One of the better acts on Season 9's "America's Got Talent" is that of insurance salesman by day, rocker by night Jonah Smith. The musician has been rocking the local scene for years and only took up selling insurance to provide for his family. But one thing becomes quite certain when he performs: He was born to the stage and, although he might be a good insurance salesman (we are not told whether or not he's any good at it, but he must be good enough to make money to live on), should be playing and singing before screaming fans.
Although Reality Rewind's Todd Betzold wrote he was "torn" by the performance ("he sounded good in parts") in his Aug. 19 recap, the judges didn't seem to be. Betzold admitted also that Jonah Smith sang with a "lot of emotions" when he sings and that was exactly the way Judge Howard Stern described it.
The famous shock jock noted that Smith was the "real deal" and "move(d) people" and could not understand how come was selling insurance and had not been discovered. He added that Smith's singing evoked emotion.
Smith sat behind his keyboard and wailed the Sam Smith (no relation that we know of) hit, putting a lot of soul into the performance, his back-up singers lending the tune a bit of southern church-choir credibility (you know, like Joe Cocker). It sounded bluesy, very retro, and very old-style soul. He dug deep and coated his lyrics with believability, the emotion raw and heartfelt. You could tell that he has been ready for the big time for quite some time -- he's just been somewhat delayed.
Judge Heidi Klum decided to sing her critique. She told Jonah Smith (singing) to "stay with me, here on AGT."
Mel B. said she thinks the singer is feeling the pressure of the show, but allowed that she loved his rendition of the song. Smith admitted
And Judge Howie Mandel said that they were "by far in the number one position" for the night at that point (they performed third). He also said he thought they were in good hands with "America's Got Talent," alluding that the viewers would undoubtedly vote them through to the Semifinals. If you didn't get it, he added, "I see Semifinals!"
America will see if Jonah Smith got enough votes to get to the next round of "America's Got Talent" Wednesday night on the elimiations results show. As part of the last twelve acts to perform, Smith and his band stand to be one of the final five chosen to move forward to the Semifinals, which will consist of the Top 20 chosen by America and the judges.
"America's Got Talent" airs on NBC Television every Tuesday and Wednesday at 9 p.m. (EST).