Leading up to the results, Nick Cannon stated that they had been "some of the closest results we've ever had on this show."
This was not entirely surprising. It had generally been agreed that the second round of semifinals was leagues better than the first, and as had been stated the night before by this column, this would result in people who deserved to be in the Top 12 being sent home.
But nobody could have expected these results, and anyone who tells you otherwise is a bloody liar.
Wrong. When the results were revealed, it was Branden James who came out on top.
Timber Brown's elimination had been foreseen, but even the most devoted haters of the American Military Spouses Choir had not expected them to come in any lower than the judges' choice.
Mind you that this isn't exactly bad news. The AMSC was expected to win it all for this season the same way Kevin Skinner and Olate Dogs had won during their respective seasons: By riding a tsunami of biased spoiler support that would sustain for as long as the group remained adequate.
This is actually good news for AGT in the long run, as it's an indication that even a group attached to a noble cause has its limits, which should leave the judges feeling more free to give them consideration in the future.
But again, they were not expected by anyone to be eliminated this soon or this decisively. The expectation had when yesterday's forecast was made was that the same people who had voted for the top five acts would be voting for them again. This early elimination of the one most expected to advance left absolutely nothing guaranteed.
If nothing else, this result was confusing.
And that confusion was subsequently compounded by the next set: Chicago Boyz and KriStef Brothers, the two remaining acts that had suffered injuries during the running, which the AGT audience has consistently demonstrated time and time again to thoroughly dislike and has abandoned even top quality acts if there was even so much as a chance of injury to the performers involved.
Despite this, both acts were confirmed to have advanced.
By the way, the KriStef Brothers had to be informed two additional times that they were going into the Top 12. It'll probably come back to haunt them that they at least momentarily looked to be as dumb as they act.
After their performances, there was only one thing to separate them apart from each other: One had screwed up during the quarter-finals, and the other hadn't. With this in mind, it was no surprise that the victor was Jimmy Rose.
All four of the judges stressed that they loved both acts and found this a difficult decision to make, and the final result was split with Mel B. and Howard Stern voting for Anna Christine, and Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel voting for D'Angelo & Amanda.
The tiebreaker, America's vote, was revealed by Nick Cannon to have been on a 0.5% margin in favor of D'Angelo & Amanda.
Next week, the top twelve will perform. They are:
- Cami Bradley
- Catapult Entertainment
- Chicago Boyz
- D'Angelo & Amanda
- Kenichi Ebina
- Innovative Force
- Branden James
- Collins Key
- KriStef Brothers
- Jimmy Rose
- Taylor Williamson