Whether by sheer luck or an act of gratitude from the producers, Tuesday night's Wild-Card round on America's Got Talent featured, rather surprisingly, the best performances of this entire season. This, in turn, raised the stakes for Wednesday's results show, where four Wild-Card acts advanced to next week's long-overdue semifinals.
After some hearty chit-chat with the three judges, host Nick Cannon called out the first three acts to learn their fate: Sebastian "El Charro de Oro," the pint-sized mariachi singer who had performed a Spanglish, mariachi rendition of Sinatra's "New York, New York"; Banbaz Brothers, the homegrown acrobatic duo that used knives to hold each other afloat; and Ben Blaque, the crossbow expert who pierced an apple atop his own head. Our gut said the Banbaz Brothers would move on. Nope: "El Charro de Oro" advanced in a stunner. He was cordial in victory. "It feels real good to let America know that even though I'm a small package . . . I'm able to have a big voice," he said. Early supporter Howie Mandel was predictably proud. "You're more than a singer," Mandel said. "You're an entertainer."
The next trio shuffled onstage: Horse, the master of getting his family jewels smashed; Jake Wesley Rogers, who still hasn't figured out that he shouldn't sing songs by female pop stars; and Andrew De Leon, the goth opera singer described by Mandel as the lovechild of Marilyn Manson and Adam Lambert. Our money was on De Leon. And we were . . . correct! "I feel like I'm on top of the world right now," he said. Another Mandel pick; another win. "I am on a roll!" the judge gloated.
Between the results announcements there were, of course, a few guest performances. The first came courtesy of the cast of Broadway's Bring It On, which was essentially a gaggle of cheerleaders with very enthusiastic jazz hands. Next was a duet made in bubblegum-pop heaven: Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen swooning to their hit song "Good Time."
Back to the results. The next trio to hear their fate consisted of Todd Oliver, the pet ventriloquist who went with a presidential-themed set on Tuesday; Kristin Sandu, the "master" balancer who fell in his previous two attempts; and Spencer Horsman, an escape artist who narrowly pulled off his stunt on Tuesday, nearly drowning in cement. It was a toss-up between Oliver and Horsman. The act advancing was . . . Todd Oliver. The humble comic said it was a "great moment." With Oliver advancing, Howard Stern now had one of his acts in the semis. "You simplified your act last night, you were topical . . . and look at the response," he said with a smile.
The last three acts to take their position at center stage were Lindsey Norton, the overly-giggling acrobatic dancer; All That, an all-male clogging team that could double as Chippendales dancers; and Jarrett and Raja, an illusionist duo who redeemed themselves on Tuesday with a superb performance. Jarrett and Raja were the first to get the boot, and Stern was shocked. "This is a crime," he said. But with Norton and All That remaining, the judges had to cast their respective votes: Stern went with All That, and Mandel chose Norton. And Osbourne? With the tiebreaker vote, she singlehandedly put All That into the semifinals. The dudes were ecstatic.
NEXT WEEK: The semifinals are going down next week on America's Got Talent. Yes, we swear!
Previous Recap: The Wild-Card Round
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