America’s Got Talent 9 – Finals – Liveblog and Discussion (VIDEOS)

Live from Radio City Music Hall–I’ll be blogging the America’s Got Talent FINALS right here!

Mara Justine (Singer) – Oh. The 12 year old singer is first. She’s only been able to advance the last two times with a judges assist. She’s performing “Perfect” by Pink.  Her performance is a little turgid, but she’s nailing the big notes, if not the emotion, exactly.  There’s a weird echo on the audio track. It’s not just Mara, but the judges remakes too. TECH! Mel B is really pleased with her performance. “You’re the little girl with the big voice.” says Howard, who feels she has grown throughout the competition. Howie also calls it “perfect.”  (OY) Heidi calls her “flawless.”  Glowing remarks from the judges has Mara tearing up. Regardless, she’s going to have a tough time advancing.  She faces stiff competition, particularly from the other singers.

LA's Next Great Stage Star II ...
LA's Next Great Stage Star II Finale

David and Lehman (Magicians) – Their bit tonight revolves around lottery scratch tickets. They ask the judges to pick balloons and after the balloon is popped, choose a number between 1-100. The numbers they pick become part of the scratch ticket, set up on an easel. There’s one last balloon. When it’s popped, a lottery ticket floats out. The numbers on the ticket match the numbers the judges chose.  OOPS Howard’s number is wrong.  Oh wow. On the back of the boy’ shirts, written in tape, is “Howard’s number will be off by one.  That was a very clever trick. Their banter was funny, too. The judges rave. “How do you do it? asks. By the way, Mel cheekily chose “69” as her number.

Sons of Serendip (Group/Singers) – This band, including harp, piano and cello, once again put a unique classic twist on a pop song.  A violin player and choir add grandeur to the performance. The group continue to pick cool songs. This time, it’s “Ordinary World” by Duran Duran.  Ethereal, evocative–the lead singer turns in a grand and gorgeous performance. Howard felt they hit it perfectly tonight. “A wonderful emotional moment.” Heidi calls it grand and majestic. Mel says they nail it time and time again. They really stepped up to the plate, she says. Howie hopes the viewers at home, hear what the judges hear, because the group deserves votes.

Howie notes the sound problems during Mara’s performance. I wonder if she’ll get some kind of do over?

Aw. Back from break, Howard is holding SCOOBY! Christian Stoinev is next.

Christian Stoinev and Scooby – Christian was really bummed after Howard dissed him last week. He was sure he was going home. After being criticized for emphasizing the dog too much, he’s plans to turn up the strength tricks. Except…the act opens with Scooby front and center. It’s a jail theme. The dog is wearing a black mask and prison stripes “Wanted for stealing the show.” (Scooby is in the audience with the judges. This must be Scooby 2) After a few tricks, Christian takes over to do some solo strength work. It isn’t anything special, though. Truth is…he’s kind of boring without the dog. BRING BACK SCOOBY.  Heidi is conflicted. She wants to see both Christian AND the dog. Mel B. thought it was one of his best performances to date. Plus, she loves him shirtless. Howie felt Christian stepped it up. Howard congratulates him for taking in his constructive criticism. “You can go to bed tonight, proud of yourself,” he says. Aw. After pleasing, Howard, Christian becomes a little teary.

Emil and Dariel (Teen Cello Players) – You know. They’re playing for their grandfather. The kids play the ASTEROID SONG. Noooooooooooo.  “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” They DON’T take Howard’s advice to add a vocalist. Instead, they’ve got a choir in the background singing the chorus.  Hm. Not many surprises here. This comes off as muzak. I don’t think I can like the Asteroid Song under any circumstances. Mel B, however, felt it was massive. “You owned it. You guys are really special,” she says. Howie calls them phenomenal. Howard still thinks they need a vocalist. A real lead singer. He reminds the audience that they are phenomenal virtuosos.  Heidi felt they were a little safe. I AGREE! Very safe. Boring. The others disagree vehemently.

AcroArmy (Acrobats) – The act begins with a show of strength. A tableau of the boys holding up girls one handed. It’s beautiful. The acts kicks into gear. There’s throwing, and tumbling and amazing, dangerous feats of balance and strength. All of it is choreographed beautifully. Remarkably, there are very young members in this group. Everyone is so good!  They finish with another death-defying toss. Stunning. Honestly, I think the troop would be a very deserving winner.  Howie can’t stop saying “WOW”! “You gotta vote!” he says. Howard compliments the act for building momentum week after week. He’s afraid folks at home can’t see how spectacular it truly is. Heidi thinks they deserve to win. “You guys are just everything,” says Mel.

Quintaveous Johnson (singer) – Another 12 year old singer. But the difference between him and Mara is that he’s got a scary ability to interpret like an adult and do it absolutely effortlessly. He never seems coy or precocious. Tonight, his singing “I’m Going Down” by Mary J. Blige, and it’s pretty fabulous. He’s hitting those big notes like a boss. He’s so young, he can’t be more than a novelty act at this point, Howard is amazed that the young singer hasn’t been swallowed up by the big stage. Heidi compares him to Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. She calls him a “superstar.” Mel B thinks he could win this.  Howie begs viewers to vote. I think he’s too young to win.

Mike Super – In his opening package, he talks about the intense competition the other magicians pose. His trick began last week when he visited Howard at his Sirius studio and handed him an envelope with a “prediction” in it. Howard promptly stuffed it down his pants. Nick is part of the act. He chooses some cards. He steps in the “cash booth” where he dumps a bunch of money on him. The bills fly around him. He chooses one. He steps out of the booth with it. He reads the serial number. It matches all of the cards he chose. Impressive! Howard unveils the prediction he had in his pants. It’s in code. Mike uses a butane torch to unveil the exact same serial number. The judges are blown away. “You came out here, and now you killed it,” says Howard.

Blue Journey (Contemporary Dance Duo with Projection) – The song is “I Put a Spell on You.”   There’s a wall of doors projected on the backdrop. It’s another surreal, slightly disturbing scene. A hand in silhouette appears to control the dancers as if they were marionettes.   It’s another creepy, yet compelling story told by the duo through movement and screen projection expertly incorporated into the performance.   Mel B loves that the act is so unique, but this week, she found it repetitive. Howie isn’t sure they hit it tonight. Howard says not to listen to the other two. Bravo, he says. Heidi loves that they always come up with something new. She hopes America votes for them.

Emily West  (Singer) – We hear Emily sing “Over the Rainbow” during her video package. It’s like she gets two performances. Live on stage, she sings “Nights in White Satin” by the Moody Blues. I find it interesting that she’s completely abandoned country music, which is what she sang when she had a label. This is a little old fashioned and adult contemporary for my taste.  She’s got an amazing voice,  she hits the big notes right on. I suppose she needs a big competition song to succeed at this point, but I wish she had sung something contemporary. The judges give her a standing ovation. Heidi calls it a perfect performance. “Nailed it.” says Mel B. “Your voice is killer.”  Howie calls her voice “haunting.”  Howard notes that the Moody Blues have not been inducted into the Rock Hall. She proved they belong there, he says, and calls her the greatest singer to ever perform on AGT. WOW. The pimping. BIG PIMPING. Oh.  The song was her parent’s wedding song.

Mat Franco – Both Heidi and Howard praise Mat during his video package. Oh. Mat is using Mel’s phone again. He promises not to touch it. He riffles the cards at the camera and asks the AUDIENCE AT HOME to notice a card. He picks a  card which he flips up into the air. The King Of Hearts sticks to the ceiling. Hm. I noticed that card. That trick was actually really obvious. The deck was stacked to riffle in a particular way so that it paused at that card. More tricks, revealing cards that the judges have signed.  Mat’s sleight of hand is pretty amazing.  Underneath Mel’s phone was a box with Howard’s signed card.  The guy has amazingly FAST hands. Heidi calls him her favorite magician. Howard brags they are the number 1 summer show, and it has so much to do with Mat. Howie says Mat deserves to stay. VOTE AMERICA. Actually, his last trick was bigger, and more impressive. But still, he deserves to advance.

Next, Nick does a bit with Kermit and Miss Piggy from the Muppets. Piggy smacks Nick with a “mean right hook.” It probably feels really familiar. Oops. It’s a preview for the Muppets appearance tomorrow night.

Miguel Dakota (Singer) – Ohhh. Miguel gets the pimp spot! In his video package, Howard repeats his diss of Miguel–that he doesn’t have star power. Miguel swears to bring it. Hm. He performs “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones, which is an odd choice at this point. This isn’t the right song for him. Much too big for him and his modest vocal gifts, it puts his flaws on display.   There’s not much singing happening here. There’s a lot of growling and shouting. Not one of his best performances. Heidi felt his voice got lost in a big song. She prefers him with his guitar. Mel disagrees. She thinks he’s a fully fledged rock star. (Uh. Nope).  Howard found himself missing Mick Jagger. He agrees with Heidi. Howie thinks he’s the biggest STAR the show has ever had, and evokes a slew of teen idols, like OneD.  Hm. Have a feeling Teen Super Stardom isn’t exactly what Miguel has in mind. Eh. I’m Team Howard/Heidi.

About mj santilli 33688 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!


  1. Mara…what’s with the vibrato? Bad mic? my tv? First spot. bye bye.

  2. ouch. Mara had some technical difficulties….Hope they’ll fix the sound by the time Emily’s on…

  3. yup, that’s who I am waiting for. Weird the judges didn’t comment on the sound.

  4. I’d like to know more about these guys. Where did they meet? Things like that. They fascinate me!

  5. Mara performing first is a good sign the producers want her voted off. The fact that her sound was messed up and the host never mentioned it means it’s almost certain they want her voted off.

  6. They aren’t rigging he show. Seems like nobody in use building knew until about 15 minutes later.

  7. Acroarmy is pretty good. Normally I don’t care for this type of act. One of the little girls was caught awkwardly I noticed. Smooshed her face a little.

  8. AcroArmy just a carbon copy of Spelbound from Britain’s Got Talent

  9. Not sure about Mat. The ending note was good, but everything before that felt obvious on how it was accomplished.

  10. Emil and Dariel and Quintavious are amazingly gifted for their ages. Best overall talent of any AGT season!

  11. edit: WELL then. You shouldn’t mind a bit that I just banned you. Buh bye indeed

  12. I guess the judges want Franco to go forward instead of Super. I don’t know that either one of them will win the show but top 3 seems likely.

  13. Thanks for Blogging and the Videos!! Rooting for the Cellists and Blue Journey but also like many of the others. Mike Super is very entertaining!!

  14. Quintavious too young to win??? Bianca was a couple years younger when she won the first season

  15. I’d go with Sons of Serendip, Mike Super, Emily West, Blue Journey, and a mix of whatever 2 everyone else wants. Those 4 deserve it based on past performances and tonight.

  16. I am very impressed with this season’s talent, particularly this top 12. I think all of them are very talented. I am not even sure I have a favorite except to say I hope a magician wins this season or the acrobats instead of a singer. I also did not like Miguel getting the pimp spot again, I think he got the pimp spot for either quarter or seminfinals . I think the singing acts and magicians wil make up the final six but Acroarmy deserves a spot, I think.

  17. AcroArmy deserve to gi through and I think they will.
    I like Miguel but he blew it tonight, in my opinion. And I think he knew it.
    He will likely get voted through regardless.
    I like D & E but, in comparison to their previous performances, that was underwhelming.
    SoS….loved them. The lead singer’s voice is lovely.
    Beautiful rendition of Knights in White Satin by Emily but she is sooo retro.
    Blue Journey … I love their creativity.

  18. Some comments on last night’s episode. Acroarmy, Sons of Serendip, and Quintavious were my favorites.

    Emily was better than I expected this week. I wouldn’t be angry if she advances.

    I threw a few votes to Mike Super because I know he has at least one trick that is so mind-boggling that if he makes the finale it could give him the win. Search for him on youtube and look up the USA today prediction if you don’t believe me. Mat Franco wasn’t as good as him actually, I was surprised.

  19. Few disconnected things. :)

    1) Fuzzywuzzy, six goes through to next week’s show. The winner will be announced then.

    2) MJ, thank you for calling out Mat on how obvious his tricks are. I’ve caught him a few times in previous weeks. Sure, his hands are quick. But I really can’t enjoy him. I’m hoping Mike goes through instead. I’ll even be happy with David and Lehman. But not Mat.

    3) I think Quintaveous too a huge stop backward last week. However he redeemed himself this week. I agree, he’s too young to win (and headline a Vegas show in which his core audience wouldn’t be old enough to see him). But some talent agent or record label will grab him, and he’ll play more age-appropriate venues.

    4) Emil and Dariel: Why the Asteroid song? Why? Why? You guys had a good thing going with hard classic rock. Now, you slow it down at the worst time possible? If you two wanted to play Aerosmith, why didn’t you go with Dream On? Heck, I would have even you played “Love in an Elevator?” Still love y’all, but I’m wondering about tonight.

    5) Miguel: Although I’m on Team Howard/Heidi, I understand where Howie is coming from. Howie doesn’t think Miguel is the best singer (remember his comments two weeks ago about his fears that he’ll take a spot over a better singer?) But he sees a drop-dead gorgeous WBWG (granted he is Latino) with a good voice and the potential of a growth arc. Sorta reminds me of 1D during their X-Factor UK run.

    Should make it:

    Emily West
    Sons of Seredip
    Emil and Dariel
    Mike Super
    Quintaveous Johnson (over Blue Journey)

    Will make it:

    Mat Franco
    Miguel Dakota
    Emily West
    Emil and Dariel wins Snapple Save
    Quintaveious Johnson wins judge’s save over Sons of Seredip

  20. I notice that too. I slight mistake but I think they will go through, along with Emily, Quintavious, Acro Army, David and Leeman, and Sons of Serendip. I’m not sure between Matt Franco and Mike Super. One of them is moving on. Matt’s first trick was too obvious, it was lame and the rest was too close up like Smoothini’s who didn’t make it. Mike Super I think did better than him who also used card tricks like Franco and numbers like David & Leeeman.

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