Talent Recap

‘AGT’ Live Show #1 Power Rankings: Who Will Move On to the Semi-Finals?


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Now that we’re into the America’s Got Talent live shows, the bulk of the power shifts from the judges to we viewers!

Audience members voted for their favorite performances from last night’s show, and later on tonight we’ll find out which seven of the 12 acts we saw last night will move on to the semi-finals in a few weeks.

The top five acts are guaranteed a place in the next round, while the bottom four will be eliminated. But the acts in sixth, seventh, and eighth place will compete for the final two spots up for grabs. The first will be determined by an online-only viewer vote called the Dunkin’ Save, and the second will be chosen by the judges. (If the judges are deadlocked, the act who got more votes from last night will advance.)

Looking at the response from viewers to last night’s acts, there are a couple of clear frontrunners in this group as well as some who seem obviously doomed. But there are quite a few who could go either way. It’s hard to tell where everyone will end up, but I’m taking my best shot at it with these power rankings, listing the acts in order of most to least likely number of votes from last night based on the feedback I’ve seen. (If you’re looking for a review of the performances themselves, check out last night’s recap!)

  1. Courtney Hadwin: Her performance was probably the most anticipated of the entire quarter-finals round, and she totally delivered. People seem to love seeing Courtney come alive on stage and show off her raw talent, and she did that. If she continues to sing songs that suit her as well as this one did, she’s likely to win the whole thing.
  2. Shin Lim: The other act from this group I think has a semi-finals spot in the bag. Shin isn’t an “entertainer” like a lot of the magicians we see on AGT, but the thing is, he doesn’t need to be; he’s a dedicated craftsman whose performances speak for themselves, and it’s refreshing to see someone just go up there and do their thing without all the bells and whistles. If he gives another strong performance in the semi-finals, he’s very likely to make it to the end.
  3. We Three: I originally had this group much further down the list, and I really wouldn’t be surprised to see them in the Dunkin’ Save, but for some reason they seem to be getting more votes than people who were noticeably better than them tonight. I don’t make claims like this lightly, since I know everyone has different tastes, but their song last night was so forgettable I have to believe the level of support I’ve seen from them since has to do with their backstory. I just hope they give us a better performance next time, because it’s been nice have a band on AGT again and if they’re going to stick around I want to see them be as good as they were for their first audition.
  4. Vicki Barbolak: I was worried about Vicki’s chances since the older comedians don’t generally go over well with the voting audience, but I was pleasantly surprised to see how many viewers have taken to Vicki. I think performing so late in the show probably gave her a nice boost (acts who perform earlier are more likely to be forgotten by voters at the end of the night) and I imagine at worst she’ll be up for the Dunkin’ Save tonight.
  5. Amanda Mena: I have no idea where Amanda is going to end up tonight. She sort of faded into the background this week, but I there being only a couple of solo singers on this episode and several other acts dropping in quality might be enough to help her sneak into the top five tonight. The Golden Buzzer factor might give her a boost so I’ll leave her here for now, but I don’t think she’s getting anywhere near the grand prize and if she does advance she will most likely be one of the many singer-casualties we tend to get come the semi-finals. (Don’t worry, that term is only in an elimination sense!)
  6. Angel City Chorale: Performing so early in the show might have made this group fade into the woodwork a bit, but being a Golden Buzzer might give them a bit of a boost. It’s hard to tell exactly how much support they have, so I’m going to guess it’s somewhere in the middle.
  7.  Mochi: Easily among the best performances from last night, but one I’m concerned people may have forgotten about by the end of the show. I have a feeling Mochi is going to be up for the Dunkin’ Save and if that’s the case I really hope people vote for him because his is the kind of unique variety act you can’t see many places besides AGT.
  8. Flau’jae: Going into this week I was under the impression Flau’jae would be a frontrunner in this competition. Now that her quarter-final performance is done, that…doesn’t seem to be the case. A lot of people just do not seem to like Flau’jae, whether it be for political reasons or otherwise. While I did think this was her weakest showing yet, it did show shades of a new side to her abilities and made me want to see more of her. She seems like the type to take criticism from the judges and run with it, so it’d be a shame to see her go now. Hopefully she’ll get a “Golden Buzzer boost” and stick around because she has so much potential to grow as an artist from this experience.
  9. Junior New System: I really hate putting these guys so low, because based on last night’s performances alone they should easily be one of the acts to automatically advance. Unfortunately, they’re a group act which can be a hard sell to the AGT audience, and the general vibe surrounding them seems to be that people liked their routine but not enough to put the effort in to actually vote for it. Even if they end up on the bubble, I sadly have my doubts they could win a Dunkin’ Save vote or judge verdict. I hope by some miracle they made top five and won’t have to worry about all that, but it just doesn’t seem likely.
  10. Human Fountains: Surprisingly, I don’t think these guys were rock bottom in voting support this week. There’s virtually no chance they move on, but it does seem like they got some votes based on irony or spite from people whose families forced them to watch AGT. And you know what? I think that’s more than anyone expected of them, so kudos for that.
  11. Lord Nil: This act was such a non-event (which something labeled as a danger act really shouldn’t be) I’ve barely heard anything about it one way or the other, which is never a good sign on reality competition shows. I’ll be floored if he even makes it to the Dunkin’ Save bubble.
  • PAC Dance Team: I’ve seen virtually no one claim to be voting for this group, and they were one of the acts almost no one agreed with advancing past Judge Cuts. They just don’t really seem to have anything going for them that would motivate viewers to vote for them over pretty much any of the other acts in this group.

Dunkin Save

As I explained earlier, the acts in sixth, seventh, and eighth place will be on the Dunkin’ Save bubble. If my list is correct (and I’m sure it won’t be) Angel City Chorale, Mochi, and Flau’jae would be the three acts up for it.

Keeping in mind that Dunkin’ Save voting is only available on the internet, I believe Flau’jae would be most likely to win it in this scenario. Her appeal seems geared to the younger, online crowd and I think her story could be a big motivator for people to pick her.

This would leave Angel City Chorale and Mochi as the acts the judges would choose between. My best guess for that result would be a 2-2 tie (because the judges seem to love those) with Angel City getting more of the audience vote from Tuesday night and thus being the one to advance.

Be sure to tune in to AGT tonight at 8/7c on NBC to see how wrong I am about all of this, and to enjoy a performance from last year’s champion Darci Lynne Farmer!

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