'America's Got Talent' Recap: The Battle Rages On - Rolling Stone
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‘America’s Got Talent’ Recap: The Battle Rages On

Contestants fight for the remaining spots on the live show

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Turf performs on 'America's Got Talent.'

Virginia Sherwood/NBC

With 28 of Howard Stern, Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel’s favorite acts already through to the live show next week in New York City, a slew of remaining hopefuls, dubbed the “Standbys,” performed on Wednesday night’s episode of America’s Got Talent to try to secure one of the coveted remaining 20 spots.  However, the reality is that many of these acts should never have made it to Las Vegas in the first place. So frankly, it’d be a waste of both yours and our time and dedicate precious text to those subpar “Standby” acts. Therefore we’re focusing on the standout acts that performed on Wednesday night. Some made it to NYC at episode’s end, while for others it was the end of the line.


Standout Act: Jarrett and Raja – Calling themselves the “next Siegfried and Roy,” this duo mixed music and magic to profound effect. It also helped that they made an entire orchestra appear from thin air.

Did They Make It? You know it! And so did male-female duo Hawley Magic, who performed a levitation act (although they never did prove strings weren’t involved).


Standout Act: Wordspit! The Illest – This part-jazz-part-R&B-part-hip-hop collective put new-age swagger into a classic song; Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York,” never sounded so good as when this Roots-resembling outfit got their hands on it.

Did They Make It? Yes, they did! They’re joined by rockers The All Ways, who performed Christina Aguilera’s “Stronger,” and Distinguished Men of Brass, a marching band-on-steroids who’ve got the dance moves to back up their horn-spun charm.

Danger Acts

Standout Act: Serengeti Steve  The risk-taking animal handler put a poisonous scorpion in his mouth in his initial audition and upped the ante on Wednesday by managing to kiss a venomous cobra.

Did He Make It? Sadly, he did not. The only danger act to get through was LionDanceMe, a group of dancer daredevils who combine martial arts with dance and prowl around looking as if they are part of a massive lion.


Standout Act: Lil Starr  At only six years old, this young dancer’s sheer talent is mind-blowing. Her tap dancing skills, combined with a natural flair for hip-hop, left her elders looking shabby by comparison.

Did She Make It? Absolutely! And she’s joined by Danielle Stallings, a velvet-voiced young singer, and Unity In Motion, a dance crew who shined in their cohesive contemporary routine.


Standout Acts: Donovan and Rebecca  This insanely ripped husband-wife acrobatic duo impressed with a demonstration of brute strength in their first audition. This time around? Rebecca whipped around at a freakishly fast pace giving us nausea (in a good way) just watching,

Did They Make It? Yes, they did! However they would be the only acrobatic act to do so.


Standout Act: Svet – This dude was spitting lighting-quick rhymes one second and getting his Boyd Tinsley on the next as he wailed away on the electric violin.

Did He Make It? Nope. And neither did any of his fellow rappers.

Dance Teams

Standout Act: The Scott Brothers  It was hard to take these two men seriously at first; they were wearing colonial-style wigs. But by combining humor with slick, synchronized dance steps, they grabbed our attention and wouldn’t let go.

Did They Make It? They certainly did! And so did Inspire The Fire, a multimember team that got rowdy shimmying to “Dancing In The Street,” and Lisa Clark Dancers, who not only mastered a well-choreographed routine, but also the stank face.


Standout Act: Michael Nejad  It would have been enough had this musician just played unorthodox instruments (namely, a bizarre string-like apparatus that produces a sitar-like sound and a shovel/violin). But that he played them to the tune of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” was pure insanity.

Did He Make It? In fact, he did! He’s joined by “Rock Star Juggler” Mike Price, who basically juggles amid intense neon lights, and Big Barry, an extremely small man in a white suit who sings like Bob Dylan with a cold. How Big Barry got through is beyond us.

Solo Dancers

Standout Act: Turf  We knew something good was coming from this street performer/contortionist dancer: a segment on him opened Wednesday’s show. And we were right. This Cali-based dancer swiveled his limbs in ways unimaginable.

Did He Make It? Of course he did! He’s joined by Elusive, a proficient b-boy, and Lindsey Norton, a gymnast/dancer.

So there you have it. The top 48 is now filled. And next week, on Monday and Tuesday, America’s Got Talent goes live as the remaining contestants duke it out while creeping ever closer to the $1 million prize.

Last Episode: On to the Next One

In This Article: America's Got Talent


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