“America’s Got Talent” sent another twelve acts across the stage Tuesday night on the fourth installment of their live (from New York!) Quarterfinals/Top 48 performance show held at Radio City Music Hall. All each act needed was to impress the judges and America that their act was worthy of enough votes to get them through to the Semifinals. That’s all. No pressure, as they say.
As Reality Rewind recapped the show Aug. 19, Tuesday’s “America’s Got Talent” show held a group that America has seen little of — basically, just their auditions. But all told, Tthe night’s performances were a mixed bag, certainly better than Week 2 of the Quarterfinals, which eventually proved to be the weakest night of all, but not as powerful as Week 3, which hit a new bar nearly with each succeeding performance. But there were definitely some really high spots, and nothing truly too low, although a couple of the acts seemed a bit underwhelming.
The singers and music acts dominated the night. Jonah Smith and his band started that particular ball rolling as the third act of the night, and, as Judge Howie Mandel put it, actually started off the night. (The first two acts were good but…) His rendition of Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” outshone the original. The two cellists, Emil and Dariel, brought in a band (a la Apocalyptica) to rock out to the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction.” Quintavious Johnson totally impressed with his “Dreamgirls” cover of “And I Am Telling You” (Jennifer Holliday/Jennifer Hudson). And Kelli Glover brought it home at show’s end with a rousing rendition of Alicia Key’s “If I Ain’t Got You.” Also among the best performances of the night was the Rola bola balancer, Jonatan Riquelme, who balanced and did handstands on pieces of pipe set on a moving swing suspended at least twenty feet above the stage — without a net.
The Bad Boys of Ballet (which includes a female) were first up and performed an intricate routine but, again, as Judge Howie noted, the performance lack edginess. Judge Howard Stern agreed. The second act of the night, the 100-strong One-Voice Children’s Choir, performed “Let It Go” by Idina Menzel from the “Frozen” soundtrack. But only Judge Howard thought it wasn’t enough, with Judge Howie seeming to have reservations but noted that people might vote for the group because of the song. Both female judges, Heidi Klum and Mel B. loved it, said they filled up the room. The triplets Dom The Bom’s Triple Threat cut up a bunch of fruit and veggies in an entertaining bit of fun, but it’s definitely not a million dollar act. (The best part: The card thrower tossing cards at host Nick Cannon.) The dance troupe Extreme Dance Company were much of the same. Judge Mel B. said the routine and sparkly costumes were dated. Judge Howard said it just wasn’t a memorable performance. Contortionist Nina Burri contorted fabulously — and that’s it. (Let’s face it: Like strongmen acts, balancing acts, and such, contortionists are fun to watch for a few minutes but it isn’t as if you’d want to watch them for two hours — making them ultimately unworthy of the million-dollar prize.)
Magician Smoothini held a lot of promise, much like his colleague Mat Franco. But unlike Franco, Smoothini’s close-up magic tricks, though they seemed well done (especially making all the monetary denominations get smaller and smaller), were hard to follow for the home audience — so one can only imagine how difficult it was for those at Radio City Music Hall. Judge Howard Stern nailed the critique when he said it was “peculiar” and it felt like a bar trick where we (the audience) had the worst seat in the house. Dance troupe Mothmen Dance did a lot of dancing and twirling with wires but also lacked punch and edge. Judge Heidi pointed out that they relied a lot on the video running in the background.
So who seemed strongest? Well, see The Best above. The musical artists were definitely the strongest acts, so don’t be surprised to see Jonah Smith, Quintavious Johnson, and Kelli Glover announced as the first three acts moving on to the Semifinals. Jonatan Riqelme and the young cellists, Emil and Dariel, were also strong and should get through. However, one of the five will be up against another act for the judges vote to get through. It is difficult to say just which will get the least votes or who they might have to contend with for the judges’ favor. That act will most likely be Bad Boys of Ballet, given their precision and professionalism.
But one never knows.
One thing is certain, seven acts will be cut on Wednesday’s eliminations results show. The five headed into the Semifinals will join the other 15 already chosen in the first three rounds of the Quarterfinals.
“America’s Got Talent” airs on Tuesdays and Wednesdays on NBC Television at 9 p.m. (EST).