"America's Got Talent" got down to the business of eliminating on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, watching audience-less auditions that were a bit unnerving for many of the performers. But by the time it was over, as the judges kept reminding the viewers, there could only be 48 acts going through to Radio City Music Hall in New York City for the live shows -- even though each season there seems to be an extra round of 12 finalists (Season 8) or Wild Cards or a YouTube round (Season 7). There does not seem to be any such round this season (yet), although host Nick Cannon did mention that there were YouTube contestants that would be in the finals. (Filling only one slot -- or so they say. This leaves the "AGT" judges the task of choosing only 47 acts.) But, given all that, did anyone else notice how many singers and musical artists were put through? Is that a record or something?
At the end of Wednesday night's show, as was recapped by Reality Rewind on July 23, those that weren't sent straight through without having to face "Judgment Day" (eight acts) and those that weren't cut or sent ahead without having to wait on their respective judgments, were given the good or bad news. But by that time, several of the musical acts were already through: the operatic Acte II and rocking cellists Emil and Dariel had gotten judges' byes in the first eight. 12-year-old belter Mara Justine and the singing soldier from American Samoa, Paul Ieti, were not left wondering if they'd made it after their performances.
Everybody else, well... Shows like "America's Got Talent" don't get to Season 9 without some drama. So...
But in the end, three of the women in the Female Singers category -- Emily West, Kelli Glover, and Anna Clendenning -- made it through. Carly Jo Jackson did not make it, with Judge Howie Mandel noting that she was good but you could see that kind of good in any bar in America.
In the Kid Singers category, Quintavius Martin and his powerful Michael Jackson cover ("Who's Loving You?") and Julia Goodwin joined Mara Justine in the next round. Only 11-year-old opera singer Grace Ann Gregorio didn't make it (although why would be a great question -- she certainly deserved a spot more than roller skating Juan Carlos).
In the Kids Variety group, piano prodigy Adrian Romoff made it through, as did One Voice Children's Choir.
In the Male Singers category, the abovementioned Miguel Dakota and Jaycob Curlee were told they would be joining Paul Ieti in New York. In this category, viewers lost Frank Dimitri (the big band crooner), Sal Rodriguez (the wounded warrior), and Justin Rhodes (who didn't seem much different than when he performed for his father in the first auditions, but on Judgment Day, it just wasn't good enough).
The Music Groups category did well. The one-family army, Willis Clan, got through, as did Kieran and Finian Makepeace (with an original song), the phenomenal four-piece Sons of Serendip (who did a remarkable cover of Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me"), the indie/folk trio Livy, Matt & Sammy, and Jonah Smith (who had a drummer bail on him last-second, so he got another drummer last-second -- and second drummer's a keeper).
In all, it appears that at least 18 musical acts -- more than one-third of the contestants -- have made it through to the live shows at Radio City Music Hall. Of course, there's always the YouTube entry (entries?), which could very well be a singer.
And with all that musicality going forward, there seems to be just one question: Where was Legaci, those boring computer geeks that totally rocked a Motown sound? For that matter, where was Ray Jessel, he who sang the penis song?
Were rules broken and those guys got the axe before Judgment Day? Who knows? What we do know is: Judgment Day is done and the "AGT" judges have made their selections. It is on to New York and the live shows...
"America's Got Talent" goes live next week, airing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 9 p.m. (EST)