"AGT" producers try to pull of one of their cruelest and most manipulative results stunts yet, but it mostly doesn't work at all.
Welcome to another "America's Got Talent" results show, this time padded with Simon Cowell getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as well as a performance by the cast of "Beautiful: The Carole Kinge Musical."
Both moments were rather beautiful to watch. Featuring short interviews with several of the acts that Cowell has helped turn into worldwide stars with his "Got Talent" and "X Factor" shows, it was a wonderful tribute to a true innovator.
On top of that, there were some gut-wrenching results, including one of the cruelest tricks made yet by producers ... even if they didn't pull it off nearly as clever as they thought they did. And I have to say, you didn't disappoint me nearly as much as you usually do with your votes, America, so good on you for that!
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 sixteen years analyzing and critiquing reality competition shows for various media publications. I've got this.
Simon's a Star
This segment featured a sweet tribute to Simon Cowell, featuring comments from his original "American Idol" cohorts Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson, and his current fellow judges Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howie Mandel, as well as host Tyra Banks.
We also got to see some very sweet messages from some of the people whose lives he's changed through these shows he's created, including Grace Vanderwaal, Susan Boyle, Camila Cabello, Louis Tomlinson and last year's "AGT" winner, Darci Lynne.
He just better watch out, because his son Eric is gunning to be an even bigger star and get one of his own someday!
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Abby Mueller took the lead in this quick look at the Carole King Broadway musical. Her take on this real-life icon is beautifully realized, as her voice captures much of what made King so special. We were presented with the big finale number, and what many would argue is King's signature song in "I Feel the Earth Move," and it was a rousing feel-good moment, for sure, on a tense night.
Welcome to the "almost there" club. These acts finished sixth, seventh and eighth in a competition that is advancing seven acts. Sounds straight-forward, but it's not. First, they must jump through another producers hoop by surviving the "Dunkin' Save," whereby America puts one of these acts through.
Then, the other two face off against the judges when there are literally seconds left in the show so they can hem and haw and either choose one of them to advance, while the other goes home. It's a great second chance for the eight-place act, but for the other two it just means you could come in sixth in the vote and one bad hour could be your undoing.
Aaron Crow, Daniel Emmet and The Future Kings found themselves in the danger zone this week, which is pretty close to what I predicted. These were my 5-7-8 acts, which makes sense. My sixth act was Us the Duo, and of course they were going through.
Daniel Emmet scored America's vote, so the other two faced the judges. Mel B and Heidi Klum quickly gave it up for Crow, while Simon Cowell voted for The Future Kingz, sending the final vote to Howie Mandel, who put Aaron Crow through.
Speaking of Us the Duo, they were brought to the front of the stage with Hans: German Superstar, so it was the end of the road for poor Hans. Of course America fell in love with the new-pregnant, adorable Us the Duo.
Next up, it was Brian King Joseph squaring off against Joseph O'Brien in a very tense Joe-off that went to the very deserving violinist, Brian King Joseph.
Later, heartfelt dad Michael Ketterer was brought to the front with Rob Lake and Christina Wells, and this one was brutal if only one of these acts were going through. Christina was my top act, while Michael came in third in my rankings. But America only sent Michael Ketterer through, and what are you doing, producers, because not really!?
Turns out another of them is safe, and of course it was Christina Wells. But why put her through this additional torture and fear. And, I mean, come on? Zurcaroh and UDI Dance? It was so obviouis Zurcaroh was going through.
And with Daniel Emmet and Aaron Crow joining from the Dunkin' Lounge, I went seven for seven on the night! You're finally starting to listen to me, America. And isn't it better this way?
"America's Got Talent" airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.