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The final acts from the Top 48 of Season 9 of "America's Got Talent" performed last night, for a chance to make it into the semifinals. In addition, the judges presented their Wild Card picks, for the audience to consider, as well as the previously selected acts.



• First to perform were the Bad Boys of Ballet, an act which includes only one woman and blends acrobatics with dance. In the package that set up the performance, the group revealed that the woman, who is also the group leader, had been in Japan, which didn't give them much time to practice. They danced to "Problem" by Ariana Grande, with few surprises; it was fairly forgettable. Still, both Mel B. and Heidi Klum gave them a standing ovation. Mel B. found it stunning. Howie Mandel, however, called them "really good" but felt they needed to live up to their name and be more "bad." Heidi has two children who do ballet and predicted they would try to copy their moves tomorrow. Howard Stern sided with Howie, saying that "This felt like an aerobics class a little bit" or felt like they were background dancers.

• Next was a performance by One Voice Children's Choir, which consists of 100 children. In their taped segment, they wanted to prove to Howie that they were diamonds and called Howard their "savior." They sang the kids' anthem, "Let It Go" from "Frozen," all clad in white. It was pleasant but is unlikely to get votes from anyone but children (and possibly parents). Howard called them talented but wasn't sure the performance had done enough. Howie noted that people love the song and they made it sound "spectacular." Heidi said she liked all of them and sounded much better than her little ones with a hairbrush. Mel B. had been singing the song in her dressing room, she said. She thought they'd stepped it up a notch and filled the entire room. In particular, she praised the soloist.

• Then it was a solo male singer, Jonah Smith, who sells insurance by day. He sang "Stay with Me" by Sam Smith, sounding a little strained. The key change was particularly troublesome for him. Howard thought he was terrific and that he should have a full-time career in music. Heidi sung to him that she wants him to "stay with me here on AGT." Mel B. loves the song and liked his rendition but felt that he was feeling the pressure. Howie predicted he'd make it into the semifinals.

• Next were the triplet card throwers, Dom the Bom's Triple Threat. Only one of the kids is actually the card thrower, and he had so many targets that he seemed rushed and was missing a lot. His siblings just added a little color, pushing him on a cart into a fake grocery store for him to perform his tricks. Heidi thought they were fun to watch. Mel B. said they were adorable but should have made the act a little smaller, with fewer targets so he could take his time with them. Howie felt the other two triplets should be better incorporated into the act. And Howard said that, while he didn't want to be the mean judge, he'd seen them do it better. He didn't think they were a million-dollar act.

Extreme Dance Company said, in their taped package, that they feel like misfits from different walks of life. Their performance incorporated funk and hip-hop moves, tightly choreographed and precisely performed, including a number of high tosses of the youngest dancer, who had a lot of personality. Heidi said she "loved it, loved it, loved it" and thought they looked like they had "firecrackers under your sneakers." Mel B. found the outfits and choreography were very dated. He thought they needed to push themselves more. Howie picked up on their passion, but he thought the little girl especially was a star. Howard didn't think it would be memorable enough, because the dance category is tough this year.

• The sibling cellists, Emil and Dariel, told the story in their taped package about their grandfather, who'd been a famous cellist in Russia and gave them both cellos before they could even walk. They started alone, then performed with a guitarist and drummer, doing a Rolling Stones song, "Satisfaction." Again, their fresh sound -- classical meets rock -- is something that could easily have broad appeal. Mel B. and Heidi gave them a standing O. Howie kept saying "Wow" and then added they were "surprising" and "taught us there is room for cello in a Rolling Stones song." Howard called it as memorable as their audition and said that he'd like to see them perform with their grandfather next time. Heidi thought we should open a new category of music for them, "Rock star cello" and thought that Howard should give Mick Jagger a call for them. Mel B. called it "off the chain," current and fun.

• Contortionist Nina Burri learned to be a contortionist in China at age 30. Her act showed off some very impressive and next to impossible looking moves. Howard was impressed by her personal story, of chasing a dream at age 30. He called her "stunning." Heidi said she wasn't sure it was big enough. Mel B. called it mesmerizing and compared her to a "graceful spider." Howie lost his attempt at being professional, calling her sexy.

• Next was young singer Quintavious Johnson, who sings in his church and is the oldest of three boys. He sang "And I Am Telling You" from "Dreamgirls," an unusual choice for a boy, but his voice is still high enough that he hit all the notes easily, with plenty of personality besides. All four judges gave him a standing ovation. Heidi called his performance "powerful... perfect... lots of 'p's." Mel praised him for showing us his gift and observed it had been the loudest cheering of the night. Howie said he ought to be thinking, "What am I going to do with a million dollars?" Howard, though, was worried about what puberty will do to his voice, finishing by calling him "freaky good."

Mothmen Dance quit their jobs in order to work on their own production. They worked with wires, which allowed them to do aerial movements, against a changing background that showed them floating through space. Howie stood up for them. Mel B. called herself a big fan but said something was missing and she thought it was repetitive. Howie wanted to see more, saying he'd loved it. Howard thought they'd been interesting and fun. Heidi thought it was like a comic book but criticized them for relying too much on their video backgrounds.

• Magician Smoothini took the stage next. He's from the Dominican Republic, emigrating when he was 3, and did street magic on a corner when he was younger, before joining the Marines at age 21. He did a trick involving money, changing bills from ones to hundreds, then 50s and 20s, finally making it all disappear. Then he made a goldfish appear in a glass of water. Pretty clever sleight of hand. Heidi wasn't sure about it but was still rooting for him. Mel B. thought it was great but not big enough. Howie loved it. Howard thought it was a mess and left everyone in the audience out of it.

• Then was Jonatan Riquelme, a fifth generation circus performer. He was performing a balancing act on a swing with no net or safety line. It was incredibly scary to watch, especially when he nearly fell before catching herself. Mel B. called the performance an emotional roller coaster but said that people couldn't keep their eyes off him. Heidi also said she'd been nervous, and she called him great. Howard called him stupendous and said he thought the staging was awesome. Howie said he was freaking out and hoped that people would vote.

• Finally, the last act of the evening was Kelli Glover, the singer who'd competed on Season 1 of "American Idol" and Season 4 of "AGT." She sang, "If I Ain't Got You" by Alicia Keys, with the help of smoke and a fan for added drama. The opening was a little unsure, but she grew in power as she continued. It was a very traditional diva wannabe performance, not enough to impress many, I'm sure. Heidi called it unforgettable and flawless. Mel B. observed that it started weak but got better.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
rosiedlotrfan
Aug. 21st, 2014 12:28 am (UTC)
I have to confess I wasn't particularly blown away by any of last night's acts. I think I'd like to see more of the cello boys, but with a bit less backup; I felt like they got a bit drowned out by it.

I think they'll probably go through, and Quintavious too (the song he did is one of my unfavorites, so I didn't particularly enjoy it, but it was obviously a standout performance, and way better than Kelli Glover - I hope she doesn't cry too much if she goes home). I haven't the foggiest idea who the other three will be.
alycewilson
Aug. 21st, 2014 12:51 am (UTC)
I agree it was a weak night. I also liked the contortionist and the acrobat who was balancing on a trapeze.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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