NOTE FROM COURT: I’m currently vacationing in Texas, so our reader (and my dear friend) Will has graciously agreed to cover the power rankings in my absence. Please give him a warm welcome, as its his thoughts from here on out
Tonight’s episode was definitely strange for me. In many many cases, the acts just seemed to really crack under the pressure. For a few other acts, they were really good…but something was off about them. I really only feel there were one or maybe two acts REALLY knocked it out of the park, a few that did pretty well but not amazing, and the rest seemed to be this shuffle of acts that could go anywhere. I’m going to say that I’m not very confident in these rankings as it goes further down the list, as after the first 3 or 4, it could go anywhere in my opinion. And honestly I’m not really 100% on the first 4 either, but enough of me blabbing. Let’s get down to business! J
1.) Forte – This is pretty much a gimme. These guys were fantastic, they are consistently blowing the audience and the judges away, and really, I think they’re going to make the finals, no problem. They have beautiful voices that mesh together perfectly, they are each individually talented, they’re back story is interesting, and not to mention they had the best running order position going last. Also, like I said above, even the stronger acts tonight seemed to struggle just a little bit. It was like the planets aligned for them to breeze through tonight (as if they weren’t already, hahaha). I can’t say I loved the song choice as much, and on maybe one or two occasions one of the voices stuck out a bit too much, but this was definitely the strongest act of the night. Forte is a shoo-in to make it through, and I’m okay with that! See ya in the top 12!
2.) Taylor Williamson
- I think Taylor definitely stepped up his game this week. The material was much stronger and his delivery was spot on once again. Plus, his dorky, likable personality just makes you smile ear to ear.
The No. 2 pencil joke did totally go over my head, but the rest of the jokes had me laughing heartily and I genuinely enjoyed the entire performance! The last joke actually had me laugh out loud, which I don’t think a comedian’s done for me personally yet this season. Comedians have it very, very tough. Comedians have to be really funny or their jokes are only going to make people chuckle a little and it’s hard to feed off of that to make the rest of the jokes funnier and well-executed. What I’m saying is, being a comedian can be very awkward. However, Taylor THRIVES off of the awkward and he EMBRACES it in a way that is extremely appealing and likable. He takes what is often the Achilles heel for comedians and makes it his biggest asset. That to me is what makes Taylor so great and why I think he’ll succeed with the audience. If only one of the comedians make it tonight, then it will definitely be Taylor. Hopefully he can keep this up next time around!
3/4.) TIE: Collins Key & Dave Fenley - I honestly couldn’t split these two as I could come up with reasons both of them can and probably will make it and why they might just be in a smidge of trouble. I love Collins, he’s in my top 3 favorite acts, and he’s a REALLY talented guy. His trick tonight was clever, very different, unique, and original, and executed well. However, I do feel like this was a tough act to try and squeeze into 90 seconds like he did, and that might have left some audience members not enough time to process what happened or appreciate it. It came off as a little rushed, even though overall I would say he did a great job. Despite that, I do think Collins will make it. He’s still one of the heavy-hitters. He’s likable, he’s a good looking guy, he’s very talented, and has become one of the more popular acts this season. I do think he’ll need to step it up in the top 12 if he wants to get through without complications, but I think he’ll learn from tonight. As for Dave Fenley, I can’t say I particularly loved this performance. The song choice was maybe a little better than his last go-around, but not by much. I don’t feel like his performance really went anywhere. On top of that, once he gets out of a certain range, he starts to lose it. When he hits lower notes he drops them sometimes, and when he hits higher notes it sounds shrill and tense. I do really like Dave, but this wasn’t that great to me. But I didn’t place him here based upon how I felt about this. Let’s face it, singers are pretty much the “gimme group” of AGT. They have a highly increased chance of getting somewhere the competition and getting votes simply because they are a singer. Dave’s got a good voice, is a very humble, lovable guy, and fits that “family man, good ol’ boy” image. Combine those things together and I think he’ll get a lot of support and votes. I think both Collins and Dave will make it and I will be a bit surprised if one of them is eliminated.
5.) Catapult Entertainment - I feel odd saying this, but I actually liked this more than the judges and a lot of viewers did. Did I love it or think it was great? Well, no. But I really did appreciate and enjoy the theme and shapes, as they didn’t feel quite as cheesy or mushy as these acts tend to do. However, in a way I also think that hurt them a little. They obviously weren’t all the way comfortable with this performance and this story and it showed. I understood the story but in several places it became hard to follow and truly understand. I think it still enchanted some people, but many others were just bewildered by this. Even the judges, who gushed over them last week, seemed to feel very lukewarm about this. Some of the audience may feel the same, but very few tonight really brought something great to the table. As a result of that, this stumble may not end their run on the show. I think they’ll still be able to just make it, especially with 6 of the acts getting to move on as opposed to just 4. They definitely need to step it up if they make it, however.
6.) Rong Niu, The Amazing Red Panda - Okay…I’m going to state this right now: I LOOOOOOOVE her. Love, love, love her. Okay, I’m done. As great and unique as Red Panda’s act was, part of me worries that viewers just got a little bored by this since she really had to take time to set the bowels properly. The pay off of seeing them get flipped onto her head may just not have been enough for some people. Even though this is the first time that many have seen her, a good chunk have seen this. For a lot of viewers, I feel the shock value and amazement steadily decline the more they watch her. Since she had no time to prepare, did try to raise the stakes by performing on that extremely dangerous platform, and easily performs one of the most difficult acts, I give her a lot of props and I think she did pretty well tonight. But like I said, I think a lot of viewers just didn’t get excited by seeing this and didn’t really appreciate it. That’s why I wouldn’t be surprised if she was eliminated tomorrow. However, since she is a very unique act that was placed in a sea of unmemorable performances, I still think she’s got a chance.
7.) Cami Bradley - Cami has got one of the most beautiful voices ever, but I think her song choice REALLY let her down tonight, and I think she got lost in the shuffle. The song itself isn’t bad, and the cover is nice to listen to, but it wasn’t memorable, touching, or something really easy to connect emotionally to, which was one of the biggest reasons Cami’s cover of “Believe” succeeded. Song choice is crucial, and if you do not pick something that will quickly get the audience’s attention and keep it, you will have a very flat, sleepy performance, even if you have a fantastic voice. I would like to be wrong here, and I easily could be, but I think this song was so tame that it won’t spur enough excitement or buzz for people to vote for her. This is particularly important for Cami, since she doesn’t have the backstory of Jimmy Rose, Dave Fenley, Jonathan Allen, ect. And she isn’t a child like Anna Christine. There’s nothing there to start with for her that the audience will latch onto. That’s why she had to pick a great song and perform it beautifully. Unfortunately only one of these things happened, and I think this puts her in serious trouble.
8.) Jonathan Allen - I predicted this would happen very early on this season. The very moment Jonathan is put in the same group as Forte, his weaknesses would stick out like a sore thumb. It also didn’t help that Jonathan really didn’t pick a great song for himself. Jonathan’s just not ready to hit the high notes he did in this song. They felt very shaky and weak, and because of that, it took the emotion and power of the song, which were really needed to make this work. I like Jonathan, I think he’s talented, but it was very evident tonight that he’s just not ready to take this on. Because America loves singers and he’s got his touching background, I think his chances are better than several others, but I think the charm of Jonathan has really worn thin on the judges and many of the viewers. The nail in the coffin was the fact that he performed the same night as Forte.
9.) Innovative Force
- I just really didn’t know where to stick these girls. I feel that they may have a chance, but at the same time, I barely remember any of their routine. I thought their first performance in NYC was exciting, dynamic, and interesting. Tonight, this felt like a performance that I’ve seen hundreds of times before. It felt generic. I hate saying that because I LOVE my Missouri girls, but they were off their game tonight for me. It would have really benefited them to put more dancing into the routine, as the frequency of the tricks (not to mention the fact that a good chunk of them looked very similar) made this routine feel very stop-and-go to me. There was no special moment for me that really made me remember this routine or love it. They might make it through the skin of their teeth, but my forecast for these lovely ladies isn’t good I’m afraid
10.) Angela Hoover - Angela’s chances were looking pretty decent tonight…until Taylor Williamson performed. I really think only one comedian will make it to the top 12, and Taylor effectively took that spot tonight in my opinion. I will say I really like Angela; she’s funny, she’s likable, and I think she stepped up her game tonight. However, I don’t think she stepped things up enough to get her into the next round. As great as her Sharon (spot ON), Kourtney Kardashian, and Sofia impressions were, I don’t think they were able to cover up the fact that her material (while better this week) is still weak. She can make you laugh, but only a hearty chuckle that you can get every day. That’s what’s eliminated every single comedian that’s been eliminated thus far. Maybe her chances would have been better if she challenged herself more. Courtney’s mentioned trying male voices. I feel that if she works on that and nails it, it can boost the possibilities and her performance itself significantly. But I fear for AGT, it’s too little too late for Angela.
11.) Tone the Chiefrocca
- We all knew Tone wouldn’t make it this week and well, he probably won’t prove us wrong. He wasn’t able to make it through last time, and against more heavy-hitters tonight, I don’t think he’ll make it this time either. Nonetheless, I love watching him and the best hype-man on the face of the planet.
They aren’t meant to be taken that seriously, and honestly, with the oddness of tonight, I appreciated the fact that they gave me a smile and made me enjoy myself for a bit. They succeed at what they want to do: “BOOTY” is easily one of the catchiest songs I’ve ever heard and it has huge potential to be a true one-hit wonder. That’s not translated well on AGT obviously, but, I can appreciate a fun, energetic performance that’s pretty much just semifinal-fodder. Good run while it lasted!
12.) Duo Resonance - These two are VERY talented at what they do and they really do impress me. However, they still struggle with showmanship and the box only made things worse in my opinion. Part of what makes these two great is the shapes they can create TOGETHER and I think the box just got in the way of that. It halted the progress of the routine, it blocked any emotion that could have came from this, and worst of all, it split up an act that thrives on them acting as one. Not to mention the fact that the box gave them very little room to create shapes and limited the possibilities even more. I think Duo Resonance would have struggled tonight regardless, but the box greatly hindering their performance just sealed the deal. I will be shocked if they make it.
So how did you all feel about it? These were really tough rankings for me to make. I would not be surprised if I only got two or three of them correct. Who do you think should move on? Who do you think will move on? How did you feel about the acts as a whole tonight? Let us know in the comments! Everyone have a good night!