After Tuesday night's performance episode, the first live show of Season 9, "America's Got Talent" got down to eliminating seven out of the initial twelve acts involved in the Quarterfinals. The top four acts receiving the most votes would move straight through to the Semifinals -- and a very long wait for the resumption of the competition. The next two top vote receivers would then face the judges panel to gain their approval. With five acts moving on, the Semifinals will ultimately feature twenty acts still vying for the Season 9 win.
But finding out fairly quickly was not to be, regardless of Reality Rewind's July 30 recap stating that viewers would find out "soon enough" who would be advancing. Relatively, sure. But can't the "America's Got Talent" producers come up with better time killers... uh, fillers... to round out the show?
After a brief recap of the previous night's performances, host Nick Cannon addressed said acts, all having arrayed themselves across the stage of Radio City Music Hall in New York City while a video clip of Judge Heidi Klum assaulting Judge Howie Mandel with her purse (looking much like a Monty Python famous battle dramatization -- except the purse-swinger on "America's Got Talent" was far more attractive) played. (In fairness: Judge Heidi only beat the comedian to the floor because he had slipped up behind her and shouted, startling her while she was speaking to the camera. She told Nick Cannon that Howie was always like that and Howie, of course, said he enjoyed rolling around on the floor with his fellow judges.) Instead of calling the acts out three at a time like last year, Nick simply had three at a time step forward to hear their particular fates.
But wait: After the commercials, one more sponsored video clip. Apparently Reddi Whip, the whipped topping company, is sponsoring the superfluous this year. Still, one thing of note: Nick congratulated Miguel Dakota on his performance of the Beatles' "Come Together" the night before and passed along a message to Miguel from a Twitter follower. She asked if the 22-year-old singer would marry her. As Miguel leaned back in surprise, Nick and the rest of the Reddi Whip After Party crowd (the first dozen acts) started chanting, "Do it! Do it!" No, it didn't seem rehearsed at all (he said, obviously fibbing).
First group: Jasmine Flowers (Asian dance troupe), Emily West (singer), and Valo & Bobby (extreme acrobats). When Nick stated that only one would go forward, the world knew it was going to be Emily West -- even the acts standing alongside her. Unless, of course, by some miracle, the voters had somehow disagreed with Judge Howard Stern's gushing praises of her on Tuesday night.
They had not. Emily West had made the Semifinals.
More time filler. Howie Mandel picked up the other three judges and gave them a tour of Hollywood, and they ultimately left him stranded next to his star on the Walk of Fame outside Grauman's Theatre. Then a second clip doing double duty as a promo of "The Tonights Show with Jimmy Fallon" showed the late night host trying not to look up Heidi Klum's dress while they made a human wheel of themselves.
And back to the show... no, wait, something else...
It's Enrique Iglesias, on "America's Got Talent" to promote his latest hit song, "Bailando," with feature artists Sean Paul and Descemer Bueno. It's a mixed bag of Latin Pop, Latin jazz, and rap -- and the song is a clunky mess. And somehow it still became an international hit. If not for Iglesias' vocals, the song would be completely forgettable.
Back to the results. The second group up for elimination (finally): Dan Naturman (comedian), The Willis Clan (musical group), and Sean & Luke (acrobatic tap dancers). It's a difficult call, what with The Willis Clan being such a cute bunch, but Naturman seems the best choice if you're betting on a million dollar act.
And Dan Naturman it is.
Now, Nick Cannon was on a roll. Third group: Julia Goodwin (singer), J. D. Anderson (strongman), and Miguel Dakota. Again, just one will go through, according to Nick. It has to be Miguel, given his performance the night before. Besides, a strongman act is a novelty, not a million dollar stage act. And Julia, just 16 years old has ample talent, but she failed to wow Tuesday night with her laid-back version of Goo Goo Dolls' hit "Iris."
Miguel Dakota heard his name and immediately stepped over to hug his fellow, albeit eliminated, finalists -- an act of class. Then Judge Heidi told him she agreed with Judge Howard's assessment from the previous night, that he needed to "be stronger on the vocals next time." Viewers probably were wondering what Judge Howard was listening to that got him so down on Miguel's vocals Tuesday night (but now we all know that it was Emily West's rendition of Sia's "Chandeliers" on constant replay in his head, according to the shock jock himself) but it somehow affected Judge Heidi's aural receptacles as well.
No matter. Miguel Dakota made it through...
And then there were just three acts left. Hold on... They had to wait just a bit longer. "Today" show hosts Matt Lauer and a very prominently displaying Savannah Guthrie stepped onto the Radio City Music Hall stage to announce which of the acts in the "Today's Got Talent" search had been chosen as the 48th act to make the Quarterfinals. The dance troupe Cornell Bhangra (bhangra is a type of traditional dance from the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent) cleared the most votes to get the good news.
And then -- Fourth group: David & Leeman (magicians), Baila Conmigo (Latin dance troupe), and Flight Crew Jump Rope. With Nick announcing that the magicians were in the Semifinals, the judges had to choose between the rope jumpers or the dance troupe. Given Judge Mel B's reaction Tuesday night, when she said that Baila Conmigo was her favorite act, it is difficult to see them losing the judges vote.
And they do not, capturing three of the votes to make the Semifinals. The dissenting vote? Mel B. She seemed to attempt to make up for her obvious favoritism by explaining prior to her vote that she found Flight Crew Jump Rope just as entertaining, but it is doubtful anyone in America bought her attempt to make up for her live mistake.
Next week, the second dozen acts hit the stage for the next set of Quarterfinals performances on Tuesday, August 5 at 9 p.m. (EST). "America's Got Talent" airs its second set of results and eliminations the following night, also at 9 p.m.