“America’s Got Talent” aired the first season 12 nail-biting live elimination round last night on NBC. Only seven out of the 12 acts who performed in this week’s Live Shows premiere would advance to the semifinals. Shocking results at the top of the intense hour found Howie Mandel’s Golden Buzzer winner Christian Guardino and inspirational 21-year-old singer Yoli Mayor fighting for America’s Dunkin’ Save along with Korean dance troupe Just Jerk. America would save one act, the judges would save another, and one act would be eliminated at the end of the show.
What Just Happened?!
We’ve heard Mel B blurt out this phrase throughout the AGT audition phase this season. But, we were all arguably thinking it as 17-year-old vocal wunderkind Christian Guardino was the first act called out as facing elimination. What? This was crazy! Christian sings with a power and passion way beyond his years. It's hard to know how he ended up in jeopardy after his stellar "Make It Rain" performance. Just Jerk was also named, along with Yolie Mayor.
Just Jerk is an amazing dance team. Their choreography and precision is so on point. Likewise, Yoli Mayor is a beautiful singer. However, some of the judges felt that each of these acts fell a little short of their original auditions on their Tuesday night performances. This might be true. Of all three acts, though, Christian Guardino did not deserve the vote he’d been given.
Nine Acts Left to Face the Axe
Most of us were still recovering as Tyra moved on to reveal the fate of the nine remaining acts. Child dance duo Artyon and Paige were up against In the Stairwell and the A Cappella group advanced to the next round. We feel sorry for Aryton and Paige. It’s hard to bear big disappointment at a young age. But, they undoubtedly have a bright dance future ahead of them and we’re sure America wishes them well.
Singing Trump, Puddles Pity Party and Preacher Lawson were called next. Electric standup comic Lawson was safe and the other two acts went home. Singing Trump extended his moment in the public eye by giving the judges “Make AGT Great Again” red ball caps. He accepted his loss with grace. Meanwhile, Puddles teared up and Preacher Lawson was thrilled with his win.
Grace VanderWaal Dances in the “Moonlight”
Last season’s champ Grace VanderWaal offered some relief from the intense results with a live performance of her latest single “Moonlight.” Her life has been changed forever with her AGT win and she bubbled with enthusiasm in telling Tyra Banks what she’s been up to since her win. They also discussed her upcoming live tour.
More Good News and Bad News
Hearts most likely pounded in living rooms across the country when pint-sized powerhouses Darci Lynne Farmer and Angelica Hale were called up together. Both girls probably thought one of them was leaving (so did we!). Thankfully, both girls are moving on to the semi-finals. Yay! We couldn’t be more thrilled and relieved – and so were they as they hugged each other and Angelica cried happy tears.
Clown acrobat Bello Nock was called up with sibling skaters Billy and Emily England. The British native brother and sister duo was saved and Simon was happy to see the former BGT contestants get another shot at fame.
The Dunkin’ Save results ultimately advanced Christian Guardino to the next round. Color us thrilled! Just Jerk and Yoli Mayor had to rely on the judges’ vote to save them. It was a tie, with Heidi and Simon voting for Yoli and Howie and Mel B backing Just Jerk. America’s vote broke the tie and sent Yoli through to the semifinals.
Overall, America arguably got it right with their first crop of semifinalists. More acts will take the stage for live performances next week.
“America’s Got Talent” airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.