On Monday night’s episode of America’s Got Talent, the first of three days of competition in Las Vegas to determine which 48 acts will advance to the live shows in New York City, the front-runners performed for judges Howard Stern, Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel. The rest of the contestants, a.k.a. the “Standbys,” would have to wait to compete for the remaining spots. On Tuesday, the “Judges’ Favorites” continued their battle. By the end of the night the results were in, and the judges had decided which of their “favorites” would be sent packing and which were headed to the live shows.
Up first are the magicians.
Eric Dittelman: A mind reader always causes skeptics, but this man is simply incredible. Osbourne writes the name of her supposed “first crush” on a piece of paper – she later admits she made it up – and Dittelman still manages to guess it correctly. We’re dumbfounded.
Taylor Reed: There’s nothing on the stage. Dude puts up a curtain. Dude lifts the curtain. What’s there now? A helicopter.
Justin Rivera: His trick is unoriginal; we’ve all seen the act where the magician makes it appear as if the upper half of his body is separating from the lower. It doesn’t help that you can see glimmers of his feet.
Spencer Horsman: This modern-day Houdini is submerged in a tiny box of water, chained up, and he has 85 seconds to escape before the medics have been told to rush in and save him. He completes this amazing feat with literally one second to spare.
Next to test their fate are the vocal groups.
Maurice and Shanice Hayes: This father-daughter duo (61 and 18, respectively) take on “Let the Good Times Roll.” Daughter impresses. Dad stumbles.
Jorge and Alex Navarez: Another dad-daughter duo, but the daughter is six. The dad sings this during their take on the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby.” It’s cute, but the little girl sounds like she’s screaming.
Eric and Olivia: A college duo, these two musicians sing Louis Armstrong’s “Wonderful World.” Olivia has a sultry, jazzy quality to her voice; Eric merely plays some fingerpicked chords. It’s an uneven pairing.
Trying their best to impress the judges next are the comedians. We basically get one joke from each.
Kellen Erskine: Makes a dud of a joke about psychics.
Frank Roche: Ditching his impersonation shtick, he makes one joke about his liver being spotted like an owl and then asks to start over. He’s sent home immediately.
Tom Cotter: Unleashes a great riff about his ex-girlfriend and the morbid but hilarious ways he wants to dispose of her. The judges love him.
Jacob Williams: He’s painfully awkward, but that’s his M.O. The judges agree his material could have been stronger, but he has potential.
Sammy Obeid: Delivers a moronic joke about wanting to be cheap.
Dave Burleigh: Does a great Christopher Walken impression . . . but that’s about all he’s got.
And on to the kid acts we go.
Issac Brown: Tries his hand at another Jackson Five song (“Blame It on the Boogie”), but this time he’s terribly off-key.
Sebastian “El Charro de Oro”: The young mariachi singer is solid once again. The question is whether he can mix up his act.
The Untouchables: The Miami-based dance crew is virtually flawless, a clear standout.
Amazing Elizabeth: The aerial silk act (basically climbing silk and performing trapeze-like stunts) returns for another dose of a talent that we just can’t appreciate.
Edon: The singer-pianist, whom Osbourne likened to a “young Billy Joel,” is on point for a wispy rendition of David Guetta/Usher’s “Without You.”
And the last group of the “Judges’ Favorites” to perform is the male singers.
Tim Hockenberry: This Joe Cocker-esque singer with a gravel-y growl is fantastic while performing Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed.” His fellow contestants say he’s “got it all.”
Ulysses: Armed with a cheesy Seventies-game show voice, this singer opts for a solid but slightly predictable take on “Secret Agent Man.”
Daniel Park: His version of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin'” has bubblegum pop slathered all over it.
Jake Wesley Rogers: He’s a bit pitchy in his Broadway-style take on Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris.” At times, though, he displays a supreme vocal talent.
Tim Poe: His performance of a country song is mediocre at best. Mandel thinks he “doesn’t hold up” to his peers.
After some debate, the judges now bring the acts both individually and in groups to reveal their fate. In the interest of space, we’ve consolidated the acts by groups and broken down who made it and who was sent home. Overall, the results were not very surprising, except for one shocker.
In: All Wheel Sports, New Guard America, Ben Blaque, Cristin Sandu
In: Nikki Jensen
Out: Mary Joyner, Roxy Doll, Brianna Price, Cecila Detwiler
In: All That!, 787 Crew
Out: Funk Beyond Control, Loyalty Dance Team
In: Aurora Light Painters, Light Wire Theater, Horse the nutshot master, All Beef Patty, Joe Castillo the sand painter, and Todd Oliver and Irving (the dog ventriloquist)
Out: Simply Sergio, Luiz Meneghin, Andrew De Leon
Editor’s Note: De Leon was robbed!
In: Eric Dittelman, Spencer Horsman
Out: Taylor Reed, Justin Rivera
In: Maurice and Shanice Hayes, Eric and Olivia
Out: Jorge and Alexa Navarez
In: Tom Cotter, Jacob Williams
Out: Kellen Erskine, Sammy Obeid, Dave Burleigh
In: Sebastian “El Charro de Oro,” the Untouchables, Edon
Out: Isaac Brown, Amazing Elizabeth
In: Tim Hockenberry, Ulysses, Jake Wesley Rogers
Out: Daniel Park, Tim Poe
Tomorrow: With 28 spots now filled, that leaves 20 more to be occupied by the “Standbys.” Tune in to watch the best of the worst battle it out.
Last episode: Welcome to Vegas