‘America’s Got Talent’ Quarter-Finals Week 2 Recap

Julia Delbel
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Makayla PhillipsYoutube


It was a night of technical difficulties (props to the crew for pulling everything together!) harsh critiques, and drama at the judges’ table, but somewhere in the middle of it all we got to see 12 quarter-finals acts perform for a spot in the America’s Got Talent semi-finals.

Makayla Phillips

Makaya reminds me a lot of Ariana Grande, both vocally and in mannerisms while performing. She delivered a nice rendition of “Issues” tonight, but the song didn’t allow for a big “power” moment like in her audition. I hope if she makes it through she sings a song that takes her voice to it’s full potential next time. And I still think she’d be more suited to The Voice than AGT; I think she’d get more out of being mentored by one of the coaches over there than just performing a couple times on AGT.

Da RepubliK

I remember being disappointed this group was sent through to the live shows over other acts in their Judge Cuts episode. But tonight I was so happy they were!  They had great choreography and staging, with just enough fun tricks and “wow” moments for the dance to be impressive without coming across as too gimmicky. It was just so much fun to watch and I could feel their passion through the television screen!

Noah Guthrie

Controversy about Noah’s Glee days aside, I thought this was a great song. I hope he keeps up the hustle after his time on AGT is done because I think he could have a great career as a songwriter. That said…yeah, the fact that he was on Glee is a dark cloud hanging over him, and one I don’t think is going to go away for however long he’s competing here. It’ll be interesting to see how the voters respond to him.

Side Note: I find it very odd that Howie seems to generally be against singers who perform original songs after he Golden Buzzed Grace VanderWaal a couple seasons back and she not only won, but is probably the most well-known AGT alum by the general public.

Yumbo Dump

The first couple of sounds these guys did were really awkward, which was multiplied by the fact that the transitions were slow and this was a live show so they couldn’t edit those down and the cameras were always on them and they couldn’t really cut to the judges or audience for reactions (I think seeing those added a lot to the funny, absurd vibe of the act). They were buzzed by everyone except Howie, but thank goodness he didn’t give up on them because that dolphin love story at the end was terrific (and got Simon and Mel to retract their X’s). I feel like if the entire act had been like that it would have been much smoother, but as is this felt like half a step down and half a step up in comparison to their previous AGT performances.

Samuel J. Comroe

I’m already tired of the show branding Samuel as “the comedian with Tourette’s Syndrome” especially tonight because I don’t think he made a single joke about that and the package wasn’t really about it either. His set tonight was centered around dogs, which was cute, but I’m with Heidi in that I liked his delivery more than the actual material.

Voices Of Hope Children’s Choir

When this first started I was impressed by how much more professional they came across than before, but then the performance kind of fell apart. The song choice was very weird (and the soundtrack for The Greatest Showman is beyond overused at this point and should be banned for the rest of the season) and some of the kids started going off in places. This was like the opposite of Yumbo Dump; it started out well, but turned into a bit of a mess by the end.

Savitsky Cats

Forget The Sacred Riana, the CGI talking felines in this “Keeping Up With the Kats” package was one of the most legitimately terrifying things I’ve ever seen on AGT. Fortunately, the act itself stayed firmly on the side of cute rather than creepy. There were a few times it looked like the cats weren’t going to cooperate, but the trainers did a really good job of getting them to complete their tricks to the timing of the music. It was interesting to get a live demonstration of just how tough it is to wrangle cats like this, but I’m glad the issues didn’t ruin the act as a whole. And while they did re-hash a lot of their previous tricks, I did like the new ones, especially the walking on the trainer’s raised feet!

Glennis Grace

ANOTHER song from The Greatest Showman? Really? Did AGT already blow their music rights budget for the season? This wasn’t even this first time “Never Enough” was performed on the show.

My annoyance with the song choice aside, this was an excellent performance from Glennis and one that could launch her into frontrunner-dom. I think her story of being a single mom will also resonate with a lot of the core audience, but I did find it interesting that they brought up Noah’s Glee days multiple times tonight but painted Glennis as someone who had yet to get her big break despite her Eurovision and album success. It feels like a double standard.

The Sacred Riana

I enjoyed this act a lot, but not for the reasons I think I was supposed to. I know Riana’s performances are supposed to be scary, but this may have been the comedic highlight of the night for me. To be honest, I don’t know what the magic was supposed to be (and I’m not sure if the sudden cut to commercial was a mistake or the actual end of the performance) but the reactions from the judges – especially Mel – made this one of the most memorable parts of the night. The whole thing was over-the-top cheesy, but that’s what makes her act so fun to watch.

Quin & Misha

While I was pleasantly surprised by Da RepubliK earlier in the evening, this dance performance seemed like a step down from the past. The corny setup was cute, but the dancing itself just didn’t work for me. I know this was pretty much a pity Golden Buzzer and had almost no hope of getting a place in the semi-finals, but I would have just really liked to see them be extra silly or tongue-in-cheek sultry or something to make this performance more memorable.

Front Pictures

The show didn’t mention it, but this was a wildcard act who didn’t even perform in Judge Cuts. The lack of previous airtime gave this group a tough hurdle to overcome, but they clearly put their all into making this performance memorable to leave an impression on people’s minds. I absolutely loved the haunted hotel theme and it reminded me of some of the spooky rides at Disney World. There were so many great moments in this – the moon, the chase scene, the “pause” – and thankfully (and ironically) they didn’t suffer at all from this evening of technical difficulties. I have no idea how the audience is going to respond to this act, but I really hope their running order spot helped them be memorable enough to make it through tomorrow’s results show.

Duo Transcend

This was probably one of the most highly anticipated performances of the live shows after that accident last round. It was pretty similar to that routine, but I didn’t mind since they were trying to redeem themselves from the mistake and prove to the audience they could do it without any errors. I’d say they did a spectacular job with that and I think they just might have the potential to be finalists if they keep steeping it up (and take Simon’s suggestion of bringing back the fire!)

America’s Got Talent returns with a one-hour results show tomorrow night at 8/7c on NBC.

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