'America's Got Talent' Recap: YouTube Night Winners Advance - Rolling Stone
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‘America’s Got Talent’ Recap: YouTube Night Winners Advance

Parrot master, illusionist and air guitarist among contestants vying for semifinal spots

Gabby Douglas, Nick CannonGabby Douglas, Nick Cannon

Gabby Douglas and Nick Cannon

Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

We had a feeling Wednesday night’s results show on America’s Got Talent was going to be anticlimactic, but not because we didn’t know which four of the previous night’s “YouTube Show” acts America would vote into the semifinals. In fact, we were quite confident in our predictions. Rather, only theatrical hip-hop dance troupe Academy of Villains appeared to have any real chance of competing from here on out, which made the results show seem kind of meaningless. Nonetheless, host Nick Cannon strode onstage at the top of the hour, and was soon joined by Olympic gold-medalist Gabby Douglas, who served as his awkward co-host all evening.

In accordance with tradition, acts came out in sets of three, but only one act from each set would advance. The first trio to learn their fate was Cast in Bronze, a masked master of a multi-bell-chiming device known as a carillon; Reverse Order, a pop-punk foursome that made “I Kissed A Girl” even gaudier; and Academy of Villains. You can probably guess where this one was headed: Academy of Villains advanced to the semis. “I’m just so thankful,” said the group’s frontman, temporarily covering his face with a Thomas Crown Affair-esque bowler hat. “I promise you we will not let you down!”

In between dream-crushings, viral sensations-turned-major label duo Karmin performed their hit song “Brokenhearted.” Singer Amy Heidemann proved she can do more than badly impersonate Nicki Minaj, though Nick Noonan just made playing keyboards look boring. The crew did give Rolling Stone a shoutout, however, as Heidemann told Cannon she was in the running to grace the cover as a finalist in our “Women Who Rock” contest.

Facing the guillotine next were teenage recital-style dance troupe 7 in Unison; country singer Bria Kelly, who on Tuesday unleashed a respectable take on Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead”; and Rudy Coby, a bizzaro magician and friend of Marilyn Manson’s. Before announcing the semifinalist, Sharon Osbourne told Coby she was too hard on him the night before when she said he resembled a Nazi. After Coby accepted her apology with a mock-Nazi salute, Cannon delivered the blow. The act advancing was . . . Bria Kelly. “Thank you guys so much,” she said, presumably addressing America. “I couldn’t have done it without you!” 

On to the next threesome. This time it was illusion act the Magic of Puck; visual chaos master Eric Buss, who made such a gigantic mess on the stage Tuesday night that Howard Stern called his act “a colossal waste of time”; and comedian Melinda Hill, who reminded us why it’s painful to watch a stand-up comic bomb. This one wasn’t a shock, either: The Magic of Puck advanced. “I’ve worked so hard for this,” the magician said. Osbourne added her two cents: “Puck deserves this,” she remarked.

And then there were three. But first, Randall “the Honey Badger Whisperer” performed what appeared to be a completely unrehearsed voice-over commentary on AGT footage, followed by a video diary chronicling “A Day in the Life of Howard Stern,” which included a Gary “Baba Booey” Dell’Abate sighting. Finally, the last three acts took their place at center stage: Chris Carvalho and his Extreme Parrots (on Tuesday, he had his parrot Kitten free-fall 100 feet from a building and swoop onto his arm), “professional” air guitarist Romeo Dance Cheetah and 16-year-old newbie singer Drew Ervin. One act was quickly ushered out, and it was obviously Romeo Dance Cheetah.

So now judges had to decide between a parrot master and an unproven singer. Both acts made their pleas. Stern opted for the parrot dude. Osbourne followed suit. That meant it was the end of the line for Drew as Chris Carvalho and his Extreme Parrots advanced to next week’s semifinals. In other news, that makes us four for four with our predictions. Not that we’re counting or anything.

Last recap: YouTube Night


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