Ten years since her "Britain's Got Talent" audition took the world by storm, Susan Boyle was on hand to watch as seven more hopefuls moved one step closer to their dreams.
After a very hit-or-miss night of performances on "America's Got Talent," it was time to see which act was able to stink up the Dolby Theatre one night and advnace into the semi-finals the next.
And yes, this totally happened. Oh, and some very good acts advanced as well. While our predictions weren't a hundred percent accurate (we blame you, America, for not listening to us) we were close enough to be satisfied with the acts that will carry on.
The results show, as always, was padded with bonus content and this time it was all about ten-year anniversaries. Howie Mandel is celebrating his tenth as a judge on "AGT," while Susan Boyle is celebrating a decade since she first wowed everyone on "Britain's Got Talent." So they both got segments devoted to them.
And while the show kind of blew it with their tribute to Howie's humor, we have to say Simon Cowell absolutely nailed his personal tribute to his good friend with a powerful and very public statement.
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.
Okay, we've got to give it up to Simon for a pretty brilliant and totally real prank he pulled to honor Howie's ten years with the show. After a heartfelt speech that had Howie thinking this was going to be a touching and beautiful tribute from his friend, Simon revealed a billboard thanking Howie for ten years ... well, you've just gotta see it in the video above to fully appreciate its genius!
Later in the show, we got a montage of some of Howie's best jokes and puns, but we could have done with more jokes and less of Terry quizzing the other judges about them. It just killed every bit of momentum and humor the piece had.
Having Susan reprise the performance that kicked off her historic run on "Britain's Got Talent" for her own tenth anniversary was inspired, but it would have had more impact if maybe we'd see just a glimpse of that first audition so we could see how underestimated she was and how much she's grown. That said, this performance was a little lackluster to start before hitting a very late crescendo and showing just how easy it is for her to sound great. She still has zero stage presence, but makes it work, which is remarkable in itself.
This week, "AGT" got its act together for the Dunkin' Save. That meant it was the 6-7-8 slotted acts that slide into the hot seat with America insta-saving one and the judges having to decide between the other two.
Terry quickly tossed Charlotte Summers, Chris Klafford and Ndlovu Youth Choir into the fire, making all of them sweat it out until the end of the show to see who America will choose and who the judges will save.
In our predictions from last night, we had both Chris and Ndlovu advancing, and if it were up to America solely, we'd feel confident in those choices. But if Charlotte faces the judges, she is beloved for her earlier performances. That could be a nailbiter, especially if she squares off against Ndlovu as the judges also love Chris..
That said, props for coming in within the Top 8 after those harsh judges comments, though it's totally possible her tears could have elicited a healthy sympathy vote.
Terry gave us our first two acts to advance by pulling Joseph Allen and Tyler Butler-Figueroa up together. Not gonna lie, this one had us sweating a bit as we had put both of them into our Top 7, but we also knew that Joseph didn't connect as well with this song as he did the first.
Alas, that's how America felt as well and it was Tyler Butler-Figueroa who advanced, sending Howie's golden buzzer home. One result and we're already heartbroken! What fresh hell is this?
Things got a little easier when he brought V.Unbeatable up alongside The Sentimentalists because come on... we all knew it was V.Unbeatable, right? Even at their weakest, and that wasn't a great performance, they were way better than the mentalist mess.
But maybe they proved their own abilities as the couple adorably noted "it's them" of their opponents even as the audience audibly began to chant V.Unbeatable's name (and they were all right). At least The Sentimentalist took it with maturity and grace.
As for the audience, that reaction could well make the dance troupe the front-runners to win this whole show!
Next up, it was Light Balance Kids squaring off against Robert Finley and Nick & Lindsay. We had only Robert making it out of this trio, but with Joseph's elimination, there's room for an act we didn't see advancing and that went to Light Balance Kids.
It's always awkward when they bring up three acts, advance one and then have to tell the other two to stick around because one of them is advancing as well. This always looks terrible on TV, but we're thrilled that Robert Finley (our top act) advances, as he should.
Next up, it came down to Marina Mazepa and Ryan Niemiller, but again this felt like on that was just so obvious we didn't even need the dramatic music and camera zooms. Of course it was Ryan Niemiller. Dude just killed it the night before!
Finally, it was time to get back to the *DUNKIN' SAVE. America's save went to Chris Klafford**, who really deserved it. Did the judges give that last spot to Charlotte?
The judges were split with Gabrielle and Simon backing Ndlovu and Julianne and Howie on Team Charlotte, punting it back to America's vote and America agreed with us that Ndlovu Youth Choir had the edge.
In the end, we got six out of seven right and our eighth-place finisher took the final spot, so we're feeling pretty okay about these results. It tells us that you're almost listening to us. Next week we should be perfectly in sync.
"America's Got Talent" airs Tuesdays and Wedesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.