America’s Got Talent Live Semifinal performances CONCLUDE tonight! 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.
By the end of tomorrow night’s results show, FIVE acts will move on to next week’s final.
The W.A.F.F.L.E. Crew – Dance Group – Simon Cowell’s Golden Buzzer competed in the Dunkin Save last time, so they aren’t a sure thing. Simon probably wishes he was around to advocate for them. The group performs in an indoor set like an auto body shop. It’s a fancy backdrop for their act. AGT pulling out all the stops for WAFFLE. The camera focuses on individual dancers, which is probably smart. Groups have a hard time connecting sometimes. This incredible backdrop, along with smart production, ensured the group will be sticking around for the final. The set is actually from the popular movie Cars. Heidi says they lift everyone’s spirits. “Great opening.” Howie calls them amazing. “You really stepped it up.” He loved they way they played with the set. Sofia calls it “spectacular.” and “You make it look so easy.” She hopes America will vote for them.
Kenadi Dodds – Teen singer – A hereditary disease is robbing her entire family of their eye sight. But not Kenadi. In her video package, she strolls around Universal Studios with her dad, describing what she sees. He gets weepy talking about her. Aw. I was REALLY shocked she made it through last time, actually. This week, she plays a song at the piano again. Weirdly, the set is almost exactly the same. No bells and whistles for Kenadi. This is actually a better song than last time. Oh wait…the camera pulls back, and she’s in the middle of a suburban street set. It reminds me a little of that Vanessa Carlton video with the traveling piano. Howie calls the performance “a huge step up.” He didn’t like her at all last time. “You just made America’s job a little tougher.” Sofia also feels she improved. “You sang like a confident pop star.” Heidi calls the performance “stellar” and notes there are several young talented singers. And the subtext there seems to be “but you aren’t are favorite!”
Max Major – Mentalist – Last time, Max performed a routine that was OBVIOUSLY FAKITY FAKE FAKE. But just as I suspected, the bit where everyone drew a picture of a sun was coached ahead of time. Check out the explanation at Reddit. And when I speculated that the wrist watch bit was hinky? That “trick” watch can be bought at a store. Heidi is on stage helping with a bit that involves poker chips. Howie and Sofia are involved too. Oh. The audience is helping again. The cast and audience members are picking numbers to put up on a board. And after, Max rolls a video that predicts every number. OK. I want to know if he coached the audience again. Hm. Sofia calls it a “risky trick.” She thinks he stepped it up a notch, but it was a little confusing. Howie agrees. He thought there was too much talking. “I don’t think it was a step up.” Heidi understood perfectly. Actually, I agree with Heidi. It wasn’t confusing. But it WAS probably fake.
The Bello Sisters – Hand balancers – An all female balancing act is cool. They don’t shy away from difficult tricks that take incredible amounts of balance and STRENGTH. They also exhibit incredible flexibility! These ladies twist themselves up like pretzels. The act is mesmerizing. The judges are on their feet! They filmed the routine at home in Germany. It’s so late there, only two sisters could Zoom in for the critique. Heidi says, “You are beautiful to watch…its just insane what you girls do.” Howie is “beyond impressed.” He notes their scary flexibility and is in awe of their strength. Weirdly he calls their mother, who appeared in the video clip, “stunning.” Sofia compares them to three delicate flowers. “Beautiful,” she says.
Celina – Singer – In her package, Celina shares about her other love, playing soccer. She sings a pretty version of “Jealous” by Labrinth. She’s my favorite of the singers who remain. I like her tone and phrasing. She doesn’t sing big showy notes, but she’s powerful, and emotional. This week, she performed on an outdoor set. Howie calls her one of his favorites. “Is this worthy of moving on to the finals?” He doesn’t know. Oh, he’s busing her. Sofia thinks it’s enough. She compares the performance to an awards show performance. Heidi loved it too. But she kinda gives her a “goodbye” speech, noting how much she gained by just taking the journey.
Jonathan Goodwin – Danger act – This week, Jonathan will be hanging from a zipline. He got hurt once using a zipline. Plus, he’s afraid of heights. Everybody is outside. It’s night time. Apparently, he’s never tried this trick before. The ropes will be on fire as he tries to free himself from constraints. He’ll only make it across the zipline–holding on with his teeth–if he can free himself from several constraints. I huge cushions underneath the zipline. If he fails, he’ll experience embarrassment, but not death. So not actually so dangers. In the end, he does manage to make it to the other side, just in the nick of time, for drama’s sake. Sofia calls it her favorite of his performances. “You have to be a little coo coo in the head!” Heidi appreciates his originality. Howie notes “There is no middle ground.” He adds, “I think you’re worth a vote to the finals.” Jonathan promises to go even bigger if America votes for him.
Cristina Rae – Singer – She’s Heidi Klum’s Golden Buzzer, and the reason why the judges bused Celina. She delivers a big performance. Gah. I complain about this every week, but I hate the in-studio CGI. It’s no substitute for actual stage sets. Her rangy voice is singing-show worthy. All that’s missing is the gospel choir. And if it wasn’t for COVID restrictions, she would have had one, I’m sure. Aw. Her son is part of the audience wall. Heidi loves her Golden Buzzer. She begs America to vote. Howie calls her the one to beat, calling her voice pure, powerful and entertaining. Then he makes a very lame PPE joke. “You nailed it more than any other night,” says Sofia. She also loved Cristina’s outfit. She delivers a message to her son. “I love you!” she says.
Bad Salsa – Dance duo – This Indian dance duo performed a fabulous Bollywood number last time. The new routine, performed remotely, is so sped up, it looks fake. But I think they are just very skilled and precise dancers. This week is more ballroom, but with every trick imaginable. So much spinning, tossing, rolling and cartwheeling. It’s ballroom, but with an Indian twist. Very good. Sofia calls it “beyond ballroom dance.” She loves their chemistry. Heidi enjoys them. “It feels almost like fast forward.” Howie thinks tonight is all about the dance. Howie asks about her knee brace. It’s for the spins! She’s not injured.
Voices of Our City Choir – Choir – The group, Terry Crews Golden Buzzer, is made up of homeless folk. In the video package, the members thank the leader, Steph Johnson. Aw. Her mom is the last testimonial. “I’ve never been so proud,” she says. This week, they sing David Bowie’s “Heroes.” Once again, only a few members are in the studio, while the rest of the group are represented virtually. These CGI effects are so weird! Heidi mentions front line workers, thanking them. Howie thinks their message is more important than ever. Sofia thanks Steph for putting the group together. The critiques are kind, but definitely not an endorsement to move on to the final. Even Terry hangs back.
Brett Loudermilk – Comic sword swallower – Sofia usually helps Brett out, to great comic effect. But this time, it’s Howie in a mask and face shield. UGH. Brett uses an endoscopic camera to find…a rubber duck in his stomach. And then her throws it up. Good lord. Howie begins to freak out. Hm. He should have used Sofia again. He was funnier before. “What just happened in front of us?” she asks, Howie says, “I didn’t love it.” After the booing, Howie says, “How do you top that…with your bottom?” Heidi “kind of loved it.” I love Brett, but that routine was off, and a miscalculation.
Daneliya Tuleshova – Teen singer – 14 year old singer needs to work on her enunciation. She mumbles! But her tone is really interesting, and this week’s song choice, Jessie J’s “Who You Are,” is working for her. I counted her out, as a weaker link amongst a bunch of kid singers, but now I think she’s got a shot. Sofia calls her performance “spectacular…you are shiny like a star already.” Heidi says, “You are absolutely incredible.” Howie calls her an easy decision. “I felt like I was at your concert. He compliments her stage presence and vocal talent.
Tomorrow night, Colin Cloud and BTS!!!