America’s Got Talent Quarterfinal Week 2 Live Blog (VIDEO)

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- Episode 1017 -- Pictured: Damone Rippy -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

Hi, it’s Eric, filling in for Adam to liveblog tonight’s episode of America’s Got Talent! Before we begin our journey into a two hour show jam packed with so much talent you have to wonder why they didn’t spread tonight’s acts out, I have a fun story. I won a contest to see Little Mix in NYC at the Today Show from the VIP section tomorrow morning. So I am actually in New York City right now – it is always fun winning radio contests. I actually saw Adam today which was really cool. But I digress.

For those who don’t know me, I liveblogged the first half of last season right here on mjsbigblog. I will also be doing X Factor UK power lists for the first time this year. So I’m a regular here, I’ve been watching this season along with all of you, and so I’m super excited to be filling in this week and next week. The show starts at 8 PM EST, come back then and join me!

And we are off! First, a recap of last week. Nick is introduced, looking interesting as usual.

First up, DM Nation, an all girl dance group. They oooh over cake, and take a selfie. Then they take the stage, and its a very militaristic dance troupe. They look cool, but honestly I don’t think this is enough to win AGT. To make it to next week, possibly. But I feel for a dance group to win, they need some sort of gimmick beyond flashing lights and good moves-Freckled Sky is an example of a winning act. Howie and Heidi stand up. Mel B asks people to vote. Howie makes a terrible pizza joke. UGH can we get rid of him instead of Howard? Howard says the routines are all similar, and they need to change it up-CORRECT. Heidi says they ruled the stage, before invoking Trump’s comments-she redeemed herself for her easy critique by making fun of Trump.

Next up is Derek Hughes, a magician. The VT is all about his family. Clearly they want him through based on this edit. He isn’t quite as funny as Piff. And this trick is just ok. He makes a card Mel B signed move into his pocket three times, and then moves an entire deck through his pocket. It got better as it went along, but honestly he’s not nearly as good as Mat Franco, or even Piff at his best. Howie likes it. Howard comments on his growth and confidence, says he should go through. Heidi laughed and enjoyed it. Mel B was “wowed” and loved the trick, seeing it up close.

3 Shades of Blue are up next, and they are a poor man’s Beach Avenue rock band. They dropped out of school for music. They erase any shred of credibility by covering Chains by Nick Jonas. The lead singer’s voice is just ok to me, not good enough to win. He tried to go to a falsetto and it sounded awful. So other than the backflip I saw one of them do, I’m not impressed. Howard liked it, the energy was good and the drums were good. Sure, but I don’t think the vocals were. Heidi and Mel and Howie said whatever they said, I wasn’t listening. I’m sure they were relatively positive.

Animation Crew get Stereo-Kicks like descriptions below their names (X Factor UK fans will get that reference). They subtitle a guy who speaks perfectly good English, which bugs me. And after the break, they perform. The act relies on the video screen showing a video game, not so much on the dancing. This already reminds me a lot of the guy who won AGT over Taylor Williamson, a guy whose name I cannot spell. They are good but, again, I’ve seen this type of act before. Howard buzzed them which I don’t get because although they aren’t great they are at least somewhat creative. Howard says it was a lazy routine, poor use of the stage, says they didn’t even bring their C game. Heidi says that the dancing wasn’t as exciting as the game display behind them. Mel B liked it. Howie agrees with Mel on the creativity but doesn’t think the act was good enough to make it. That was a bussing of epic proportions.

12 year old opera singer/Heidi’s golden buzzer act Arielle Baril is up next. She had no formal training. Her brother is hilarious. It sucks I don’t like opera. She is a great singer, but we already have Jackie Evancho, we don’t need another one. Now maybe that’s my bias speaking though. The background singers drown her out at the end. Was it me or was that really short? Heidi says she’d hit the buzzer again if she could. Mel B hits the “no formal training” note again. Howie makes fun of her brother’s comment from the VT, which is the first joke Howie made tonight that didn’t suck. Howard loved it, forgets that she’s 12 until she’s done. And she thanks her family.

Uzeyer Novruzov the ladder guy, is up next. He knows he needs to do something big, let’s see what he does. Looks like a silent movie to start. He seems like he’s screwing up. I’m now nervous. Shocked nobody has buzzed him yet. I’m terrified right now. He’s nuts. But he makes it through the act without dying, and so I’m impressed. Four judge standing ovation. I don’t think he can win but that was still impressive. Howie loved it, makes a ladder pun. Howard felt like he was at the Olympics watching the best athlete. Heidi almost passed out. Mel B thought that was too much, she is “clenched up everywhere”. He said “no more ladder” next round, which is strange.

Ira is next. I don’t get the point of this act. If it was a ventriloquist act that would be one thing but its not. It’s just several puppets. Not a talent. I’m cringing, and I can only imagine how Adam feels right now. Oh god no. He’s on a fake sailboat with a puppet band.  There are cute guys carrying his “mom” in a conch shell. The crazy part is, the puppet has a better voice than the lead singer of the band we saw earlier. But the puppet stuff ruins the act. Howard says they are fun, can’t disagree more. Heidi talks to them like they are real, and says that the personality was missing. Mel B liked it, smiled the whole way through. Howie loves it, called it cruise-shippy. UGH. Kill me now.

Damone Rippy is up now. He is a flyboarder who is also a “heartthrob”. The act was pre-taped outside by the water. It’s cool, but certainly not a million dollar act IMHO. And as people noted in comments, he gets the advantage of editing (as do I, adding this sentence in after hitting publish update) But the judges seem to like it. This wouldn’t work in Vegas, by the way. It needs water to function. After the break, judges comment. Heidi said since she’s seen people do it in Europe, it’s now less special to her. Mel B comments on his looks, but likes his act. Howie says its original, says he should win something for dipping in the hudson. Howard says he has to become a showbusiness act, do something with it to show something more. Correct.

Myq Kaplan – my favorite act of this season – is a stand up comedian. Here’s why: I saw him do a show at my school and laughed the entire hour and a half. I already voted for him. Intro package was pretty funny too. He told some good jokes, although I’ve heard them all before (except the show specific stuff) Mel B wanted more time, said not all jokes hit. Howie liked it. Howard said he has really good material, says he deserves a spot to move on (correct). Heidi didn’t love it, but she didn’t love Taylor Williamson either at first, so who cares what she thinks. I’m honestly pretty disappointed with that crowd reaction. I voted for him based on his other material, not necessarily based on his performance tonight.

The CraigLewis Band are up next. They got Michael Buble’s golden buzzer, and are two soul singers. They are self described mama’s boys, who sang in church. They were great before, let’s see how they do tonight. They sing Try A Little Tenderness and it’s pretty great. Seen it done better on X Factor UK by Andrea Faustini (subjective opinion) but still the best act so far tonight. Howie stood up. Heidi loves this song and thought it was excellent. Mel B called it spot on. Howie says it was the best moment of the night, among several other stupid comments. Howard says that the other judges are right, they were amazing.

Freckled Sky is up next. Their choreographer is speaking with subtitles, even though he speaks great English. Hate that. But I’m watching closely tonight-these could be our winners. This is everything a vegas act should be. Extremely creative, well executed. They are amazing. Howard said they relied more on their dancing than the media, but the first audition was better. Mel B loved the middle, but not the beginning.  Heidi liked it. Howie says its a harder year for their kind of act than usual. I’m voting for them despite the lukewarm feedback.

In the pimp slot is Sharon Irving, Mel B’s golden buzzer act. Her grandfather marched with MLK. They pray at the dinner table. I don’t know this song. She raps in the middle. She has a good voice, but honestly she’s way too churchy for my tastes as an atheist. I’m sure she’ll make it though. All four judges stand up. Mel B loved it, calls her a superstar. Heidi called it inspirational, says she stood out. Howie says she should keep being churchy, preach to her. Howard said it was brilliant, said she might be the million dollar act. I hope not. Sharon cries.

Credits roll. Voting is still open. Tomorrow night, Adam returns to blog the results. I’ll see you all next Tuesday. In the meantime, follow me on twitter @eric_ascher

About Eric Ascher 106 Articles
I cover X Factor UK for Mjsbigblog. I love writing about any show that could help me find an entertainer to follow in the real world. I watch these shows obsessively and love keeping up with amazing talent.