America’s Got Talent continued this week with the 2nd of 5 semifinal episodes (Read our Recap). Last week Avery Dixon and Drake Milligan advanced to the finals. This week’s show is the only semifinal week that featured two golden buzzer acts–Maddie and Chapel Hart.
In the trio’s video package, the singers from Poplarville, Mississippi reminded fans that growing up, they always wanted to be country singers but were unsure they could succeed, because they didn’t see anyone in the genre that looked like them. Their own family members even questioned their goals. Shortly after they performed the Dolly Parton-influenced audition song, “You Can Have Him Jolene” for their audition, it shot to No. 1. on iTunes.
This week, they continued to play homage to country greats with another original they wrote called “The Girls Are Back in Town.” The song is off their album of the same name. The lyrics name-checked country singers Gretchen Wilson and Tanya Tucker. It was fitting that the lyrics mentioned Wilson, as this honky tonk country-rock performance was loads of fun, as lead singer Danica embodied the country legend. The song even included a rap, which gave Trea a big standout moment. While Danica dominated the group’s audition performance, this week belonged to Trea. She brought an entertainment factor and had great breath control and flow in her rap.
As expected, all four judges gave Chapel Hart a standing ovation. Simon Cowell said they “lit up the room.” Sofia Vergara called it “better than the audition.” Heidi Klum predicted that the group will join fellow country singer Drake in the finale and called the vibe “America’s Got Country.” Howie Mandel described the performance as a “headline show.” However, although the trio had a great audience response, The Pack Drumline and Duo Rings arguably excited the audience just as much.
Not to be a skeptic, but even though Chapel Hart are massively entertaining, their music isn’t all that marketable. They seem to embody more old-school country and a mixture of soul and rock–a style that country music has lost somewhat in recent years. Maybe it could come back, but when it comes to country radio play, Drake will be more successful. Maybe that’s why he already has a record deal.
Overall, the show was a bit weak. The clear standouts were Duo Rings and Chapel Hart. Those two acts should advance, but I am less sure of Duo Rings’ chances. Additionally, the impressionist singing duo The Brown Brothers were entertaining. And although too much went on in their performances, The Pack Drumline and dance crew Fusion Japan were solid.