The ‘America’s Got Talent: Season 13’ Semifinals Begin

Which acts impressed Howie, Mel B, Simon, and Heidi during the first round of Season 13 semifinals? (Photo & graphics property of NBC)

By: Jacob Elyachar,

The America’s Got Talent: Season 13 Semifinals Rounds began tonight at the Dolby Theatre.

11 acts will face off against for a few spots in the Season 13 finale.  Which acts scored excellent points with the audience? Who was buzzed by the Judges (Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Mel B, and Howie Mandel)? Read on to find out…

Mel B’s Golden Buzzer, Amanda Mena, was the first act to open the Season 13 semifinals. While I admire her backstory and her talent, I honestly do not believe that she has a place in the Season 13 finals. She tackled Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” for her chance to impress America. I do not think that people will pay money to see her perform. D+

I love Junior New System! This dance crew can go all the way in this competition. Last time, the troupe faced the judges, Howie stated that they needed to bring the heels out earlier in the competition. They performed in heels to Britney Spears’ “Work B***” and Ariana Grande, Jessie J, and Nicki Minaj’s “Bang Bang.” They transported us to the basketball court and delivered a fiery performance worthy of Vegas! I also give them props to performing shoeless as well. See you at the finale! A+

In all honesty, Us the Duo are starting to get on my nerves. I wanted them to perform a cover song like Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams’ “Get Lucky” or David Guetta & Kelly Rowland’s “When Love Takes Over,”  because their original music sounds so repetitive. Tonight’s Semifinals performance proved my point. It was not energetic, and it lacked passion. I would be disappointed if they were not sent home. C-/D+

Voices of Hope Children’s Choir is an act that has improved throughout their time in the competition. Tonight, they tackled Wicked’s “Defying Gravity.” In all honesty, this arrangement was weak, and the choreography was abysmal. While they are talented, this group is unworthy of the $1,000,000 prize. D

Shin Lim is Season 13’s last magician standing! There is something about his magic that blows me away every single time; he performs on the Dolby Theatre stage.  This close-up magician’s routine took us to a dark forest where Tyra and Heidi joined him on stage. His routine gave me chills, and I honestly believe that the Season 13 finale will not be the same without him! I think that he is ready for Sin City. A+

Heidi Klum’s Golden Buzzer, 15-year-old Makayla Phillips, returned to the stage after receiving the Dunkin’ Save. She tackled Jessie J’s “Who You Are” for a chance to advance to the next round. While she impressed me tonight, I thought it was too little, too late for Makayla, because I already locked in my votes.  B-

I was beyond thrilled and excited that the judges brought back Front Pictures as their Wild Card act. This trio is an outstanding group that has created virtual environments and combined their performances with dance that have blown audiences away. Tonight, Front Pictures took the America’s Got Talent audience into outer space for a heart-stopping adventure that put a smile on people’s faces. I hope that this group advances to the Season 13 finale because Vegas is ready for them! A+

Duo Transcend is one of the best acrobatic duos that I have seen in all of my years of watching this show.  Both Tyce Nielsen and Mary Wolfe continue to elevate both their craft and the danger element every time they hit the stage. They delivered an awe-inspiring semifinals performance that included everything from fire to rollerblading acrobatics. A-

Comedian Samuel J. Comroe continues to make America laugh again! I believe that he could be a rising force in the comedy world. This week, his routine focused on his vast family, how an audience member wanted to pray his Tourette’s away, and his experience with cops. Samuel should be voted into the Season 13 finale because he can bring the laughs! A-  

Simon Cowell’s Golden Buzzer act, singer Michael Ketterer, took the stage once again to perform for America’s votes. I am glad that he is opening up about adolescent mental health on the show, he could be an ambassador and spokesperson after the show. Michael is inspirational…but we are getting down to the wire, and he did not deliver an A+ performance. He might need the Dunkin’ Save to advance the Season 13 finals. B-/C+

Zurcaroh concluded the first round of Season 13 semifinals. All I have to say to Tyra Banks’ Golden Buzzer is that they are not only ready to conquer the entertainment world, but they should walk away with the $1,000,000 prize! A+

Tomorrow night, the first group of Season 13 finalists is revealed!

Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar