Throughout this Season 8 of America’s Got Talent, the foursome of judges has repeatedly called it the “strongest ever” in its talent and diversity. The Top 12 performances this week kept the panel serving up standing ovations, and this time, they would have no pick in selecting the six finalists, and clicking and calling America proved its right to hold differing opinions!
There was song, dance, humor, magic, mime, and strength all served on a dazzling platter of entertainment by the Top 12 performers, and the pressure of the stakes caused a slight show of nerves, but not enough to truly make or break anyone. It was down to the wire, and only six could be selected finalists, without any intervention by the panel. What criteria did America find captivating? It’s always fun to invite old friends over, and this week, furry and funny ones from Season 7 filled that bill, with the precious Olate Dogs doing dynamite tricks on stage, and comedian, Tom Cotter hosting a fan viewing party. The tail-wagging fun over, the time for the first vote verdict came between the inspiring Chicago Boyz and mime/techno wizard, Kenichi Ebina. The boys had a few slips, and were much too hard on themselves, all things considered. No one else was jumping ropes as a human pyramid. Ebina showed much more dance and dramatics in his celestial routine that floated him to heaven. The vote went to Kenichi, who said he felt he could fly, before Nick Cannon told him that he had already done that! Mel B consoled the Boyz, telling them not to blame themselves, but to celebrate their moments. Next came the delicate flower and crush of the panel, Cami Bradley and acrobatic dance troupe, Innovative Force. Cami was the finalist, and demonstrated why she wins so many hearts by her expression of true respect and sadness at saying goodbye to “my friends,” hugging the girls as they left the stage. Humble attitude is even more rare than true talent, and that rings true in the singer. It was the Kristef Brothers and Taylor Williamson facing their fate next. The humorous hand balancers were a riot in their own info-mercial, but so was Taylor in his dysfunctional family roast, even if Mel B found it easier to hide her face than speak, making Taylor’s request to “go back to Howard” all the more funny. The ladies on the panel don’t get Williamson, but America does, as he moves on to the finals. He gave a very worthy word to all the “different kids” out there watching, reminding them that he was one of them, and now on the America’s Got Talent stage of Radio City Music Hall. He also thanked “Scary Spice” for the unspoken support!
Ventriloquist and Season 2 winner, Terry Fator, was fun to see, still playing Vegas and poking fun at Howie Mandel and Heidi Klum without any meanness.
The strong voices of Opera, Branden James and the trio, Forte, stood awaiting the next revelation of the envelope. James truly did his best with Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” but it is impossible to compete with perfection, and Forte has flashes of brilliance and fabulous harmonies that one voice cannot create. The trio who met on the Internet and only sang together days before the competition could easily be set to take the title. Their performance was so perfect that Howie Mandel and Howard Stern rekindled their playful passion, reenacting Titanic highlights! and portrayed Titanic Dancers, D’Angelo and Amanda and Jimmy Rose were next to know America’s D’Angelo and Amanda and Jimmy Rose were up next to face the truth, and it was Jimmy Rose who was favored as a finalist. He paid homage to September 11 as he gave thanks, and the heart of this young man is a huge part of how he garners support. The dancing duo have decades in front of them still to win, too.
The last vote of the night was between young Collins Key, “the new face of magic,” And Catapult Entertainment, who portrayed a moving depiction of a family standing in love against bullying through their shadow dancing. Key’s gift of magic is quite remarkable, but Howard Stern scolded his set up and pace weren’t swift enough. Perhaps if the panel had the last say, the choice would have been different, because they have praised Catapult all season. Collins and his Keepers came through again, though, and this young man has a whole new future ahead of him! Key graciously thanked the show and his followers for that new beginning.
Tune in for the Season 8 finals next Tuesday and Wednesday on NBC!