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My apologies for missing a few recaps over the last week and a half. I was busy running Otakon Press Relations.

In week three of the semifinals, viewers were treated to a range of acts, from some extraordinary dance acts to some amazing music.

The Agents, a dance group who are from the legendary group of dancers, Dragon House, performed their precise form of animation. Mel B. said it was a great way to start the show, calling them "current" and "everything." Howie Mandel called it exciting. Howard Stern said they're great and they're great at what they do. He did caution them, however, to raise the bar and do something different. Heidi Klum liked the futuristic quality but agreed it can get monotonous.

Anna Clendening sang Christina Perri's "Human," and despite her strong back story (coping with anxiety disorder), there were a number of pitch issues. Howie praised her for bringing attention to mental illness. Heidi said she hopes to see her keep going. Howard liked that she'd dyed her hair blonde but felt there wasn't as much passion in her song this time around. Mel B. said she loved it, that she sang "like an angel."

Cornell Bhangra, who won their spot by submitting a video to "The Today Show," showed off their Bollywood-style dance moves, clad in very colorful costumes. In an interesting move, they had a guy in street clothes planted in the audience, who then ran to join them onstage, adding in some popping moves. Hot! Heidi liked that it blended Bollywood with hip-hop and that it was "fresh and joyful." Howard was shocked that no one fell off the stage at the end. He thought they'd have an advantage from starting late, because no one had seen them before, and it was very exciting. He also liked the blend of cultures. Mel B. called them exciting, shouting, "That was off the chain!" Howie agreed that it was unexpected and liked that they mixed it up.

• The brother act Kieran and Finian Makepeace performed a very mellow version of "Lights" by Ellie Goulding, with some sweet harmonies, one of the brothers on drums and the other on guitar (first acoustic and then electric). Heidi said they'd taken a vibrant pop song and taken all the fun out of it. Mel loved it, though, because she felt they'd taken the audience on a journey. She also found them easy on the eyes. Howie found it good but wondered if it could compete with the energy of the previous act. Howard also felt it lacked something, but he liked that they take risks.

Mike Super, a mystifier who says he works with a spirit energy named Desmond, was next. He asked Mel B. to join him onstage. He claimed to place Desmond inside of her and asked if she believed in him. "Not really," she said. He said it didn't matter as long as she was entertained. Then he brought out a "Scary Spice" doll -- i.e. a voodoo doll -- and said that whatever he did to that doll was going to happen to her. She claimed to feel a tap on her shoulder, her hands being set on fire and a Taser shocking her, all through the doll. Howard said, "I hate Desmond." He said, "I don't think you need the shtick." Howie found it spectacular and predicted guys all over the U.S. would want to figure out how to do something similar. Heidi wasn't sure if it was the power of persuasion or not but found parts of it fantastic. Mel B. kept insisting that the last part, the shock, really hurt.

Adrian Romoff, a musical prodigy, started off with the classic kids' favorite piece, "Chopsticks" and moved into a well-known classical piece. He played so enthusiastically that his glasses fell off, and he just let them drop. Heidi gave him a standing ovation. Howie called him a phenom. He dubbed him "Boy-toven." Howard reminded the audience that he's only 9 and "this is remarkable." Heidi called him a "little genius" and said she hopes he goes through. Mel B. said, "I don't think you realize exactly how entertaining you are. Do you?" He countered, "I do," with a cocky head tilt.

• An acrobatics and dance troupe, Acro Army started with one dancer on a pole and then had her jump onto other dancers. They did a number of hand-balancing and other stunts, along with modern dance moves. The judges gave them a standing O, except for Howard. Howard said he loved them because they moved up the level of performance. Heidi liked that their act had many layers. Mel B. found it "amazing." It kept her on the edge of her seat. Howie thought this would be a great act for the whole family to watch. He was glad the mics had been off while he was watching, because he said some things that weren't appropriate for the whole family.

• Comedian Wendy Liebman did a set about her own insecurities, including her age. Some of her punchlines were a little weak, but maybe it was the room, which didn't seem to be giving her much back. Heidi said that she'd laughed. Mel B. liked that she'd made them laugh through the entire act. Howard had been concerned that sometimes she plays the "victim" (about how she'd shelved her comedy career to raise her sons), but tonight she came out like a rock star and was really funny, to boot. Howie praised her for succeeding at such a hard task, because he said comedy is one of the hardest jobs.

The Sons of Serendip, an ensemble that includes a pianist, a harpist, a cellist and a vocalist, performed a luminous version of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game." Again, everyone but Howard gave them a standing ovation. Mel B. said this was her favorite of the night. Howie liked their sound and the blending of the musicians: "You made me feel so good." Howard said it had been a strong night and America had a tough decision ahead because, "You guys just knocked it out of the park." Heidi thought it was a great example of covering a well-known song and improving it.

• The dance duet Blue Journey once more performed against a screen, interacting with the images and effects that were on it and projected on the floor. There was definitely a strong artistic vision, courtesy of choreographer David Middendorp. Heidi called it a sophisticated act. Her only suggestion was to do something the audience could see better (since much of this performance had to be appreciate from watching the visuals from the ceiling camera). Mel B. thought they'd brought something creative, beautiful and flawless to the show, saying, "I want you to win." Howie said it was amazing, new and fresh. He said it was the best dance he'd ever seen on the show. Howard agreed that it was "very, very intelligent."

• Hand balancer Christian Stoinev started with balancing on his hands and then had his little dog, Scooby, come onstage to joining him for some tricks, walking between his legs and then climbing up on his feet while he balanced on his hands. The dog even waved its paws while he spun. So cute! This time all four judges stood up. Heidi said it was one of the best things she's seen in a long time. Howard called it his favorite act of the night. He said that he and the dog were dynamic and magical. Howie called it "The best night of television AGT has ever had."

• Singer and Army member Paul Ieti closed the show, singing the Lady Gaga song "You and I," which was out of his range at points. Mel B. found it the perfect end to the night, praising him for putting feeling into it. Howie said, "You just gave America a very tough decision." Howard wondered if he'd played it too safe.

• Based on this week's performances, the most likely to go through are: Christian Stoinev, Blue Journey and Sons of Serendip. Rounding out the five acts going through should be some combination of: Cornell Bhangra, Adrian Romoff, and Acro Army.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 14th, 2014 12:44 am (UTC)
It was an amazing night last night - I hate it when the best acts end up in the same quarter final!

The acts that blew me out of the water were Christian Stoinev (and little Scooby of course!), Sons Of Serendip and Paul Ieto (I'm watching the repeat show now, and I'll have to check whether there's a range problem - I didn't notice it last night).

I really wanted to be blown away by young Adrian, but there were so many wrong notes in his performance that I was shocked - I think he took it too fast. I'd still like to see more of him though.

So I want those four, and I really would be happy with any of the others apart from Mike Super - I found what he did to Mel B last night really disturbing, and if I'd been in her place I would have had a complete meltdown. (I also thought that Howie's comment at the end was absolutely disgusting, but I'm not blaming Mike for that)
Aug. 14th, 2014 01:33 am (UTC)
I realised on the recap that I was doing Adrian a disservice - I was under the impression that his glasses had fallen off right at the end; as it was, I'm very impressed with his performance and his composure.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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