“America’s Got Talent” contenders delivered another round of astonishing season 13 semifinals performances last night on NBC. With tonight’s elimination looming over their heads, every act upped their game hoping to wow judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Mel B and Heidi Klum and win America’s vote. Like last week, only five acts will advance to next week’s finals. Overall, the night was filled with uplifting messages and magical music performances.
Christina Wells Sends a Positive Message
Christina Wells set the tone for what would turn out to be a spectacular night with her powerful rendition of Aretha Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel) Like a Natural Woman.” Prior to performing, Christina reminded us she was constantly put down due to her body image and size. So, she could never pursue her music dreams – until the overwhelming positive response on her AGT journey. Everyone loved her performance. Her nerves showed a little, as Simon noted but he thought “the diva’s arrived” and Heidi felt she was the only competitor with the “moxie and talent” to sing that song.
Once again, Christina was moved and emotional in the wake of everyone’s praise and she delivered an uplifting message saying, “One thing I have learned in this competition is that when I stand on this stage I stand here for people who have felt like they aren’t perfect, people who maybe are too heavy or maybe they didn’t feel like they were the right color. Or maybe you just feel like you didn’t fit in and so every minute that I stand here, whether I sing every note right or not, I stand here and I am proud that I have stood here.” Christina arguably deserves a spot in the finals.
Da Republik, Noah Guthrie and Daniel Emmet
A show of nerves seemed to also plague Da Republik who delivered a rather underwhelming dance routine. The troupe, overall, is fantastic. But, the routine fell short of the dazzling number they delivered the last time. Simon called the routine “generic” and unfortunately, that’s a pretty accurate description. Whatever happens tonight, we wish this group the best because they’ve worked hard through adversity and they are definitely talented.
Former “Glee” star stressed how critical song choice was in his pre-performance package and he couldn’t be more right. He took a huge risk in doing a stripped-down acoustic Dolly Parton-style performance of “I Will Always Love You.” He’s got such a big, soulful voice. But, with only five spots to fill to advance, he might have a tough time making it through.
Classical-crossover singer Daniel Emmet came back via a Wild Card and a last-minute Dunkin’ Save vote last week. So much was at stake for him and he too, struggled with song choice. He did an incredible job of “Somewhere” from “West Side Story,” especially in the powerhouse ending. Again, it’s hard to say where he’ll fall tonight in the results show. But, vocal skills alone, Daniel is a standout and he has huge star potential.
Angel City Chorale Shines a Light
Of all the acts, it was so moving to hear Angel City Chorale director Susan read the uplifting messages they’ve received from fans and viewers. Their message of diversity and inclusiveness is so inspiring and collectively, their hope in their voices could arguably light an entire city. The AGT audience did shine lights with them as they sang “The Rising” and dedicated the performance to 911 victims, families and first responders. It was a beautiful, touching moment in the evening and Simon is probably right – Angel City Chorale is probably the best choir the show has ever seen.
Howie Escapes Injury and a Favorite Trio Falters
Danger artist Aaron Crow did another long routine in which Howie was stuffed in a box on stage, unwittingly subjecting himself to being crushed by a sandbag if Simon chose the wrong number. This act seemed to drag a bit and was not as intense as others Aaron has delivered. We are glad, though, Howie escaped unharmed.
Comedian Vicki Barbolak followed and delivered a funny set about attracting men. Pitted against Samul Comroe, who already earned a spot in the finals last week, it’s hard to say who’s a better comic, or how America would split their vote for them.
Sibling trio We Three performed next and faltered a little on their original song, which had a reggae-feel. This group has so much potential, but the pressure may have caught up with them. Song choice is so critical, and it may have hurt them this week. Simon may have been a little too tough, though, by calling the performance “a mess.”
Musical Maestro and an Electrifying Teen Singer
Glennis Grace sang a wonderful version of “This Woman’s Work” by Kate Bush. It was passionate and powerful and she got a well-deserved four-judge standing ovation. However, it was mesmerizing when Brian King Joseph came out playing his electric violin on a pedestal near the ceiling and was eventually surrounded by flames as he poured out “Gangsta’s Paradise” at breakneck speed. The rush and the strength and the sheer magic of that moment was arguably unparalleled – especially given the fact he is in terrible pain and can’t even feel his hands. In that moment, Brian arguably threw down a victory gauntlet that will be hard to beat and Simon even said he thought he could win the whole thing. His place in the finals should be sealed, hands down.
Teen singing sensation Courtney Hadwin closed out the night as only she can with an off the chain rendition of “Born to Be Wild” and wild she was. However, her performance felt a little over the top, last night – though she definitely is a fan favorite. As Howie’s Golden Buzzer, he leaped to his feet telling her he thinks she’s going to win, while Mel B thought she was off and her nerves showed.
It’s going to be such a tough night tonight, with so many acts being cut. As previously reported, South Korean boyband BTS is performing their new single “Idol” during tonight’s results show. Tune into AGT tonight to see if your favorite act survives at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on NBC and stay tuned to AXS for updates.