“America’s Got Talent: Season 11” semifinals begin

Which acts impressed Simon, Heidi, Mel B, and Howie tonight? (Photo property of NBC & SYCO Entertainment)

Which acts impressed Simon, Heidi, Mel B, and Howie tonight? (Photo property of NBC & SYCO Entertainment)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood; it’s Round One of the America’s Got Talent: Season 11 semifinals!

Tonight, 11 acts fought for a place in the September finale!

Which acts proved to judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Mel B, and Howie Mandel, that they were ready for the finale? Which acts crashed and burned?  Read on to find out!

(Before we continue the recap, I would like to remind everyone PLEASE VOTE FOR THE TALENT and NOT JUST THE CONTESTANTS’ BACKSTORIES!)

Up first to face the Dolby Theatre audience and the judges were Heidi Klum’s Golden Buzzer pick: Sal Valentinetti!  America saved him with the Dunkin’ Save, and I hope we don’t have to use it again. Accompanied by a big band, Sal tore up “That’s Life.” I am so glad that he went back to singing the standards. His vocals were perfection, and he gave me chills! One of the best vocals of the season! A

I just do not get Blake Vogt! The Clairvoyants, Jon Dorenbos, and Stephen Brundage all run circles him in the magic category. His act decided to bring his debate with his girlfriend with flight and invisibility to the AGT stage. However, he bored me to tears tonight, and he was also very corny! He does not deserve to move forward after that abysmal performance. F

The Edgar Family Band pulled a “Hail Mary!” last week with their cover of James Taylor’s “You’ve Got A Friend.” This week, they tackled Rascal Flatts’ “Bless the Broken Road.” They gave me a strong case of the goosies all throughout the song. I believe that they are this year’s dark horses and should take out someone who already won a Got Talent franchise (Laura Bretan) out of the race. As former Idol judge, Steven Tyler would have stated: “Beautiful!” A-

Comedian Lori Mae Hernandez has divided the AGT audience. She stole Hara’s spot, and her Trump jokes have ticked off the Republican fans of the show. While I liked her material on the Olympics, Ryan Lochte’s controversy, and how she had to compare herself to Olympic winning athlete Laurie Hernandez, I believe that Lori should be sent home and wait to audition for Last Comic Standing. I wish that Julia Scotti was still in the running!  D+

As Lori tried to explain herself to Nick (after she made a comment about his divorce with ex-wife Mariah Carey), Musicality took the stage. This act has been one of my favorite acts of the season, and I am so proud of this Chicago choir’s growth. For the semifinals, they performed Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and yet again, they melted me into a puddle of tears. It would be a shame if they were not in the finale. A

Las Vegas natives Danger Games took the Dolby Theatre stage for their attempt to reach the Season 11 finale. Their act reminded me of 50 Shades of Gray, and if the best they could do is roses, whips, and silhouette target practice, then they severely disappointed me and should be eliminated. C-

Tape Face is an act that has grown on me this season. For his semifinals performance, he randomly picked a volunteer from the audience to help him out. Tape Face started holding out balloons under his arm and crotch. He challenged him to a staple duel and the audience member beat him by a nose. While I loved the performance, the water fight that broke out between Simon and Mel kind of upstaged him. Overall if I was judging by the season, I hope that America votes him into the finale. B+

After Nick Cannon checked in with TV legend and Better Late Than Never star Henry Winkler, Philadelphia Eagles star Jon Dorenbos. He brought out several props: a map of America, felt footballs, a treasure chest, and a journal (that he gave to Howie). Jon asked the judges to throw footballs at the state. Simon hit Alaska (49), Heidi snapped Wyoming (44);  Mel B hit Texas (28), and Howie hit Oklahoma (46). He instructed Howie to use a key in the back of the journal and to open up the treasure chest and take out the change that was inside. The state quarters were exactly equivalent to each state that the judge hit. Mel B opened the journal, and she found the United States of America map with the judges’ stickers on their respective states. See you in the finale, Jon! A+

12-year-old Grace VanderWaal has become one of America’s Got Talent’s crown princesses since she received Howie Mandel’s Golden Buzzer. I felt at times that Grace’s voice was cracking, and I felt that she rushed her performance. I think the pressure of the competition got to her and unfortunately, she might be sent home tomorrow evening. B-

One act that continued to impress me each time they hit the stage is Argentinian dance troupe Malevo! They dedicated their performance to their families. Tonight, the group embraced their inner warriors and set the stage on fire! From the pyrotechnics to their choreography, I thought I was watching their final performance! See you in the finale, guys! A+

Now, as much as I like Laura Bretan, I did a little digging. I found out that she auditioned for and won Romania’s Got Talent. I humbly believe that if you earned a win from any Got Talent show, it should automatically disqualify you from competing on other shows. You do not see Britain’s Got Talent winners audition for Asia’s Got Talent, and I don’t believe that Terry Fator will face Simon, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden, and David Walliams for Britain’s Got Talent: Season 11. I find this situation to be very selfish of Laura and her family. Yes, she had a lovely voice and did a good job at “Pie Jesu,” but she’s no Jackie Evancho, Barbara Padilla, or Gerphil Geraldine-Flores. D

Tomorrow night, the five finalists are revealed!

Acts that should make the finale: Sal Valentinetti, Edgar Family Band, Musicality Vocal Group, Tape Face, Jon Dorenbos & Malevo

 

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar