do you think has a shot at going all the way?

RELATED:

'America's Got Talent' recap: Second semifinals, tough call

'America's Got Talent' results: Who made the top 10?

'America's Got Talent' recap: The Semifinals start strong

-- Amy Reiter

Photos: Clockwise, Nicki Minaj, Susan Boyle, Flo Rida and David Guetta. Credit: Randy Lewis / NBC

'America's Got Talent' recap: Second semifinals, tough call

'America's Got Talent': Silhouettes perform

Tuesday night's "America's Got Talent" semifinals -- the second of two, in which 12 candidates vied for the five remaining slots in the top 10 -- may be the toughest show of the season to call: Who were the standouts? Which acts were just OK? And will America vote through old favorites who might have had a middling night or middle-of-the-packers who made a clutch-time sprint to the front?

That last question will be answered on Wednesday night's results show, of course. But here's how Tuesday's "AGT" action broke down:

Kinetic King: The King said he was hoping to spark "woo-hoos ringing out all across America" with his latest Rube Goldberg-esque chain reaction, which went off as planned, but even he seemed to have a hard time mustering enthusiasm. "Is it too late to run away?" he asked host Nick Cannon before setting in motion his faster, though somewhat diminished, dynamic creation. It's not clear if he was kidding then, or when he appeared to swoon once the last item had been toppled. The King, dubbed by Cannon "the most famous goggles in America," has gotten some deserved attention and perhaps a few dates out of the deal, but it's hard not to feel that his act (which has offered disappointment and redemption) may have now run its course. It may be time for him to pack up his popsicle sticks and go home.

Fatally Unique: This talented dance crew from Rockford, Ill., moves, as Sharon Osbourne pointed out, "with speed and precision." This may have been the group's best dance -- and also its least original. It felt awfully similar to the West Springfield Dance Team's horror-themed shtick, right down the zombie-esque hair and makeup. Will the group's lack of uniqueness prove fatal?



Landon Swank: The adorable magician from Alaska brought in his equally adorable dad to help him with a trick (a "real-live version of Russian roulette") that required the judges to blow up some boxes. The judges very much enjoyed their inclusion in the illusion, which was slickly presented and impressive enough.

Continue reading »

'America's Got Talent' results: Who made the top 10?

'America's Got Talent' results host Nick Cannon with singer Demi Lovato

The most unexpected thing about the "America's Got Talent" results show Wednesday night, in which five of 12 acts advanced to the top 10, may well have been host Nick Cannon's jacket: a silky black-and-white polka-dotted number that Piers Morgan derisively said looked like something out of "101 Dalmatians."

"I can rock polka dots because I'm smokin' hot, y'understand?" countered Cannon.

The first four acts to make it through probably surprised no one: First, light-up dancers Team iLuminate -- who were called to the stage along with acrobats-gone-wrong Sandou Trio Russian Bar, acrobats-gone-dull Zuma Zuma, and fallen glow-in-the-dark stunt biker Matt Wilhelm -- emerged victorious.

Then the band POPLYFE and opera singer Lys Agnes were summoned and (of course!) were both waved into the top 10.

And finally, Miami All Stars, who gave a standout dance performance Tuesday night, bested funny-enough comedian Melissa Villasenor and tepid, twisty-haired singer Kevin Colis to move on to the competition's next round.

That left only one slot and three acts who hoped to fill it: 14-year-old dancer Beth Ann Robinson, "fierce" singer (and fearless lip-biter) Daniel Joseph Baker, and the zombie-lovin' West Springfield Dance Team.



Robinson was quickly sent home, leaving the judges to decide between West Springfield, which had impressively pulled off three performances in as many weeks, and Baker, who has a particularly timely and triumphant bullied-for-being-different-and-look-at-me-now back story but whose voice sounded a bit tight Wednesday night.

To be honest, though I prefer West Springfield, I was pretty sure the judges were going to pick Baker, what with his heart-tugging story line and two group dance acts already in the finals. I chalked up Howie Mandel's vote for West Springfield –- he declared it to be "the year of the dance" –- as a way to cushion the inevitable blow. But then Morgan chucked his chips West Springfield's way too, allowing the teenage zombies to stay alive in the competition and depriving Baker of his dreams of continued televised fierceness.

Ever the young showman, Baker held his head high, saying he had "nothing but good things ahead of me," a prediction I trust will prove true.

And you? Were you sad to say goodbye to Baker or any of the other acts who were sent home? Do you think America and the judges put the best five acts through to the top 10? And do you have a favorite to win the whole thing? Do tell.

RELATED:

'America's Got Talent' recap: The Semifinals start strong

'America's Got Talent' results: Which Wild Cards slid through?

'America's Got Talent' recap: Wild Card night offers redemption

-- Amy Reiter

Photo: Nick Cannon and Demi Lovato. Credit: Trae Patton / NBC

'America's Got Talent' recap: The Semifinals start strong [Video]

'America's Got Talent' host Nick Cannon with Lys Agnes

Here's an important message for those of you who abandoned "America's Got Talent" in disgust after the audition episodes, which were inarguably dismal and depressing: It got better.

The show delivered on its titular promise Tuesday night, the first Semifinals episode, in which 12 acts vied for five slots in the top 10: Yes, America has talent. It also has a woman who can sing and play piano while suspended upside down many feet over the stage, but that's another thing entirely.

The night's best acts included ...

The young band POPLYFE, who boldly tackled the Beatles tune "Come Together" and emerged triumphant:



Team iLuminate, which again blended light and dance in imaginative and unexpected ways:



The Miami All-Stars, who stylishly flipped and twisted and slid across the stage:



And beautiful opera singer Lys Agnes, whose voice sounded clear and rich despite an illness that required antibiotics:



So that's four acts worthy of the top five right there. Who should be the fifth? I could see either Zuma Zuma, the death-defying acrobatic troupe from Kenya, whose act was a little more subdued than usual Tuesday night, or the West Springfield Dance Team, the squeaky-clean high-schoolers who let their creepy side loose and move with remarkable precision whenever they take the stage.

An argument could also be made for singer Daniel Joseph Baker, comedian Melissa Villasenor, or even 14-year-old dancer Beth Ann Robinson. Taking on Adele's "Turning Tables," perhaps a bit too literally, Baker rocked a white grand piano Liberace might have loved and a look that included sparkly hair, puffy sleeves and long boots. Villasenor turned in admirable impressions of Wanda Sykes, Sarah Silverman and Christina Aguilera as well as a strange Shakira dance. And Robinson danced, beautifully and gracefully, with mirrors, though it's hard to imagine this young soloist headlining a Vegas show.

Likely going home are Sandou Trio Russian Bar, who for some reason abandoned their exciting acrobatic act in favor of the aforementioned strange and schmaltzy upside-down piano routine ("I don't think that you made a good choice," Howie Mandel said, putting it mildly); Kevin Colis, the curly-haired singer from the YouTube round, who performed a treacly tune Tuesday night (Sharon Osbourne said he reminded her the kids' group the Wiggles); and Matt Wilhelm, the YouTube round's glow-in-the-dark bicyclist, who tried to give his tricks a storyline (bullying) and then took a tumble (Piers Morgan rightly said he probably wouldn't want to sit through more than 15 minutes of Wilhelm's act). 

All in all, a pretty good night. But was it, as Morgan asserted, "the single best semifinal we've ever had on this show"? Were you impressed by the acts overall? And which five would you like to see make it through to the next round?

RELATED:

'America's Got Talent' results: Which Wild Cards slid through?

'America's Got Talent' recap: Wild Card night offers redemption

'America's Got Talent': YouTube-spawned semifinalists are revealed

'America's Got Talent' recap: YouTube stars shift from screen to stage

-- Amy Reiter

Photo: "America's Got Talent" host Nick Cannon with Lys Agnes. Credit: Trae Patton / NBC

'America's Got Talent' results: Which Wild Card acts slid through?

Sheesh! Those "America's Got Talent" judges sure are hard to take: the endless bickering and posturing, the pranks and pokes, the preening and pontification.

"Can't someone just turn his mic off?" Sharon Osbourne said of Piers Morgan as he droned on about two of the 12 Wild Card contestants brought back after elimination to vie for four semifinal slots.

Can't someone turn all their mics off? Please?

Anyhow, judges aside, the results Wednesday night were, ultimately, satisfying, if not completely as anticipated.

The West Springfield Dance Team, neatly scrubbed of horror makeup for the occasion, triumphed over the singer Shevonne and those BMX showmen, Yellow Designs Stunt Team, whom I am very sad to see go home … again.



The Kinetic King reigned supreme over mini-singers Avery and the Calico Hearts, unlucky juggler Charles Peachock and the uncategorizable Those Funny Little People, prompting Morgan to clamber up onstage and bow down to him.

Landon Swank rightly edged out his less talented rival magician, Seth Grabel.

That meant only one semifinals spot remained as Summerwind Skippers, the Fiddleheads and J Chris Newberg were called to the stage to learn their fates.

Comedian Newberg, who had a great night roasting Morgan the previous evening, was summarily dismissed. Cannon tried to bait him into making an angry quip, but Newberg showed unexpected dignity: He'd had a great time and done his best, he said, before padding offstage.

So would it be "sexy" rope jumpers Summerwind Skippers or the contemporary bluegrass group the Fiddleheads? After an almost intolerable amount of upstaging and tantrum-throwing from the judges, we got our answer, and it was the right one: The Summerwind Skippers would get a chance to show us more of their tricks and tumbles.

And the Fiddleheads? It may be the end of the road for them on "America's Got Talent," but don't get out the violins. I suspect they haven't fiddled away their shot at success; we'll hear from these talented musicians again.

What did you think of the results? Do you think America voted the right acts through?

RELATED:

'America's Got Talent' recap: Wild Card night offers redemption

'America's Got Talent': YouTube-spawned semifinalists revealed

'America's Got Talent' recap: YouTube stars go from screen to stage

-- Amy Reiter

'America's Got Talent' recap: Wild Card night offers redemption

I'll admit, I thought the "America's Got Talent" Wild Card round was going to be a drag, what with those not-so-funny Funny Little People, the musical moppets Avery and the Calico Cats, and grating magician Seth Grabel set to return. (I know, Grabel has his fans; at this point, I am not one of them.) But as it turns out, those acts' entertainment deficiencies were dwarfed by the candidates who truly deserve a second shot.

It may have been the best show of the season so far.

For the Kinetic King, there was redemption: His tin-can chain reaction apparently went down as planned. And we got to see him do "the fetal position of victory" (whatever that was) right there on the stage. Here's sending him an extra woo-hoo for making us root for him so heartily.



Continue reading »

'America's Got Talent': YouTube-spawned semifinalists revealed

Those of us who predicted that ladder-loving acrobats Gymkana, glow-in-the-dark stunt biker Matt Wilhelm and curly-headed singer Kevin Colis would be the top three contestants from the "America's Got Talent YouTube Special" to make it through to the semifinals -- and that it would be a tight competition for the evening's fourth and final slot –- might feel somewhat smug right about now.

On the other hand, let's not pat ourselves on the back too hard: It wasn't exactly a tough race to call. Was anyone's money really on Gabe Rocks, the bulldog who lifted a leg next to a cutout of Piers Morgan, or cheesy teen show choir act Powerhouse?

But if Wednesday night's "America's Got Talent" results show revealed anything other than the all-but-predetermined fates of the four(ish) YouTube-launched acts that made it through, and the eight(ish) that did not, it was that Americans truly are a people of contradictory tastes: We can admire an imaginative collaboration between the dance troupe Pilobolus and the band OK Go and appreciate the unusual Irish step-dance duo Up & Over It's riveting "Hand Dance" even as we compulsively click on absorbingly abysmal viral videos from Tay Zonday (he of "Chocolate Rain") and Rebecca Black (she of "Friday") and Keenan Cahill (he of the riveting lip-sync) -– all of whom performed.

As for that fourth and final slot, it came down to two dance acts: "Thriller"-evoking West Springfield Dance Team and 14-year-old Beth Ann Robinson, who said she wanted "to prove a solo dance act can go through and win this competition." The judges did their usual split-vote thing: Morgan went with Robinson, Sharon Osbourne went with West Springfield, and Howie Mandel was left to ramble on for a little while before throwing the final and deciding vote Robinson's way.



But then Osbourne let us know that we hadn't seen the last of the West Springfield Dance Team and their creepy zombie contact lenses: They'd be back on the show next week to compete in the Wild Card round.



Also set to return from the dead next week: Landon Swank, the Kinetic King, the Summer Wind Skippers, Charles Peachock, Yellow Design Stunt Team, J Chris Newberg, Those Funny Little People, the Fiddleheads, Seth Grabel, Avery and the Calico Hearts, and some singer I don't remember at all named Shevonne.

I admit, I'm really not looking forward to seeing one or two of those acts again: specifically, Those Funny Little People, who never even deserved to make it past auditions, and Avery and the Calico Hearts, who definitely left at the right time.

What do you think?

RELATED:

'America's Got Talent' recap: YouTube stars go from screen to stage

'America's Got Talent' results: Did the judges make the wrong call?

'America's Got Talent' recap: 'If you're gonna blunder,' go big

-- Amy Reiter

 

'America's Got Talent' recap: YouTube stars go from screen to stage

Not surprisingly, on the "America's Got Talent YouTube Special" Tuesday night, the name Jackie Evancho was mentioned more than a few times. Evancho is the pint-sized opera singer with the startlingly mature voice who, at age 10, broke out of last year's "YouTube Special" to finish second for the season overall and become the best-selling debut artist of 2010.

Would Tuesday night's show bring us another Evancho?

Alas, no. But it did bring us several YouTube-launched performers who deserve, at minimum, to advance in the competition, as four of the 12 will do when voting results are revealed Wednesday night.

The evening's best acts included:

-- Kevin Colis, a Texas-based singer who explained in a pre-roll video that he'd given up on his musical dreams when he turned 30, but whose fiancee had encouraged him to give "AGT" a try. "This is my last shot, and I'm going to go for it," he said, before turning in a solid performance of Bruno Mars' "The Lazy Song," looking quite comfortable onstage and earning high praise from two of the three judges, Piers Morgan and Sharon Osbourne. "You might be two songs away from a million dollars," Morgan said.


Continue reading »

'America's Got Talent' results: Did the judges make the wrong call?

Jason Derulo performs on the 'America's Got Talent' results show. Credit: Trae Patton/NBC

At the outset of Wednesday night's "America's Got Talent" results show, on which Jason Derulo and Maroon 5 performed, judge Piers Morgan warned us that we might be "in for some big shocks." But though the results might not have panned out exactly as some of us would have liked –- I'll miss the Yellow Design Stunt Team and Charles Peachock at least a little -– most of America's decisions ranged from totally expected to perhaps mildly unanticipated.

When four acts -- danger dude Frank Miles, tiny vocalists Avery and the Calico Hearts, unremarkable singer Taylor Davis, and the dance troupe Fatally Unique -– were called to the stage, those of us who had predicted that Fatally Unique would make it to the semifinals were rewarded. The kids in the troupe were rewarded too -- not only because they'd made it through, which floored them, in some cases quite literally, but also because Morgan tossed a big, if qualified, compliment their way, saying if they continued to work hard and improve, they had "a real chance of winning the whole thing."

But then two deserving acts, enthusiastic acrobats Zuma Zuma and the BMX bike-riding Yellow Design Stunt Team, were summoned to hear their fates. Would both make it through? Nope, only one: Zuma Zuma. Oh well. Guess that wipeout on Tuesday night cost the bikers more than you might think -– or that voters were less impressed with the Yellow Design Stunt Team's production design than I was.

'America's Got Talent' recap: 'If you're gonna blunder,' go big

Next group: underwhelming magician Scott Alexander, the big and bouncy Sam B, and the incandescent dance act Team iLuminate, who had earned glowing praise from the judges the night before. Who do you think made it through? Yep, Team iLuminate. Even Sharon Osbourne couldn't help noting that it was "so obvious who was going to win" that round. Then she heaped some more praise on Team iLuminate, saying they stand a chance of being "huge" not only in America, but around the world as well and that they "could fill any arena."

That left one spot and three acts: juggler Charles Peachock, Popsicle playa Kinetic King and comedian Melissa Villasenor. Alas, the nerd vote didn't come through for the Kinetic King (darn those sticky sticks!); he was sent home, but not before noting that he'd had an "amazing" run and that he'd gone further than he had ever imagined.

So would it be Peachock, who had not only failed to impress Osbourne and fellow judge Howie Mandel with his shirtless, "balls on a piano" bit Tuesday night but also ticked them off by expressing his regard for Morgan ("How dare you!" Osbourne had fumed)? Or would it be Villasenor, whose act Morgan had found uneven, but the other judges had enjoyed?

Presented with a microphone and a chance to make their plea, both performers expressed a desire to continue in the competition. (Surprise, surprise.) Peachock promised more "out of the box" performances and vowed to win the whole thing. Villasenor told the audience that we were her "best friend" and meant "a lot" to her.

Tick-tock, tick-tock. Osbourne picked Villasenor. Tick. Morgan went with Peachock. Tock. Howie broke the tie with the act he said people were talking about: Melissa Villasenor.

Huh. Interesting. Were you people talking about Melissa Villasenor? Do you think the audience and the judges picked the right four acts to continue in the competition? Weigh in!

RELATED:

'America's Got Talent' results: Was anyone surprised?

'America's Got Talent' recap: An evening of blown chances

'America's Got Talent' results: Smurfs, Stevie Nicks, but no real shockers

-- Amy Reiter

Photo: Jason Derulo performs on the 'America's Got Talent' results show. Credit: Trae Patton / NBC

'America's Got Talent' recap: 'If you're gonna blunder,' go big

After only two of the 12 acts in the final "America's Got Talent" quarterfinals round had performed Tuesday night, host Nick Cannon rolled out an interesting superlative. We were watching, he said, "the most unpredictable show on television."

Whether unpredictability is a desirable feature, or whether "AGT" is the most unpredictable of all shows, is open to debate (feel free to have at it in the comments section), but this episode offered some support for Cannon's claim: It was hard to know, from moment to moment, and even from acts we'd seen perform twice before, just what was headed our way.

The Popsicle-stick chain-reaction genius who calls himself the Kinetic King, despite having repeatedly wowed us with his witty, whimsical Rube Goldberg-esque creations and having spent 36 hours (we were told more than once) on his knees personally laying each stick, flopped dramatically: For reasons that remained a mystery to the King himself, the sticks stuck.

"Oh my gosh, what a disaster," he observed in his trademark Minnesota twang. "Oh well … If you're gonna blunder, you gotta blunder big."



Then Zuma Zuma, a group of talented acrobats who have come all the way from somewhere in Africa to prove they are the most talented act in America, jumped from startling heights on poles, bringing at least two of the judges to their feet.



Continue reading »
Advertisement
Connect

Recommended on Facebook



In Case You Missed It...

Video





Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.

Categories

Shows


Archives
 



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: