Season 9 Episode 20
"Semifinals: Week 2 Performances"
The last 12 semifinalists compete for the million-dollar prize...
It's the second and final week of the America's Got Talent semifinals, and 12 acts will compete for a chance at another performance in the Top 12, just one step away from the finals. With half the slots already solidified, tonight's contestants feel the pressure - America will vote six acts forward, and the rest will go home.
The night begins with music as Jonah Smith, his band and a chorus of backup singers take the stage. He supplies the Radio City audience with a rocking rendition of OneRepublic's anthem "Love Runs Out." His classic take on a current song brings Mel B and Heidi to their feet, but Howard disagrees with their praise and believes Jonah needs to sing a song that would close a show, not start it.
All-ages salsa dance team Baila Conmigo hits the stage next and energizes the crowd with a frenetic display of synchronized choreography and passionate dancing. Once again, Mel B and Heidi give a standing ovation. Howard and Howie, on the other hand, suggest that Baila Conmigo change up their routine and showcase the kids on their own. Will this split decision affect America's vote?
Next, singer Jaycob Curlee seizes the stage and performs a heartfelt, acoustic cover of "Your Song" by Elton John. His performance incites the crowd to clap to the beat, but once again splits the judges - Howard cites it as his best yet, while Heidi decries his stage presence as lacking.
Magician Mat Franco is up next, and he immediately has three judges choose cards at random. He then uses Mel B's phone to take two photos of her holding all three cards - and spills water on the phone, rendering it useless. But after he "fixes" it using a pouch and a hairdryer, it disappears. Heidi calls the phone, and they follow the rings to an audience member's chair. Mat rips open the seat cushion and instructs Mel B to reach in... and she pulls out her phone! Not only does it work and the photos from earlier appear to confirm it's genuine, but the seat number is 642 - the three numbers the judges randomly selected. The judges all agree that Mat's trick and his stage presence remain top notch.
Acrobatic team AcroArmy takes the stage next, now armed with every member. They flip and toss each other in elaborate and physically challenging positions, all in front of a stage made to look like ancient ruins. This time, all four judges leap to their feet and describe the routine as not just Vegas-ready, but million-dollar ready. But in order for them to move on, they need America's vote.
Up next, Kelli Glover keeps the energy high with a poppy cover of Beyoncé's hit "Love on Top." She utilizes the stage with backup dancers and a colorful light display. But Howard and Mel B both decry the performance as flat and lacking the necessary confidence needed for a million-dollar act. Lucky for Kelli Glover, it's up to America to decide if she makes it to the Top 12.
Howard's wild card pick from the quarterfinals, comedienne Wendy Liebman, takes the stage next. She brings her A-game on a series of jokes that utilize her patented under-her-breath delivery. Howard and Howie both stand after her routine, and even Heidi praises her misdirection.
Dance duet Blue Journey takes the stage next and provides a captivating story choreographed to animation and music. All four judges go to their feet once again, lauding the performance as creative, risky and, as Howie puts it, a combination of great, fantastic and amazing. Howard does issue one warning, though - was it too slow for America?
Next, teen cellists Emil & Dariel bring their classic rock sensibility to "Live and Let Die" by Wings, incorporating a full band and stadium-sized flames to boot. The brothers dedicate their fiery performance to their grandfather, and although the judges all agree on Emil & Dariel's talent, Howie and Howard both suggest that they bring in a singer. That is, if America votes them into the Top 12.
The night's second magic act takes over the stage next - Smoothini. He asks for Nick's shoelaces and Howie's ring, and in a series of up-close, high-energy tricks, he seamlessly makes Howie's ring appear threaded onto the shoelace and, in another sleight of hand, onto his own still-tied shoelace. His personality shines through, and the only naysayer among the judges is Howard, who still believes Smoothini's act is too small.
Hand balancer Christian Stoinev is up next, once again toting along his furry companion Scooby. Only this time, Scooby arrives by prop plane and, soon enough, perches on Christian's feet as he balances across several rows of hand beams. Reviews from the judges are mixed, and Howard notes that the routine now feels more like a dog act and less like a hand balancing act.
Young singer Quintavious Johnson takes the stage next as the evening's final performer. He digs deep for a soulful rendition of the blues staple "I'd Rather Go Blind" with a live band and singers behind him. The performance moves the judges to urge America to vote for the 12-year-old phenom. And even though he delivered a standout routine, votes will not come easy - this competition is definitely heating up.