Close, De Leon among the first group of semifinalists to perform on AGT

William Close America's Got Talent 2012

Earth harpist William Close could be the million dollar act of the season because he continues to impress and improves in each of “America’s Got Talent’s” rounds. (Photo by Virgina Sherwood)

By: Jacob Elyachar

The quarterfinals are done and now 24 acts will be battling out in the next two weeks for a spot in the show’s finals.

This year’s acts are some of the best performers that have ever appeared on the show and have raised the standard of excellence on how to perform on this show.

In this article, I will look at this week’s semifinalists and who has the best chance to get to the final stage of the competition and earn the $1,000,000 prize and the headliner position for this season’s Las Vegas show.

William Close

“Earth harp” musician William Close is a definite frontrunner to win the show and move forward in the group.   There is no one who can do what he can do in the world!   He has received multiple standing ovations from the judges and the show’s audience since his debut.     But in order to stay in this competition, William needs to add more elements to his acts or else it could become boring and repetitive.   To see William’s astonishing performance from the Top 48, click here:


Andrew De Leon AGT

Opera singer Andrew De Leon was the surprise of the season! His vocals are astonishing and he could be in the finale in a couple of weeks. (Photo by Virginia Sherwood/NBC).

Andrew De Leon

Howie Mandel made the right decision to bring Gothic opera singer Andrew De Leon into the competition.  His haunting cover of “Regresa a mi,” the Spanish version of Toni Braxton’s signature song: “Un-break My Heart” won over the crowd and he was rightfully voted into the semifinals.   This true dark horse could upset favorites and be a big presence in the season seven finale if he continues to deliver with his semifinal performance.  Andrew’s beautiful cover of “Regresa a mi” received a standing ovation from the AGT audience:

Eric Dittelman

Westborough, Massachusetts’s favorite mind reader has been on a role since he first auditioned in Austin and soared during the Top 48 where he successfully read Howie Mandel’s mind.    Like several of his fellow competitors, Eric needs to step up his game in order to secure a place in the final stage of the competition.  Dittelman’s “Deal or No Deal” act surprised the judges.  To see this act again, click here:

Academy of Villains

The San Francisco based dance crew’s debut on the show’s YouTube show was the only highlight on an abysmal showing of talent.  The militant Academy of Villains could be in the finals if they continue to rally their fanbases with a superb routine.  But one question that many viewers have is…”How do they follow-up their debut performance?”  The Academy of Villains’ performance was superb.  To re-watch their debut, click here:


Comedian Tom Cotter

Tom Cotter’s standup was some of the best material that “America’s Got Talent” has ever seen from a comedian. (Photo by Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

Tom Cotter

The 48-year-old standup comic is one of the best comedians that have ever been featured on the series.  Tom’s edgy material continues to make audiences laugh and the judges smile.   To go onto the next round, Tom needs to continue to fire superb jokes and have a great attitude.  Tom Cotter’s quarterfinal performance received strong support from the judges.  To watch his performance, click here:

Joe Castillo

Before this season, AGT did not have any unique storytellers on the show.  Sand artist Joe Castillo uses sand and a projector to weave impressive stories together in only 90 seconds.   If Joe continues on his hot streak, he will be one of the final acts standing in the finale.  Joe’s quarterfinal performance that depicted the animals of the world stunned viewers and the audience:


14-year-old Edon is one of the youngest singers left in this competition.   Sharon called him “a young Billy Joel” after his performance in Vegas and he made it through to the quarterfinals in New Jersey.    While he has a terrific voice, Howard has been plugging the “this is not a singer’s year” line multiple times during the live shows and I think that the King of All Media could be right.    In order to prove Howard wrong, he needs to knock it out of the park tonight.  Edon’s cover of David Guetta’s “Titanium” perfectly blended up-tempo music with his piano.  Click here to watch his performance:

Donovan and Rebecca

Two of the strongest competitors in the semifinals are Donovan and Rebecca. Their strength and acrobatic act have no limits and they continue to impress audiences with their daredevil attitudes.  However, one mark that might have against them is that they have competed on both America’s and its sister series: Britain’s Got Talent.   If they get to the finals, they will rob another great act of getting the $1,000,000 grand prize.  Donovan and Rebecca’s aerial act in Vegas as dangerous and spectacular:

The Scott Brothers

These Las Vegas natives know how to put on a show and they stepped up their game in every single round.   However, they are up against some fierce competition in the dance category from their competitors: the Academy of Villains, All That and the Untouchables.     I am afraid that they might be overlooked and be eliminated from the competition if they don’t blow everyone away tonight. The Scott Brothers’ quarterfinal performance was very impressive.  To see it again, click here:


Todd Oliver and Irving AGT

Todd Oliver and Irving were very entertaining during the Wild Card show but can they keep the momentum going to earn a spot in the semifinals? (Photo by Virginia Sherwood/NBC)


Todd Oliver

 Ever since Terry Fator won the show’s second season in 2007, no ventriloquist has ever won the show.   But could Todd Oliver change that?   He could definitely head into the finale if he continues to deliver the same type material that he did during the Wild Card round:


Bria Kelly America's Got Talent

Bria Kelly’s cover of “Gunpowder and Lead” was one of the highlights on YouTube night. But how will she perform tonight against “AGT” favorites? (Photo by Virginia Sherwood/NBC)


Bria Kelly

Bria is incredible vocalist!  Her fiery cover of Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead” was one of the few highlights of the YouTube/Snapple special.   Her vocals are intriguing and she could definitely be a force to be reckoned with in this competition.  Unfortunately, she came to the party too late and might be overshadowed by other talented vocals like Andrew de Leon and Edon.   To watch Bria’s cover of “Gunpowder and Lead,” click here:


I am not a huge fan of him and I honestly don’t get America’s fascination with him.   He’s freaky and he is suited more for So You Think You Can Dance than America’s Got Talent.  He has a lot to prove tonight because otherwise he will be going home tomorrow.    To see Turf in action, click here:

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