Kind of a strange night on AGT, if you ask me – only one or two acts seemed to really succeed, and the rest either failed or just got lost in the shuffle. This definitely seemed like one of the weaker quarterfinals to me, and I’m left wondering who will actually make it through tonight.
Also a little miffed that they apparently did decide to scrap the wild card show this season – biiiiiiiig mistake, if you ask me. Throwing the wild card into the mix could have helped balance out the disproportionately heavy number of singers we have in the semifinals this season – and could have counteracted flukes like Marty Brown. *sigh* I guess we can just hope they bring it back next year…
…and just a quick side note: I am actually going to be on vacation in Texas next week, and so I may or may not get a chance to do power rankings for the first round of the semifinals. But don’t worry – I’ve got a plan in mind Stay tuned!
1.) Catapult Entertainment – Not my favorite of the night, and I’m beginning to get a bit annoyed for acts who really go in hard for the “schmaltz” factor in order to win votes. But America appears to fall hook, line, & sinker for it, which is why I think they should have no problem advancing to the semifinals. I actually preferred their audition routine to this one, which wasn’t as difficult and didn’t strike me as particularly original. It was just ok for me, but with the way the judges were gushing – they’ll make it through.
2.) D’Angelo & Amanda – My favorite act of the night, and the only ones who seemed to really bring their A-game last night. These two never seem to miss a beat, and they always seem 100% invested in their routine. There were a few struggles with moving on and off the platform, but I found them to be incredibly trivial in the great scheme of things. This is one of the few acts that I could actually see having a show in Vegas – I’d pay to see these two just dance for 90 minutes.
3.) Duo Resonance – As I’ve said before, these two are probably the most highly-skilled of the acrobats category – but they just seem to lack a really good stage presence. I feel like they improved on their stage presence last night, but seemed to let go of doing some of their more impressive tricks. I think I liked their performance, but it felt a little too much like a schmaltzy contemporary routine I might see on SYTYCD – would have liked a few more stunts and a few less poses. But since last night was such a weak night, I think these two will probably make it through.
4.) John Wing – Another comedian I only find to be mildly funny, but the audience seemed to respond well to his brand of comedy last night…and so did the judges. I’m a bit baffled that Heidi finds this guy funny, but not Taylor Williamson – but then again, she seems to be suffering from the delusion that all comedy must be family-appropriate to be funny. If he makes it through, I think he’s gonna pale in comparison to both Taylor and Angela Hoover – but on a weak night like last night, I think he was a stand-out and has a decent chance of making it through.
5.) Ruby & Jonas – I’m starting to really hate that they pitted sibling against sibling, and seem to be milking it for all its worth on the show. Poor Ruby & Jonas – I think they’ve got every bit as much heart as D’Angelo & Amanda, but just haven’t been dancing as long and just aren’t quite up to their skill level yet. I also agree with whichever judge said that they liked D’Angelo & Amanda’s choreography better – I think D’Angelo & Amanda’s was more hardcore dancing, whereas Ruby & Jonas’ routine seemed like a lot of fluff and filler, probably to conceal that they aren’t ready for some of that harder stuff yet. It’s just not a really fair fight, if you ask me – but I think hearts are gonna break tonight, because I don’t see both acts making it to the semifinals.
6.) Sprice – Oh, Sprice I just love this guy, because he reminds me of so many of the painfully shy engineers I went to college with – fantastic at what they do, but so socially awkward that you have a hard time really connecting with them on anything except their craft. I actually love watching Sprice’s machines do their thing – and I just think Mel is a bit simple-minded if she found it to be boring. Sure, he may lack a bit of the comedic panache that the Kinetic King had two seasons ago, but I think his awkwardness itself could be an endearing quality to audiences. That said – I don’t know that America appreciates this guy like I do, and I think he’s probably a longshot for the semifinals.
7.) Dave Fenley – Dammit Dave – you blew it. He was probably my favorite vocalist in the competition, and I just think he picked the wrong song. I think his initial audition and Vegas performance worked out well because the songs he chose fit his voice and musical style well – Ray Lamontagne? Not so much. I think it was just too “sweet” of a song for him – he didn’t sing it wrong, per se, but I just don’t think it was really in his wheelhouse to begin with. Really disappointed – I think he probably would have made it through performing another song.
8.) Virginia State University Gospel Chorale – Another group that I had high hopes for, but was left only feeling lukewarm about. I actually think “Like a Prayer” was a good song choice, but they seemed to jump straight from the slow, haunting opening, right into the upbeat, rocking chorus…I feel like they could have really utilized the way the song really builds, instead of just jumping around. But I do love the way they create the feel of a “wall of sound” – it’s the one problem I really have with the American Military Spouses Choir: they only have a handful of really strong vocalists, and those swaying in the background only sort of hum. Unfortunately for this group, I think they may have just gotten lost in the shuffle last night.
9.) Sam Johnson – Was this really all that different than his initial audition? Yeah, he added the part where he swings down and rides the pole like a giant pendulum, but really – what else was different? And could he really make an entire show out of it? I think he would have probably been better off doing something more like his Vegas performance, where he didn’t have to go out and do stuff on the pole. Rather forgettable in the great scheme of last night.
10.) Melody Caballero – No doubt she’s got major skills – but her performances always seem so slow and sleepy. I appreciate what she does, but it seems like it takes so long to get into each position that she loses my interest during the transitions. But I applaud her for throwing a routine together on such short notice, and coming out to fill in for Rong Niu
11.) 2Unique – Haven’t been a fan of this act from the get-go, and thankfully, I think the judges finally opened their eyes last night and said “Wait, this isn’t Vegas show-worthy!” I feel like the rapping one just kind of yells into the mic and bounces around; the DJ is actually quite talented, but you really can’t appreciate what she’s doing because the other one is just jumping around and yelling. Very cute girls, no doubt – but they’ve got a lot of maturing to do before they have a bona fide act on their hands.
12.) Selena Mykenzie Gordon – Not really terrible and not really good – just “meh”. I don’t really know why she picked that Rascal Flatts song…she seemed to really struggle with it vocally. Granted, it was definitely no Marty Brown-level fail, but it just didn’t really make me care…I was left just going “Eh, whatever.”
So what are your thoughts on the last quarterfinal group?