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‘AGT’ Semi-Finals Week 1 Recap

Julia Delbel

Julia Delbel

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The semi-finals of America’s Got Talent Season 13 are here, and tonight’s 11 acts were clearly hungry for a spot in the final round.

Amanda Mena


I enjoyed Amanda’s take on the song “Happy”. She made it her own and performed it well. This was the first time I think Amanda has really stood out on AGT and I’d probably call her the best singing act of the night.

Junior New System


It was cool to see JNS do the opposite thing from last time, starting in the heels then taking them off later on. The socks-only segment had me worried someone was going to slip and fall onstage, but they killed it like always!

Us The Duo

I know the judges were mixed-to-negative on this song, but I actually thought it was probably the best one we’ve seen from them on AGT. The subject matter was somewhat mundane, but they made it cute and the music was catchier and more memorable than in the past.

Voices Of Hope Children’s Choir

I loved the song choice, but something felt a little off with this performance. It may have been the microphones, but I wasn’t able to fully hear all of the soloists and I don’t think the timing was always on point (I can’t tell if some of the changes the music were mistakes or intentional creative choices).

Shin Lim

It was Shin’s signature “Dream Act” and he did NOT disappoint! There were countless tricks featured, and all pulled off effortlessly. I loved how there was so much variety displayed even in a single subgenre of magic. I hear Shin plans on showcasing an entirely new act he’s never performed before if he makes it to the finals, and I really hope we get to see it!

Makayla Phillips

After Makayla’s last performance there were a lot of Ariana Grande comparisons, so I was happy to see a departure from the similar vocals into something all her own tonight. While I agreed with some of the judges that the whole thing was a bit overproduced, I can’t blame Makayla for that and she did her best to stand out despite it.

Front Pictures

I was happy to see them as the semi-finals wildcard, but their act tonight took away what I enjoyed from their previous performances – especially the hotel-themed one – the element of action. It was so cool to see the actors interact with the technology and while the astronaut story was neat, the live performer stayed relatively stationary the whole time which took away a lot of the excitement that was there in the past.

Duo Transcend

I was THRILLED to see these two add a whole new dimension to their act tonight, and I loved that they kept it a secret to keep up the shock and surprise factor in the performance! Just when people were starting to complain about the repetitiveness of their trapeze tricks, they took to the ground and kept up the danger with a roller-skating segment! We definitely can’t call them one-trick ponies anymore!

Samuel J. Comroe

Samuel did a good job with the limited time he had tonight but I was left feeling barely “warmed up” when he was finished. Comedians usually have ample time to ease an audience into their act but on this show I often feel like the sets have to stop just as they’re starting to get good. If Samuel makes the finals, I hope he really hits the ground running with his last set and doesn’t hold back with the belly-laugh material. He can’t afford not to.

Michael Ketterer

I found Michael’s performance pretty forgettable tonight since the song didn’t have any “wow” moments to make him really stand out. It wasn’t bad, just nothing special for me. However, I think the audience has grown very attached to him so in the likely event he makes it to the finals I hope his singing is just as impressive as his story.

Zurcaroh

I think this act more than any other is ready to headline their own show. We were treated to yet another breathtaking display of artistry in dance and acrobatics tonight, but with a entirely different story and tricks than we got from them last week. I can’t wait to see what they’ll do for the finals! (I know their place still isn’t confirmed, but I don’t want to think about the possibility they might not make it!

America’s Got Talent returns with results tomorrow night at 8/7c on NBC.

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About the Author

Julia Delbel
Julia is a writer at Talent Recap and hails from the Greater Toronto Area. She is currently pursuing a degree in Media Studies. When not sharing her latest reality TV hot takes she's likely enjoying a game night with friends, collecting enamel pins, or spending time with her cat, Zoey.

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