First up was Ishaara. They had really impressed in the preliminary rounds, with the consequences that I targeted them for the top 10. I will restate that as top 5; they delivered a clean and completely synchronized Bollywood movie dance performance, which is novel to U.S. audiences. Somebody, I think Nick Cannon in a voiceover during clips of their earlier performance, said that they are all of Indian heritage. If the beautiful blond who is their lead female dancer is Indian, her Midwest accent indicates otherwise. I continue to be entranced with this group. Piers was fixated on that lead dancer, saying that he had a tough time focusing on anyone else; their formations do not hide anyone, so Piers has made a mistake by not looking at all the dancers in their gyrations. He also said they were clearly the best dance group in the competition, which is quite true. I think they are the only dance group which will make the top 5 along a 4 singers. Sharon said upbeat. David says America's Got ? A very definite Y
AGT for the second week in a row was scheduling its top talent at the beginning, as Barbara Padilla was next. She was stunning in a blue gauze gown and her voice was restrained. She sang an aria that Andrea Bocelli has made famous. Her voice soared to her marvelous high notes, perfectly in tune. She too is pretty much a lock for the top 5. Sharon told her that the way she looked and her performance were both perfect (Sharon and David are known for their hyperbole). David said "you are what you are supposed to be." (not hyperbole but pretty cryptic). So another definite Y.
10 acts left to compete for 3 slots. Unlike last week, the top talent pool suddenly closed up, leaving the rest of the evening bereft of any really outstanding performances. We now saw and heard the less scintillating acts.
Pam Martin and Top Dogs. Pam indicated that she changed the name of her act when she substituted Spy (Viva's brother) for Viva. I found this act enjoyable, but is this a top 20 act? I don't really think so. David says that this act has a place in Las Vegas. I am rate this act in the low B category. I doubt that any low Bs will make it. Low B
African High Flyers demonstrated a variety of high speed and high intensity gymnastics moves. The most notable was leaping over a flaming bar and then doing the limbo under the same bar at a really low setting. They had a good performance, but I did not get the vibrations of top talent here. Sharon said that they did OK but had not added any new elements to their performance. Low B
Mia Boostrom sang an Alleluia piece. It was gritty and she was good, not enough for top talent due to pitch problems but probably enough to make the next round. Sharon said perfectly sung with great emotions (as I said Sharon tends toward hyperbole). Piers admired her guts and resilience, but noted that some of her notes, particularly the high ones, were sour. He said she just doesn't have as good a voice as Kevin Skinner or Barbara Padilla. High B
Erik and Rickey showed why you put acts through several different performances to test their consistency and creativity. This act had looked really sharp in the preliminary round. The bar is a bit higher for the Quarterfinals and I don't think they will make it despite a very good and entertaining performance. I think the buck stops at last night's performance for this team. David acted as a flamenco dance audience as they finished. clearly getting in the spirit of it.Piers said that Erik had matured in his dancing since the last performance such that he is now equal to Rickey in talent. Sharon said Erik is now a true matador. David addressed his remarks to Rickey ? low B
Coney Island Chris - who were the idiots who put this act through? The unfortunate answer is Sharon, David and Piers. They voted for him on June 30 and then again in the cut from 160 acts to 40. Well, they made a mistake which was glaringly obvious night night. His pathetic attempts at humor were greeted with silence by the theatre audience. He did some fire-eating and he set his pants on fire. That left me cold. His departure is the one certain thing on tonight's results show. Piers asked him why he did not take it from scary during his previous performance to horrifying last night. A definite N
Mark and Anthony are buddies from college. One plays the guitar and sings and the other tap dances. Last night's performances exposed a major gap in ability between the two. The tap dancer is superb. The guitar player/singer is just average. That imbalance sunk this act. As Piers put it, "you're a great dancer and you're not a great singer." N
Lollipop Girls are a wildcard entry (meaning not rated good enough for the top 40), 10 pretty young ladies who have a mild burlesque act and throw parts of their pink costume like garter belts, mini-sweaters and scarves into the audience. They have good but not precise synchronization. They are likely to pick up a number of male votes (they have David's), but this is not an act ultimately going anywhere. Piers said very charming, very sexy. David said Vegas needs an act like this (notice that he did not say the coming rounds of AGT need it) and also "You take a licking and keep on ticking" (so do some bombs, David. Sharon said Vegas for you, definitely. low B
Recycled Percussion had a very entertaining act last night. I don't see them as top talent, but I think they will advance to the semifinals in 4th place for this group. They use a lot of gimmicks. One was tilting the stage with the 2 drummers by about 60 degrees. What does this accomplish in terms of percussion sound? Nada and it's distracting for the audience. Nick Cannon stated "Wow. Truly amazing. Great job!" I do not agree with his assessment. David said "You had to bring it. You brought it. Thank you." I see this performance as worthy of a high B
Drew Stevyns was another wildcard entry and he is a good singer but no better than that. He is out of his league in any further competition because he is a singer and will be compared to the other singers who are better than he is. He did well but discovered his limits. Piers said that "you are not one of the best singers in this competition by a long way." Drew is going home tonight. N
The final act was the Eriam Sisters, aged 16, 14 and 12. They are fun and entertaining although I found them singing a lot of unison, not harmony. As any serious singer knows it is actually easier by far for 3 voices to blend in harmony than for them to blend in unison. They should have used more harmony in their song, but this is a minor point. Nick Cannon calls them "America's next pop sensation." Piers calls them "the next Destiny's Child." I call them going to the semifinals. Y
So, what have we got. There are 3 Yeses, 2 high on-the-Bubbles, 4 low on-the-Bubbles and 3 Nos. Ishaara and Barbara Padilla are certainly moving ahead. I think the Eriam Sisters will also but am not sure of that. The high Bubble acts of Recycled Percussion and Mia Boostrom should go forward. That leaves one act from the low Bubble group to finish #6 and compete with what I expect will be Mia Boostrom at #5. Will it be Pam Martin and Top Dogs? African High Flyers? Erik and Rickey? or Lollipop Girls? My guess is that it will be Erik and Rickey, but I think they will be beaten in the runoff by Mia Boostrom. I see Coney Island Chris, Matt and Anthony and Drew Stevyns going home. We will see soon enough.
I expect to have my predictions for how the top 20 will ultimately do in my next recap soon after we know who the last 5 of the top 20 are.