By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
Last week, America’s Got Talent returned to Radio City Music Hall!
It was clear that a line had been drawn between contenders and pretenders as Baila Conmigo, David & Leeman, Dan Naturman, Miguel Dakota and Emily West advanced to the Semifinals!
This week, a brand new batch of contestants ranging from an operatic duo to a roller skating dancer took the stage in hopes of impressing the judges (Howie Mandel, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howard Stern), the Radio City audience and the viewers.
Which act got buzzed? Which acts are guarantee locks for tomorrow night’s results! Read on to find out…
Hart Dance Team: The Santa Clara, California students received the thrill of their life when Mel B surprised them at their school and told them that they were going straight to Radio City Music Hall. Their Lorde/Ellie Goulding mash-up (inspired by broken mirrors) was fantastic with their graceful moments that included an aerialist. While Mel B stated it was stunning, Howard stated that they repeated the same concept and needed them to step it up. B+
Loop Rawlins: Tucson’s native son brought the Wild West to the Radio City Music Hall stage. He used fire and lasso tricks to entertain the audience. In all honesty, the rodeo master executed an average routine. In all honesty, he did not hold my attention. C-
John & Andrew: The Salsa masters arrived in New York City (the mecca of their genre). They made history as the first same-sex partnership performing on the Radio City Music Hall. The duo transported the audience to a neon ballroom and their fast and fancy movements! In addition, Howard stated that they are “not a novelty act, they are a dance act.” Bravo, guys!! A-
Livy, Matt & Sammy: This trio was briefly seen at the New Jersey auditions and I was on the fence about them. While I respect their music choices and their risky song choice: an acoustic take on Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls,” they were not ready for Radio City Music Hall! D
Andrey Moraru: The Los Angeles transplant from Ukraine always delivered impeccable feats of strength in his hand-balancing act. Congrats, Andrey! You were the first act to give me chills! His graceful feats of strength blew me away and I hope that he can go all the way to the finals! A+
Juan Carlos: In all honesty, the judges should have NEVER sent Juan Carlos through to the Radio City Music Hall rounds! I still think either Beach Avenue or Mighty Atom, Jr. would have been better choices for his spot. His pathetic routine to Madonna’s “Vogue” would embarrass the Queen of Pop and he should try out for Starlight Express. F
Mara Justine: AGT attracted a lot of youthful talent this season. Among the bombshells from this age group is Mara Justine. For her 90-seconds, the Galloway, New Jersey tackled Katy Perry’s “Unconditionally.” Mara has one of the best voices in her generation and tore up the stage with her superb vocals and showmanship. No matter what happens tonight or tomorrow night, Mara has a bright future ahead of her. A-
Aerial Animation: Ever since her first audition, Abigail always left me speechless! Her passion for combining animation and aerial acrobatics transported the audience to other worlds. Abigail’s latest adventure to Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” tackled the elements and added another performer! If she does not go through, there is no justice! A+
Jaycob Curlee: It was going to very hard for an act to follow Aerial Animation! While Jaycob’s version of Labrinth’s “Beneath Your Beautiful” was cute, it did not have the conviction of an AGT winner! We already have Miguel Dakota in the Semifinals and in all honesty, we do not need another mediocre teenage male singer in this competition. C-
Mat Franco: Another one of my early favorites from this audition season was Mat Franco. His close-up magic left me speechless and he dedicated his Radio City Music Hall debut to his number one fan: his grandma! Using his signature cards and spray paint, he confounded the judges and delivered a spectacular performance worthy of a trip to the finale! A+
Darik Santos: This security guard wants to trade in his uniform for the spotlight in the comedy world! While his jokes were solid, his annoying/whining voice was like nails on the chalkboard! It totally took away from my ability to concentrate on his act. D+
Acte II: Acte II closed this round of Quarterfinals! Over the past couple of seasons, Barbara Padilla, Jackie Evancho, Andrew De Leon and the Forte Tenors have made their mark on the AGT stage! Longtime friends Ashley and Olanna have excellent vocal chemistry and they transformed Whitney Houston’s immortal song “I Will Always Love You” into a powerful aria that sent chills down my spine! A+
The acts I enjoyed: Acte II, Aerial Animation, Andrey Moraru, John & Andrew & Mat Franco!
Tomorrow night, the results are revealed as “AGT: Season Five” alum Lindsey Stirling returns to perform!