America’s Got Talent LIVE Quarterfinals part 2 air tonight. Twelve more performers will take the stage live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood as judging is turned over to fans. Featuring creator and executive producer Simon Cowell, Mel B, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel on the judges panel, and host, Tyra Banks.
Tonight’s acts include: Johnny Manuel (singer), Light Balance (light projection), Demian Aditya (escape artist), Merrick Hanna (kid hip hop dancer), Celine Tam (kid singer), Pompeyo Family (dog act), Evie Clair (kid singer), Brobots & Mandroids (dance troupe), The Masqueraders (elderly signing trio), Eric Jones (magician), Mirror Image (dancing/singing twins), Mandy Harvey (singer)
Vote for your favorite acts via AGT Phone App or go to NBC.com for phone numbers and online voting.
Tyra opens the show with a lame eclipse joke “TONIGHT you can stare straight into the stars!” Uhm. Ok. She reminds us that only SEVEN acts will advance to the semi-finals.
Brobots & Mandroidz – Dance Crew – They’re all students, and some of the parents aren’t enthusiastic about their dance ambitions. But we see one of the dads confess that his mind is changed after the troupe’s AGT success. The dance group eliminated last week had better moves than these guys. I mean…it was OK. Howie agrees with me. “I just wasn’t getting a WOW.” Mel B insists “THERE WERE SO MANY WOWS.” She compliments their professionalism, and “I need to find a man who can move like that.” Heidi compliments their energy and well-rehearsed routine. Simon likes that the boys are all friends. Ah. I think he’s pimping this group because he likes their backstory.
Celine Tam – Kid Singer – She’s a nine year old with big dreams “Now that I’m in the quarterfinals, I have to work even more harder!” She sings “When You Believe” by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston standing atop a glittery purple platform. Super-pageanty performance from Celine. Her sings in a big clear voice, with the personality of a robot. Mel B. thinks the song is too big for her. I agree. She could have been singing the alphabet. She doesn’t have the maturity to bring the song to life. Heidi disagrees. “You’re voice is so sweet! I can hear the innocence of a 9 years old.” But uh. that’s the problem. These kids need to stay out of show business until they are older. Howie calls her “a little miracle.” Simon says, “You looked like you were standing on a purple clam that was about to eat you!” He advocates cutting her a break. Basically, grade her on curve, because she’s only 9 years old. OK then. #TeamMel.
Mirror Image – Singing Twins – These 16 year olds were not very popular in school…and they still are not. Har har. “We’re twin it to win it,” they say. Oh boy. The parents play along. Mom is pretty sure Simon will continue to hate them. They make the unfortunate decision to sing Queen’s “Somebody to Love” and to say they aren’t up to the task is an understatement. Pitch problems galore. Inexplicably, the performance morphs into a dance routine to some dance tune. Truly terrible. Simon buzzes. He says they seem like nice boys but “I don’t know what this act is!” Heidi calls Simon a “party pooper.” She and Heidi both love them. “If Prozac had a face, that would be you.” WHAT? She says they make her happy. “You are thoroughly entertaining….I love you guys,” says Mel. “I don’t know what I’m watching,” says Howie. He tries to matchmake Mel with the twins before he’s reminded that they’re only 16
and probably not interested in any case before he’s reminded that they’re underage. Weird. Fun Fact: The boys studied dance at the “Dance Moms” studio in Pittsburgh.
Johnny Manuel – Singer – He was signed to a major label at 14 but eventually dumped. Now he’s 32 and looking for a second chance. Johnny takes on “And I Am Telling You” from Dreamgirls. It’s a big song, that that’s his schtick–huge numbers that allow him to show off his range and ability to riff until the cows come home. In that regard, he does not disappoint, even if his overall vibe is pretty ordinary. Also, his voice cracks a couple of times. The thing is–he doesn’t bring anything new to this oft-covered song. The judges give him a standing ovation, nevertheless. Simon calls him a “diva” as a compliment. “This was your moment,” he says. If Simon were casting a Broadway show (!!!) Johnny would be it, he says. Remember when Simon calling a performer “Broadway” was NOT a compliment and a thinly veiled homophobic dis? Howie says he “hit it out of the park.” Heidi says her ex husband Seal was correct to hit the golden buzzer for him. Mel calls him “Amazing.”
Merrick Hanna – Kid Hip Hop dancer – The 12 year old dancer describes his style as “roboty.” He mixes hip hop with lyrical flourishes, which give his performance heart and fresh-faced appeal. Howie calls him original and entertaining–for the whole family. Mel B calls him “mesmerizing.” Heidi feels what he does is “memorable” and “something special.” Simon deems it “the best act we’ve seen tonight.” He appreciates his originality and creativity. “That was fantastic,” he says. Merrick gets Simon’s seal of approval. Good for him. I hope he makes it through.
Eric Jones – Magician – His late father had always been his biggest cheerleader. He wants to be the same for his own son. He works some close up magic involving cards, poker chips and glass with the judges. He takes the trick bigger–pulling stuff through glass–bringing Howie up on stage to help. Eric has an easy charm, and a subtle sense of humor. Mel B calls it “incredible” and “amazing.” Heidi likes that he picked a theme. Simon thinks he needs to work on his showmanship. Howie disagrees–he likes his low key ease. Yep. Howie’s right. His anti-flash approach works. He shouldn’t change a thing.
The Masqueraders – Singing Trio – Three older guys began singing together back in the 60s, but just missed making the big time. They talk about the days when, as black men, they couldn’t walk through the front doors of many establishments. Really like that civil rights is front and center here, considering recent events. They perform one of their original songs “I’m Just an Average Guy.” It’s presented as a song that was never released, but actually it was, in 1969. It just failed to lift their careers. Mel loves their voices, but felt the track was too over produced. Simon “loves them absolutely.” He says the show wouldn’t be the same without them. He begs viewers to vote. Howie says “We just watched a dream come true.” Heidi says “better late than never.” Actually…this was not their best performance. I heard some bum notes, particularly on the backing harmonies. FYI: Here’s the original track.
Light Balance – Dance Act – They talk about escaping poverty and war in the Ukraine. Oh oh. There’s a technical problem with the lights. Tyra says we’re going to see the dress rehearsal instead. Oh. That’s too bad. Hope they gave 100% and had no mistakes. And, for their sakes, the taped performance goes off without a hitch. Simon apologizes for the glitch. Howie says if he was at home, he’d vote for them. “It was exciting…my favorite act of the night.” Mel B encourages them not to be disappointed. She also asks viewers to vote for them. They were a golden buzzer act. These light driven acts don’t really translate on television? But the end result seemed very creative.
Evie Clair – Teen Singer – Last year, her father a prison counselor, a bishop in their church (probably LDS) was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer. Dad inspires her to do the things that she loves. She sits at the piano to sing “Wings” by Birdy. The performance is…OK. There are some pitch problems here and there. And she seems really nervous. It’s keeping her from connecting to the song like she could. “You make me speechless…I hope America votes,” says Howie. Mel calls her a “singing angel…your dad is going to be proud of you no matter what.” Heidi is “so very proud” of her. Simon calls her “one heck of a brave young lady.” Dad was too sick to travel. She wishes her parents a happy anniversary. What an emotional story. Evie could advance purely on that sad narrative.
Demian Aditya – Escape Artist – His whole life, he’s been in love with danger. “The closer I come to death, the more I feel alive.” He promises his most “death defying escape yet” called “The Escape Drop.” Tyra dramatically describes the trick which involves a box and a blow torch. Damien must escape the box before a rope burns through and the box drops, impaled on three sharp burning spikes. Oh. oh. The trick was a bust? Something went wrong. Or no? He appears behind the judges panel with a fire extinguisher. Oh. It did go wrong. That’s too bad. In response, Mel B and Simon both buzz him. Ouch. That fubar will hurt him, unfortunately. During his critique, Simon jokingly compares the busted performance to Mel B’s wedding night: “A lot of anticipation, not much promise or delivery.” In response, Mel stomps out, after flinging a cup of water at Simon. Tara reminds the audience that WE’RE LIVE Y’ALL! Well. That turned into is a damn train wreck pretty fast. Although I’m fairly certain Mel’s dramatics were just for show.
Pompeyo Family – Dog Act – The husband of this family act runs a daycare for dogs. Tonight, new dogs and new tricks. The puppers are all groomed like lions. It’s a jungle theme! They perform to “Roar.” Heidi calls it “cute” and a “feel good act.” Simon says, “the dogs just saved America’s Got Talent.” If any act went wrong tonight, he would have bet on the Pompeyo’s. He’s pleased. Howie thinks they should do Noah’s Ark next. Mel B says the act “made my heart feel so good.” The judges love it, but I think they do the same thing pretty much, week after week. The doggies are cute though, which makes them hard to deny.
Mandy Harvey – Singer – She lost her hearing at 19 years old. It was a huge loss–music had been everything to her. Mandy’s parents encouraged her to find music again. When Simon hit the golden buzzer for her, it meant everything. She sings an original song “Mara’s Song,” accompanying herself on a ukulele. The performance is simple, and very heartfelt. She’s gonna get a ton of votes tonight. The judges do the deaf clap for her. Simon gets really emotional! “You are and you will make a difference. That was stunning.” Heidi calls her raw and real. Mel B says, “You’re like a miracle worker. You make the impossible possible. Your voice is just like an angel.” Howie says, “You make us feel it.” He begs America to vote for her in sign language–and it looks vaguely obscene. Heh. FYI: She wrote the song as a wedding song for her cousin Mara, hence the name.