HI HI! IT’S TY-TY! Pure AGT Season 12 Live Show #4: Power Rankings

Yay, I’m getting this up before the eleventh hour for once!

This first group of Semi-Finalists was clearly the weaker one on paper, but some of them really upped their game, and I think tonight turned out to be the best live show of the season yet since the first Quarter-Final. I’m noticing there seems to be a fine line that the acts have to toe at this point in the game; they have to keep upping their game with new elements to each successive performance, but by now they’ve all built a “brand” for themselves that the audience recognizes and by changing things up they risk alienating the fanbase they’ve built this far on the show. I think this is why we’ve often seen (and will likely continue to see) singing acts leave en masse during this round; most of them just don’t have the freedom to play around with their act like the variety performers do. With that in mind, let’s see how the votes seem to be falling this week……

1. Darci Lynne Farmer: With the only act of the season that caters to singing and variety fans alike, it’s no wonder Darci is the odds-on favorite to win the grand prize. Even though she seems to be relegated to the “comedy bit followed by a song” format, I like how she combined the two tonight, as opposed to her previous performance when the song started and the connection with the puppet character dropped a bit. Ventriloquism has actually proven to be the mos successful variety act on AGT, with two representatives in the winner circle from the genre. And in two weeks, we’ll get to see if Darci can be the third member of that exclusive club.

2. Sara & Hero:┬áRemember when everyone was ripping the judges a new one for letting them advance through the Judge Cuts and now their Semi-Final performance has been getting the most love from viewers on social media (other than Darci of course)? Clearly they’re well liked if they were in the top 5 of their Quarter-Final episode; I guess I just underestimated how much support they’ve been getting. It’s certainly not undeserved-I think they’ve stepped up their game more than most others have at this point-I think I’m just surprised that one dog act was cut immediately without even getting a shot at the Dunkin’ Save and the other is likely going to sail into the Finale without ever being on the bubble.

3. Preacher Lawson: The shade was real tonight on AGT. Of ┬ácourse, everyone is talking about Darci lampooning the parade of old ladies who flirted with Simon earlier this season, but I think Preacher took the cake for me with his “HI HI! IT’S TY-TY!” moment in his set (if you don’t know what that was referencing, click on any AGT YouTube channel video from this season and skip to the end until you get a Tyra bumper). Preacher’s style of comedy may not be for everyone, but like last round, being the only one of his genre is probably going to give him a boost. And his personality is just so infectious it’s hard not to root for him. If he doesn’t make top 3 tomorrow night, I think he’s probably a lock to get the Dunkin’ Save.

4. Mike Yung: His performance felt quite stagnant tonight, without a lot of range in expression or tone. It felt like a less powerful version of what the Masqueraders did two weeks ago, and we all know how that ended for them. However, Mike still seems to be a favorite of quite a few people, and he did get the pimp spot this week, which could indicate that he’s been getting a lot of audience support (though I do think that may actually have hurt him a bit, since he had to follow frontrunner Darci). In the end, I’m going to guess Dunkin’ Save territory for him tomorrow night.

5.┬áChase Goehring: I thought Chase would be close to a lock to advance to the Finals, but I think he might have fallen under the radar this week. Nothing about his segment was particularly memorable, which is arguably more dangerous than being outright bad. Luckily, I think he’s gained enough devoted followers to get enough votes to be in Dunkin’ Save territory.

6. Evie Clair: Evie definitely seemed less nervous this time around, and her confidence came through in her performance. I think being the only act left to incorporate a “live” piano might also help people remember her. Still, I think it’s her story carrying her through the most, and, while absolutely heartbreaking, I really don’t want it to be the main reason she makes the Finale.

7. Johnny Manuel: Johnny got some mixed reviews last night, and it seems like he could be one of the singer casualties of the week. He has his fans-as well as those who appreciated the choice to perform an original song-behind him. However, the judges were pretty hard on him, his running order spot was meh, and the hype surrounding him has died down considerably (I don’t even remember them mentioning him-or, come to think of it, anyone else but Darci-getting the Golden Buzzer tonight). I think at best he has a shot at sneaking into Dunkin’ Save territory.

8. Billy & Emily England: They were actually one of my favorite parts of the episode-I could tell they made a strong effort to show us some tricks we hadn’t seen before-but it seems many viewers have grown tired of the spinning in circles thing, even with the new stuff. Having been top 5 after their last performance they might make it into Dunkin’ Save territory, but I think their only hope of moving forward is the Judges’ Save, if they even get that chance.

9. Eric Jones: Eric without a doubt improved over his previous performance, but I think his “casual” delivery is really going to hurt him this time. The trick was great, but he faded into the woodwork because of his lack of stage presence compared to most of the other acts in this group.

10. Danell Daymon & Greater Works: I liked this performance, but I’m looking around Facebook and Twitter and it doesn’t seem like a lot of people agree with me….

11. Yoli Mayor: There seems to be a trend with singing performances on reality shows. Those who go for the high notes and belting get over-the-top praise, and those who go for something in the lower register are deemed lesser performers or are just plain forgotten about. I think the latter type of song is more suited to Yoli’s voice, but it’s not what the viewers for these kinds of shows tend to remember. She managed to hang on by a thread in the Quarter-Finals, but I don’t see her having that luck tonight.