Last night, I admitted I was worried that your love for kid singers would cloud your judgment on this "America's Got Talent" results show.
With two kid singers and a whole kid choir in the running, America's vote stood a good chance of mucking everything up. Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-kid singers. I'm just anti voting for them because they're kid singers. The bottom line is that none of them were strong enough. I know it and you know it.
So, I came into the night with my fingers crossed and my nails chewed down to the quick. There were six great acts Tuesday night, but only five could advance. Did you get it right, or did you start filling the finale with kid singers?
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.
A patented "AGT" results show time filler, this one featured the judges and host Tyra Banks being given a very modern IQ test. Now, this is a great group of people, but Mel B is the youngest of them at 43-years old. I don't care how cool your kids think you are, no one is "woke" enough at 43 and older to identify past "AGT" stars by emoji.
It wasn't pretty, and then got even funnier as they all strained and struggled to put together Simon Cowell's name from a sighing face, male outline, cow and well. Heidi Klum, sitting right next to Simon, settled on Simon Moowell!
Who knew that Howie Mandel would be completely unrecognizable with a long, snowy beard. The "AGT" judge apparently showed up to the initial auditions with a beard that looked like he'd been growing it since last year's finale. And because he looked so different, he decided to go down in disguise and mess with the nervous contestants.
He padlocked one woman's purse to a chair so that she'd have to bring it with her to her auditions, and generally said shocking and outrageous things to everyone he could find. Finally, before a final buzz, Heidi had a little too much fun with it. The problem is, the segment wasn't all that much fun, but at least it got super awkward when Howie called out Tyra for having fake hair.
Can I just admit that I hate this time-padding gimmick so much. What's so wrong with America's original vote after the Tuesday night show? We were told the Top 5 would go through, but now the fourth, fifth and sixth have to battle again to really advance.
How unfair to the act America wanted fourth and fifth. Now they have to prove it once more with the stupid "Dunkin' Save" insta-vote saving one act and the judges the other ... unless it's a tie and we go back to the original votes.
This week, Duo Transcend, Samel J. Comroe and Voices of Hope found themselves in this dreaded spot. Now, these were my 2nd, 6th and 8th acts on the night, respectively, so I could already tell we're going to have some trouble, America.
America has always hated danger acts when it gets toward the end of the season, which hurt Duo Transcend, while Voices of Hope proved to be just too many kid singers for America to resist. That said, it was Samuel J. Comroe who took an early lead in the voting.
With three acts in the Dunkin' Lounge, there were only eight of them left on the stage, and of those eight acts, only three would advance. Suddenly the night felt even more awful and I found myself wondering if I would hate you for getting your votes so wrong again.
And then, Tyra brought up my 1st and 3rd acts, and I knew we were going to have to have some words. How are you supposed to eliminate either Shin Lum or Us the Duo? It turns out you hate adorable and pregnant married couples, but at least the show's best magician, Shin Lim, gets to move on. In your defense, that wasn't their strongest song.
Next up, it was all the solo singers as Michael Ketterer was flanked by Amanda Mena and Makayla Phillips. Michael Ketterer was my 4th pick, while I had both girls out of my Top 5, and you got this one right. Michael Ketterer deserves this chance to represent vocalists this year.
But would you get it right between the remaining acts: Zurcaroh, Front Pictures and Junior New System (the latter two at the bottom of my rankings while Zurcaroh was my 5th place finisher)? The answer is yes, and we're not fighting anymore as Zurcaroh secures their spot.
Finally, it was down to the "Dunkin' Save" acts, and it looks like that early lead held out as Samuel J. Comroe gets a chance to bring the laughs one more time. That left Voices of Hope and Duo Transcend to face the judges, and they don't love kid singers as much as you do.
But they hate making decisions even more when it comes down to the wire like this, so they threw it back to America and you got it right with Duo Transcend. My guess is you also picked Samuel J. Comroe, based on his dominance in the revote, so the whole thing was to really just drag out the cruel torture for the Voices of Hope kids.
In the end, five of my top six acts made it through, with only Us the Duo the odd act out, and so I guess I can't be mad at you, America. You're clearly listening to me and it really is for the best. Let's take this thing all the way to the end!
"America's Got Talent" airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.