America’s Got Talent Live Shows conclude tonight with Quarterfinals 4. Due to the COVID-12 pandemic, acts will perform on the Universal studios lot. Unfortunately, Simon Cowell broke his back and is recovering at home. In the house, however, are Howie Mandel, Sofia Vergara and Heidi Klum. Hosted by Terry Crews.
Performing tonight: Insult comic Alex Hooper; Hand Balancing sisters Bello Sisters; Howie’s Golden Buzzer and Spoken Word poet, Brandon Leake; Singing duo Broken Roots; Cheerleaders C.A. Wildcats; Singer Celina; Drumline/dancers Divas and Drummers of Compton; Teen singer Kenadi Dodds; Projection artists Lightwave Theater; Kid dancer Noah Epps; Singing group Resound. Only FIVE will survive tomorrow night’s results show.
NOTE: Top 44 act, teen singer Thomas Day withdrew from the competition at the last minute. He told a fan on Cameo that AGT interfered with his high school football schedule. Check it out here on Reddit. “I withdrew because I couldn’t make it because of football,” Thomas says. “I am still pursuing music, and in college I’ll be pursuing music. That’s the truth. I wish there was something more to it.”
C.A. Wildcats – Cheerleading squad – The group performs, wearing matching face masks, from their Plano, TX hometown. The team is made up of 29 members, ages 13-30. These competition cheer squads are mad trained. It’s really more dancing than cheering? And way more athletic than the female groups that perform for professional sports. Heidi says, “What an amazing job you guys did…you guys are like a soda that you shake.” Howie agrees. He compares them to V. Unbeatable. Exactly who I thought of as they performed. But he wonders if they upped their game from last time. Sofia loved their energy. She disagrees with Howie, this time was better than the group’s audition, she says.
Kenadi Dodds – Teen country singer – Kenadi is the only member of her family free from a congenital eye disease. Her siblings may eventually go completely blind. The young singer performs an original song dedicated to her younger sister. At first I thought Kendi was performing in her backyard in Utah, but she’s out somewhere on the universal lot. Hm. That original song was just OK–kind of ballady and boring. Her audition was better, I think. Heidi calls her “great” but then follows up with a “no matter what happens” speech. Letting her down easy. Howie calls her an amazing talent, but criticizes the song. He’s correct. The song is boring. The home audience begins booing. Sofia calls Howie “negative,” but admits that she likes the first one better. Bye Kenadi.
Lightwave Theater – Giant projection puppets – The group is in Romania. The pandemic is strictly enforced by the government there. It’s scary for them. But they are plunging ahead. Behind, but still working. Not mentioned: Romania like the rest of the Europe has truly flattened the curve. Tonight’s routine has a pandemic theme. The little girl and dog are back. OMG. Howie buzzes them! They didn’t deserve that! The routine is a bit incoherent. The little girl is reaching out to an old lady who lives across the way. Her doggie flies with a gift basket…a puppy for the lonely old lady. Howie buzzed because he found it depressing. “I don’t even know what the message is.” Heidi disagrees. She knows it’s sad, “but it’s reality!” she says. “I think it sends a nice message.” Sofia agrees with Heidi that it’s a nice story. But she also thinks the first outing was better. Eh. I thought the first routine was lightweight. Admittedly, the group’s storytelling could be better, but they did not deserve to be buzzed.
Resound – Gospel singing group – The group quit their jobs right before AGT, then the COVID-19 shutdowns dried up their gigs. But their fans kept them going. This time they sing Andrea Bocelli’s “Fall on Me.” The group’s harmonies are beautiful, very well arranged. All three have strong, distinctive voices. Howie calls the performance “beautiful.” He thinks they continue to set the bar. The first performance of “What the World Needs Now” was more impactful. But Howie is loath to admit it. Sofia loved it. Heidi says, “You have a light around you.”
Divas and Drummers of Compton – Youth Dancers/Drumline group – In the video package, the group’s director delivers a big pep talk. The group perform on what looks like a football field. It’s the perfect setting for them. Is one of the dancers pregnant? Yes. It’s the director, who is dancing with the group. It’s a fun performance, but nothing super special. After the break a few join the judges in the studio. Heidi is inspired by all of them. The group is Howard’s favorite so far. Sofia agrees. She calls them uplifting. “The speech was better than the performance.” Faint praise.
Celina – Singer – The boyish Celina has always felt different, but she has always loved music too. Fear of judgement has kept her from fulfilling her potential. She performs in the middle of the New York City lot. She’s got a big, beautiful and unusual voice. She’s arguably the best female singer in the competition this season. But also, too much is made of her butch look. I mean, Queen Latifah did it first in the 90s. So what’s the big deal? Sofia calls her the highlight of the night. Heidi thinks she nailed it. Howie agrees, he thinks the audience will remember her. She learned a song, “Strong” by London Grammar, that she never heard before. Hm. Sounds like the producers dictated her song choice.
Noah Epps – Kid Dancer – He loves dancing in character. His AGT audition went super viral. Tonight, he’ll bring a brand new character based on “scary movies.” The new getup isn’t as unique and attention grabbing as the marionette he played in his audition. But the dancing is once again impressive. The backgrounds, meant to be something out of the upside down, are a little overwhelming. Again with the CGI weirdness. Heidi calls him the “new Maddie Ziegler.” Sofia loved his strong sense of artistry. “You have the vision of what you want to do.” Howie doesn’t comment! Running out of time? Cut to Howie…who seems perplexed.
Alex Hooper – Insult Comic – He was booed off the stage in 2018. Now he’s back, and the judges love him. Tonight, Alex reads insults from a storybook in rhyme. “Now that Regis is dead, you’re my second favorite host. Tyra if you’re watching, I still love you the most.” Dang. And, “Simon you have a young son. Wow. You’re life took a turn. When he graduates you’ll be front row in a beautiful urn.” Howie is laughing his head off. But Heidi and Sofia don’t seem amused. Howie calls him brilliant. “I love this kind of comedy” comparing him to Don Rickles. Sofia calls him horrific, but funny, and pushes her buzzer. “BUZZ ME AGAIN” Alex screams. Heidi has her own rhyme for Alex, roasting him back.
Terry explains the Broken Roots are taking the place of an act who couldn’t perform. It’s Thomas Day who dropped out to play on his high school football team.
Broken Roots – Singing Duo – They were so disappointed when they were eliminated at Judge Cuts, now they are so grateful to be back! They sing a twangy version of U2’s “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” I don’t dig the country treatment. But the audience will probably love it. Also, this performance is a big improvement over their audition. Ultimately, they are probably a better choice than Thomas Day, who is only a mediocre singer. Sofia is so glad they’re back “I think you were meant to be here.” Howie thinks they rose to the occasion, but he wonders if they are more than a coffee house band. Heidi thinks they used their second chance well.
Bello Sisters – Hand balancing act – The sisters are in Germany. Their mother stopped performing on the high wire after their uncle died during his act. One of the sisters injured her knee. It almost kept them out of the live shows. Once again, the girls display their incredible strength. The pyramids they build are creative and scary! Heidi calls it “beautiful.” Sofia thinks they belong in Vegas. Howie compliments their strength and agility.
Brandon Leake – Spoken word poet – Brandon is Howie’s Golden Buzzer. In his video package, Brandon recites a poem about his family. Ehhhhh. This really isn’t an act. Ohhh. He’s talking about BLM now. That’s going to be controversial. And Broken Roots never mentioned they used to be cops. That’s not the way to pander to a conservative audience! Basically, he promises his mom, that if he gets killed by a cop he’ll “always be your pookie.” Heidi calls it “very powerful.” Sofia calls it a “great way to end the night.” Howie calls it above and beyond anything he’s heard. “This is the conversation we need to be having…you just won the whole night.”