The Season 12 semifinals begin on “America’s Got Talent”

Tyra Banks and Howie Mandel pose before the “AGT: Season 12” Semifinals taping. (Photo property of NBC)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

It’s the Season 12 Semifinals!

Tonight, the first group of 11 semi-finalists duked it out for a place in the Season 12 Finale.

Who made the Dolby Theatre audience cheer? Who impressed Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Mel B, and Howie Mandel?  Plus, who were the two lucky Wild Card acts that received their final chance to impress America? Read on to find out!

Yoli Mayor kicked off the Season 12 semifinals with a bang! She made a bold move and stripped back her performance of X Factor UK champion James Arthur’s “Say You Won’t Let Go.” Yoli has a beautiful voice and she brighter than before. I honestly believed that she made her mark with her performance and I rather have her sing in the competition than Evie Clair. A

I was astonished when Tyra announced that Eric Jones was the lone remaining magician in the contest. Eric had all four judges join him on stage and incorporated money into his act. There is something about Eric’s charisma that I have gotten to enjoy over the season, and I honestly believe that he deserves a spot in the finale. I think Eric has a lot of potential to blossom as a Vegas headliner. A-

I was thrilled when Simon, Mel B, and Howie voted DaNell Daymon and Greater Works into the Semifinals. These 39 singers have transformed the season through their impeccable arrangements and choreography. Tonight, they joined David Cook, Jessica Sanchez, Kat Robichaud, and Emil & Dariel in the elusive “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” club. I got chills from the very first note, and they tore the Dolby Theatre roof off! A+

Another strong contender for the finale is comedian Preacher Lawson. His rapid fire delivery and impeccable wit have made AGT great. For his semifinals performance, Preacher talked about his experience being single for three years, not having children with his ex, and somehow tied Tyra Banks into his routine. Seeing Preacher perform reminded me of a young Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock. Like these gentlemen, Preacher will find success after appearing on an NBC show! A

Johnny Manuel hit the Dolby Theatre stage to perform for the chance to be in the Season 12 finale. Tonight, Johnny took the biggest risk and performed an original song. While it may have backfired in previous seasons, Johnny bared his soul on stage and delivered an omnipotent vocal performance that was worthy of being in the finale. A+

While I enjoyed seeing Billy & Emily England perform this season, I thought to myself: “Is this act that can sustain itself for a 90-minute Vegas show? Sadly, no! D

Every time, I see Evie Clair I want to lose my lunch! She is an average singer, but every time that she brings up her ill father, I want to hit all four buzzers myself. I pray that Evie does not take the spot of someone who deserves a chance in the finals. F

Just like Evie Clair, another act that I do not want to see in the finals is Sara and Hero. To be honest, they stole Oskar & Gasper’s spot, and I do not think that they could maintain a 90-minute show? Absolutely not! F

Singer-songwriter Chase Goerhing reminds me so much of Ed Sheeran; it is not even funny. He writes catchy original material…just like Ed Sheeran. “What is Love” reminds me of “Lego House” and I believe that Chase is an Ed Sheeran copycat and not an original artist. D

Mel B’s Golden Buzzer act, Darci Lynne, introduced us to Edna Doorknocker. She is one spicy hot tamale. Edna immediately set her eyes on Simon and dedicated a cover of Carole King’s “Natural Woman” to the Got Talent creator. Darci reminds me so much of one of my all-time favorite entertainers, the late Shari Lewis. Not only she delivered one of my favorite performances of the semifinals, but I think she deserved to be the Season 12 finale.  A

New York subway singer Mike Yung ended week one of the Semifinals round. He dedicated his performance of Joe Cocker’s “Don’t Give Up on Me” to his mother. I am so happy that Mike chose to go acoustic with this performance. Mike gave me the chills and I honestly hope that he gets a chance in the recording industry after AGT is over. A-

Tomorrow night, friends to the blog, The Clairvoyants, return to AGT to provide the entertainment as the five finalists are revealed.

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar