This is it, folks: the final results of the semifinals. Five acts will join the five that went through last week to create next week's finals. The stakes couldn't have been higher, and for the most part the acts really stepped up their game. The singers were sharper, the daredevils were even more death-defying and Colin Cloud was creepier than ever. It was a great night of talent, so it's going to be a tough night of cuts. Eleven will enter, and only five go on. Six heartbreaks in just one hour. That's rough!
Who do I think I am? you ask. Well, I spent nearly a decade of my life sweating and bleeding to the music as a dancer. From a young boy learning a shuffle-ball-change to performing with the St. Louis Ballet Company, I experienced the ups and downs of one of the most difficult physically demanding sports on the planet. During this time, I was also a member of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, as well as a gymnast, writer and cartoonist. I had a lot more energy in my younger years. And I've spent the last fifteen years analyzing and critiquing reality competition shows for various media publications. I've got this.
Unlike the last Vegas circus act that performed on "AGT" earlier this season, Absinthe really brought entertainment with them. From the opening video with their creepy ringmaster the "Gazillionaire" stalking Tyra Banks to the strongmen to the tap dancers, ribbon dancers and jugglers, this troupe knew how to utilize the entire "AGT" set and really give us a variety of interesting things to look at. This looks like it would be a fun show to catch live.
See now, you're doing it to me already. I said I was on the fence about Kechi, and apparently America was, too. But then you put my top two acts of the night in there with her in Diavolo and Colin Cloud!? What's not to love about these acts? If this is because America wanted to put more kid singers through, we're going to have words. I'm going to call up each and every one of you and shout in your ears until you hang up!
Two of them will make it through, with America saving one and the judges selecting the other. But regardless of how this plays out, it's going to be a tough vote. Kechi has the sympathy factor and that always helps with America because you’re a bunch of softies. So she's probably got the save in the bag.
Right away Angelica Hale was singled out next to Merrick Hanna and Christian Guardino. I respected not making the kids wait that long, but it was kind of a no-brainer that Angelica had it out of this trio. Merrick didn't bring his A-game, and Christian was just outclassed by most of the other singers.
Tyra quickly brought out Celine Tam in the next group, alongside The Pompeyo Family and Mandy Harvey. Mandy Harvey was the most polished and ready of the three acts to go professional with what she does, so I was overjoyed to see her earn that second spot. It also meant that I was two for two in picking finalists to this point on the night. Not too shabby, America!
Light Balance was pitted against In the Stairwell in the final result which made me pretty nervous. Patriotism has carried the Air Force a cappella group further than I would have otherwise put them already, but I went three for three in this category, as Light Balance eked out the win. So the bottom three of my Top 5 was America's Top 3, so at least I'm in the ballpark here.
Considering her story, Kechi is likely a slam dunk in this category, so my streak was doomed to end. America's vote took care of that for me, pushing her through and giving us three singers of the five finalists advancing … because this is "America's Got Singers."
That left the fates of Diavolo and Colin Cloud in the hands of the judges. That's a decision I did not envy as both acts are deserving and yet they are completely different. I give the edge to Colin Cloud as he's upped his game with each round, while Diavolo has had some misfires based on the quality of their props.
Heidi didn't even get to vote and Diavolo crushed my dreams but sending home my favorite act of the week. Hopefully enough people in positions of power were watching to give him a career, because what he does is absolutely fantastic and he deserves a stage to do it on.
Evie Clair, the young singer who advanced to the finals during last week's broadcast, lost her father to his battle with lung cancer that same week. According to Simon Cowell, the decision has been left in her hands if she wants to return for next week's finals or not, so there may yet be another act that makes it through. Our condolences go out to her and her family at this difficult time, though we know he was so proud watching her fulfill her dreams on the show.
There's also the possibility that the judges will put another wild card through, as they did this week. So there may be hope for my boy Colin Cloud yet, or your favorite act that got cut.
For now, though, the finals are half-filled with singers including Angelica Hale, Mandy Harvey, Chase Goehring, Evie Clair and Kechi. They'll be competing against ventriloquist Darci Lynne, comedian Preacher Lawson, electronic dance crew Light Balance, dog act Sara & Hero, and daredevil troupe Diavolo.
Darci Lynne still seems to be the favorite to win, though I'd give a strong chance to Angelica Hale, Mandy Harvey and Preacher Lawson, as well. Drop into the comments and let us know who you think should win and why, and we'll see you next week to find out who was right.
"America's Got Talent" wraps a triumphant season next week with new episodes on Tuesday and Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.