The second set of twelve "America's Got Talent" acts performed Tuesday night live for all of America (and the votes), leaving the finalists almost 24 hours to nervously and anxiously wait to hear the voting results. But by 10 p.m. on the East Coast, there were five more acts headed into the Semifinals, seven more acts eliminated from the competition and a shot at that one million dollar prize. So who got the votes they needed? Who got eliminated? And who did the judges send through?
Reality Rewind noted in its recap of the eliminations results on Aug. 6 that some of the acts this year seem questionable, especially finalists like Juan Carlos, the dancing skater. But there always seems to be at least one Juan Carlos in the bunch every season, sometimes two or three. They're like the Sanjaya Malakars of "America's Got Talent." (Sanjaya Malakar, for those not in the know, was an "American Idol" finalist that kept getting enough votes to stay in the competition during Season 6 even though he obviously wasn't very vocally talented. He was finally voted off the show in seventh position. His name became synonymous with contestants that rise far beyond level where they should have been eliminated.)
The show started with host Nick Cannon, who had looked the walking fashion plate Tuesday night, stepping out on stage in godawful sparkly shoes and a jacket that looked as if it was designed from material used to make sofa cushions. So, to get everything going in the right direction, he introduced the four judges -- Howard Stern, Mel B., Heidi Klum, and Howie Mandel. Only Judge Howie was dressed exactly like Nick Cannon. And if you thought the host looked ridiculous, the judge looked no better.
But soon the show actually got started -- after watching a recap of the previous night's performances, getting reactions and comments from the finalists, going to the lounge and then to the Reddi Wip After Party Room. Nick also talked with Lindsey Stirling, the violin virtuoso from Season 5 of "America's Got Talent," who got eliminated on basically the same show, the second round of the Quarterfinals, back in Season 5. She told the finalists that eliminated or not, "America's Got Talent" launched her career. (She's now an internationally successful recording artist.) Then the elimination results started...
The first group of three -- dance troupe Hart Dance Team, comedian Darik Santos, and hand balancer Andrey Moraru -- only had one act advancing. And if one were to base an opinion solely on the "America's Got Talent" judges' critiques on Tuesday, Andrey Moraru would be the one
And he was.
The results continued with a group of two, singer Jaycob Curlee and dancing skater Juan Carlos, with only one going to the Semifinals. And if there was any doubt as to which of the two would get through, Jaycob Curlee's name being called sealed it. But Jaycob, the boy that America adopted after his audition (he and his sister were adopted when he was eight years old), had something to say to the judges panel (but not to Judge Howie, who gave him props Tuesday night). He thanked America for the votes and declared he would only be singing for America now. (And many have to be glad that he wasn't one of the two acts that the judges would get to decide upon.)
Then there was the third group: Visual aerial act Aerial Animation and rope-trick cowboy Loop Rawlins. It is artsy verses folksy and artsy wins out. Aerial Animation had made it through.
Time for a musical interlude. No. Wait. It's time for Judge Howie Mandel to get into disguise and try to sell tickets to the live show. After holding a woman's tongue, throwing water in the face of a man, having another man take off his shirt, and literally getting still another man to dance for tickets, the comedian had a blast harrassing ticket-buyers. Host Nick Cannon made the comment that people seemed willing to do just about anything, to which Judge Howie noted reflected on the popularity of the show.
Then it was time for a musical interlude. Lindsey Stirling performed "Shatter Me," the title track to her second album which features Lzzy Hale (of Halestorm) on vocals. The song's all power and Hale's voice has a power of its own. Stirling was a whirling dervish with a violin. The audience roared.
After the break, the fourth group -- magician Mat Franco and musical group Lizzy, Matt, & Sammy -- stepped up. Since Radio City Music Hall swallowed up the folk indie sounds of the trio and Franco performed a couple of really good magic tricks, the results appeared obvious.
They were and Mat Franco advanced.
And then there were only three acts left on stage -- operatic duo Acte II, 11-year-old singer Mara Justine, and salsa duo John and Andrew. Nick quickly sent John and Andrew packing, leaving the singing acts on stage for the judges to decide who to allow to move forward. Mara Justine was a mess, crying her eyes out. But when it came time to talk to the judges, Acte II broke down. But a hearwarming speech about chasing your dreams followed and you felt for the women.
Still, it was not to be. With time ticking down toward the show's ending, Judges Heidi, Mel B., and Howard voted for Mara Justine to go through, rendering Judge Howie Mandel's vote moot. By the time it was over, Mara Justine was sobbing again.
"America's Got Talent" airs on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC Television. Next week, twelve more acts try to get their names into the five slots reserved for the Semifinals.