For some reason, “America’s Got Talent” front-loaded the quarterfinals with kid singers, even bringing one back as their wild card.
Does this spell doom for all of the other acts as the kid singers will take all seven slots available, or is this a way to trim them down to a more reasonable number? Considering America takes over the vote, it’s really down to what they want.
Outside of singers, we did get to enjoy the light art of Alex Dowis, the incredible danger of Bir Khalsa, the many voices of Greg Morton and the high kicks of the Emerald Belles. But that is only four acts out of eight.
Perhaps the most anticipated act of the night was blind, autistic singer Kodi Lee who blew the judges and everyone away with his first audition, earning Gabrielle Union’s golden buzzer.
He was joined this week by Julianne Hough’s golden buzzer Luke Islam and our first wild card act of the season, returning after getting cut in the previous round. Let’s just say, she was pretty excited to get that call!
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 seventeen years analyzing and critiquing reality competition shows for various media publications. I’ve got this.
And just for fun through this round, I’m gonna rank them from worst to first to see who emerges as my Top 7 and winner each week.
(singer) What an odd choice for Carmen, tackling Imagine Dragon’s “Believe.” Her voice didn’t seem to fit most of it, even as she tried to rearrange it for her powerful voice. But it’s a song that doesn’t soar like she does, making for jarring transitions throughout. Unfortunately, the whole performance didn’t do her enough favors to stand out and be remembered, nor did it showcase what makes her amazing vocally.
(impressionist) Maybe it’s just us, but there’s still a disconnect between enjoying the many movie impressions he can do and seeing this as a headlining show in Las Vegas. We’d still like to see some narrative in the set, rather than just disjointed cilps. Or at least a theme for the clips, or maybe original lines set within those movie worlds. He’s good at what he does, but is it enough? We could definitely see America loving him, though.
(singers) Another terrible song choice that did Ansley no favors. She’s such a spitfire personality and a lot of fun, but it’s hard to see this performance earning her enough votes to move on. It showed nothing of her voice you couldn’t see at a competent karaoke show.
(singers) If they don’t win “AGT” — and they won’t — they just pitched the theme song for their own Nickelodeon or Disney Channel kids show. These girls have the DNA of a bona fide girl group, but they’re not quite polished yet as vocalists to really set the radio on fire. But they have great presence, charm and personality with a positive message for young girls … plus, the songs are catchy. There’s definitely something special here.
(singer) The song in her intro package was much stronger than the one she took onto the stage with her. In fact, this was her weakest song to date and at the worst possible time when America finally gets a chance to vote. Sophie has a special voice and ability to speak in a current way about life in her generation, but she missed the mark here trying to proselytize in generalities rather than just speak her truth. Perhaps the package song will be enough.
Voices of Service
(singers) This was the wrong thing to do here because this moment is about getting votes. This was the performance you do at the end of your show for the powerful encore. Bringing out the choir made up of all five branches of the military is inspired, but it also took away from the group, and the song didn’t allow any of them to really shine in a meaningful or memorable way. It’s a shame, because they’re incredible.
(singer) Luke has the pipes, but he needs to learn to use his body if he wants to be a performer on Broadway. The best kid singer on the night, though, he really does have a connection to these songs and this genre. It’s easy to imagine “AGT” will deposit him right to his dreams, though he’s a longshot to win the show. His voice really soared throughout this piece.
(acrobats) Once again, these guys know how to play to the crowd, working disrobing into their routine. But it’s the acrobatics that are truly incredible, as they showcase incredible strength, balance and trust in one another. It’s not as flashy as other acts, which could hurt the with the vote, but they are tremendously talented and dedicated to their craft.
(light artist) What an incredibly unique presentation, chronicling evolution from the big bang to the present day with some truly stunning visual images. The speed at which he can create a dinosaur or early man is just stunning and the way he incorporates music and spoken word really makes this a magical and educational experience like no other.
(dancers) Yes, it’s more high-kicking and another drop into the splits to wrap it up, but the Belles really stepped up the complexity of their routine and, more importantly, the synchronicity of their movements. This was the tightest they’ve ever been, and they made some very cool pictures throughout. Yes, it still feels like a high school or college dance team, but that’s what they are and they’re very good at what they do. And tonight we saw glimpses of what they could become if they were to stick together and really grow as a unit with a clear vision.
(danger act) These guys are absolute lunatics, and even though there were some elements of repeat, the chainsaw and the heads lined up with watermelons added a new sense of danger that kept it exciting. The new guy screaming throughout we could do without, but there’s no denying that as danger acts go, this is one of the craziest and most compelling.
(singer) While not as powerful as his initial audition, Kodi still managed to soar on this cover of “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” He is truly an extraordinary talent and what an amazing gift for him and his family to have discovered. Moving on from here should be a no-brainer.
While we stand by our Top 7 above, we also don’t necessarily think America is going to agree with us. We expect Sophie Percora to make it in over the Messoudi Brothers.
Greg Morton could serve as a spoiler, but he went so early in the show and we really don’t see him elevating his act each time; rather he just brings out more impressions.
Another possiblity is that America doesn’t get the Emerald Belles and Ansley Burns or GFORCE creep into the next round, as we know how much America loves its kid singers.
Our final prediction, though, is Sophie swapping with Messoudi and our Top 7 otherwise moving on in tact. And we expect you to vote in alignment with that! We’ll all find out if you did when some of last season’s favorites return — including winner Shin Lim — for the results show.
“America’s Got Talent” airs Tuesdays and Wedesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
Got a story or a tip for us? Email TooFab editors at [email protected].