Once again, only seven of the 12 acts performing tonight will advance to the Finals of "Ameria's Got Talent." They had to contend not only with one another, but with a cursed set as well.
Simon Cowell blamed The Sacred Riana, which is definitely one of the spookiest act to ever grace the "AGT" stage. But it wasn't just her performance that was spooky, it seemed like the entire show was riddled with problems, from faulty buzzers to collapsing mics and the total failure of the big stage doors, it was live TV at its best and worst.
The Sacred Riana may have spooked everyone again, but it was only one act that blew the audience away. Front Pictures proved that technology and art belong together, while Quin and Misha proved age is nothing but a number.
From dolphin love to dancing cats, there was plenty to look at Tuesday night, but all eyes were on the husband-and-wife trapeze act Duo Transcend as they sought redemption for their blindfolded stunt gone horribly wrong in the previous round. But on a night where everything was going wrong, could they get it right?
Fair warning, since I'm safe at home, I'm probably going to be a little harsher than my colleagues Howie Mandel, Mel B, Martina McBride, Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell. But I might be nicer, too. Maybe. For this stage of the competition, the voting shifts to America. Each night, I'm gonna rank them from worst to first to see who emerges as my Top Seven each night, and see if we're on the same page.
(singer) A solid mid-round rendition of "Issues" were this "American Idol" or "The X Factor" or something, but this is "America's Got Talent," and Makayla came out first. There was nothing particularly mind-blowing or memorable about her take on this Julia Michaels hit. She has a great and controlled voice, but she barely differentiated from the original. And on a show as wild and varied as this one, that's probably not going to be enough.
(performance art) This act always seems like it's wearing out its welcome, but then something like "Dolphi Love Story" comes along, and they rope you right back in. Still, this is one of the stupidest things to ever advance this far on "AGT," but there is no denying that they are very funny guys. Perhaps if they expanded their comedy a bit it might have more legs. Their "secret origin" intro was very charming and funny.
The Savitsky Cats
(cat trainers) For the first time, we saw these cats being a little ornery, resisting some of the stunts for a moment before a little nudge got them moving again. But the ladies still managed to up their game, adding in unique new stunts and keeping things moving in an interesting way. The "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" motif didn't quite work, and the music was altogether a disaster throughout the performance, and with that abrupt ending, but they remain a fascinatingly entertaining act.
(dancers) Honestly, the dance content wasn't nearly as strong this time. Instead, it seemed like the focus was more on lifts and Quin's flexibility, which is remarkable. Those were impressive, and the kinds of stunts that would even get noticed on legitimate dance competitions, but those judges would also demand more dance content from Quin between the times she's not on the ground. She looked a little stiff and hesitant. If she moves on, I'd say the stunts are on point, so focus on the groundwork.
Voices of Hope Children's Choir
(choir) They appear to have suffered some technical problems with the mics for their soloists, which is really unfortunate. They were drowned out by the choir behind them, muddling the strength and power of the overall performance. These kids are really talented, and have come together in a very polished way for how young some of them are. Definitely this is significantly stronger and more polished than most youth choirs; a testament to their director and discipline. It's just a shame this song didn't represent their talent as well as it could have thanks to some elements beyond their control.
(comedian) While not quite as strong as he was in previous appearances, Samuel landed a few strong jokes along the way. The biggest problem seems to be that he didn't properly capitalize on his 90 seconds. That doesn't allow a lot of time for long setups unless your punchline is going to be really, really strong. He should have moved quicker to give the audience more to work with when deciding his fate.
The Sacred Riana
(magician) This wasn't as strong as we've seen her before, but her theatricality is tremendous. Riana puts on a show and I could easily see her headlining an act that leaves audiences terrified. Other than some trick magic with a box and a piece of paper the biggest thing we saw her doing was scaling a wall as an army of Riana's came at her. It was bizarrely remarkable and compelling, but an abrupt commercial break kind of broke the mystique. Still, this is one of the most unique and memorable acts ever seen on this show.
(singer) Once again, Glennis blew the judges and the audience away not just by having a great voice, but by knowing how to interpret the message of a song and beautifully turn a lyric through her voice. Tackling "Never Enough" from "The Greatest Showman," Glennis made a case for maturity in life when tackling songs with depth and meaning. Glennis has lived and loved and hurt and been let down by life and all of those experiences inform how she chooses to interpret each song, making them not just covers, but truly her own. I don't even mind that she missed a few notes along the way, including the big one.
(dancers) Easily the strongest this crew has been all season, I'm still in awe of the four one-legged flips sequence. There were some creative formations, more high-flying stunts and visual creativity than we saw in their first two auditions combined. The incorporation of cars to dance on and a hat to dance with really added elements that could have gone wrong in a huge way. This was the first time Da Republik came out and looked like a real contender.
(singer) Noah came out and sang an original song like it was his anthem and this was the encore performance his fans demanded. It was a strong and confident performance, with his voice caressing the lyrics beautifully. It did take a bit ot really capture the audience as the early going was a little too soft, but once he hit the groove and the chorus, the roof was properly blown off. That's how you stand out as a singer in a competition like this.
(projection art) I wasn't blow away with the first performance by this group, but I saw the potential. This time around, that potential was realized, and then some. This was so incredibly creative and innovative, and absolutely immersive. The projection imagery was on point, and the play with the two men interacting within it was both humorous and exciting. This told a story, blew our minds and left us reeling all at the same time. The sky is truly the limit with this innovation.
(trapeze) This redemption performance was about so much more than just making that blind drop that made the news the last time they performed. Sure, they nailed that move, but it was only the opening salvo of a nonstop rollercoaster of thrills and excitements as she was tossed and thrown and twisted and turned, and all the time he kept the blindfold on. Even without a blindfold, the body control and strength and balance and trust they presented was enough to blow you away. With it, this act truly was transcendent.
Five acts will be going home on Wednesday night, but I'm feeling pretty good about my Top 7. I could see America voting in the children's choir, which could hurt Samuel Comroe or Glennis Grace, but I really hope they both get their chance. Could this be the first time American and I are in complete agreement? We'll find out very soon!
"America's Got Talent" airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.