Variety acts highlight round two of “America’s Got Talent: Season 12” Semifinals

Did any of the variety acts impressed Howie, Mel B, Heidi, and Simon? (Photo property of NBC)

By: Jacob Elyachar,

Variety acts have made America’s Got Talent stand out every year in the crowded world of talent competition shows.  But, after the way, things went down last week during the results show….America, we need to talk!

A majority of the acts that you selected for next week’s finals…stink! Yes, singing ventriloquist Darci Lynn and comedian Preacher Lawson earned their spots last week…But I honestly believe that either magician Eric Jones, Darnell Daymon and Greater Works gospel choir, and high octane vocalists Johnny Manuel and Yoli Mayor deserved the spots that average singer Evie Clair, one-note singer-songwriter Chase Goehring, and abysmal animal act Sara and Hero currently occupy.

What annoys me, America is that you are turning your back on variety and real talent over below average performers. Please focus on the talent and who deserves a place in Las Vegas!

The 11 remaining semi-finalists duked it out for the five remaining spots in the Season 12 Finale. Which acts rose to the occasion?  Read on to find out!

Nine-year-old Celine Tam opened up the Semifinals. After a cameo from Celine Dion, the young singer tackled Alessia Cara’s “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana. Celine has a sturdy voice and reminds me of a young Jessica Sanchez. But, that being said…I am judging these performances tonight as they were going to headline Vegas and award the $1,000,000 grand prize this evening. I honestly believe that if she waits a little bit longer, Celine could dominate Idol or The Voice. B-

I love Colin Cloud! He screams variety to me! His performances always blew me away, and tonight, Colin shocked the audience yet again and decided to give his career to the audience. He instructed Simon and Howie to grab the tweets from the audience, and they raced back to the desk and gave them to Mel B. Scary Spice confirmed that all of the tweets were different.  Heidi made the last decision as she chose “Ellen, Rome, Cheese.”  To prove that they were correct, Colin went undercover and asked the judges to repeat the phrase! That was an insane performance, and I believe that Colin deserves to go to the finale! A+  

Howie Mandel’s Golden Buzzer act, Christian Guardino, has a good voice but his nerves always get in the way. Tonight, he tackled Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Goin’ On” and it was an average performance, but it did not compel me to vote for him. C+

In the Stairwell have been one of my favorite acts since their bombastic audition. I have been looking forward to these gentlemen performing in the semifinals. In the Stairwell delivered an uplifting version to Ed Sheeran’s “Castle on the Hill.” Their harmonies were impeccable, and I rather have these US Armed Forces representatives perform in the finale! A

If we need to have one kid performer from this group of semi-finalists, I would give that spot to Merrick Hanna over Angelica, Celine, and Christian. Merrick represents the variety category, and I believe that we saw what he could bring to the table as a Vegas headliner. While I  thought that the robot that appeared was a little bit on the cheesy side, Merrick’s unique routine made me smile. B+

I am torn with Mandy Harvey. A part of me wants to vote for her because of her talent, but another part of me wants to unleash my inner Piers Morgan on her. While I admire that Mandy signed her song, I thought that AGT does not need another sob story to advance in the finals. C

The Judges made the worst move in bringing back the Pompeyo Family Dogs. There are so many worthy (variety) acts that Simon, Heidi, Mel B, and Howie could have brought back. I would have recommended South Korean dance crew Just Jerk, close-up magician Eric Jones, and powerhouse singers Johnny Manuel and Yoli Mayor. While I admire their creativity and transforming the Dolby Theatre stage into the Arctic, I thought that the routine lacked pizzazz. F

Diavolo represents what America’s Got Talent is all about! Variety, acrobatics, and dance at their finest. I thought that they brilliantly incorporated Harry Styles’ “Sign of the Times.” Their choreography and sharp movements blew me away from the end of their introduction video.  I have four words to share with Diavolo: “SEE YOU NEXT WEEK!” A+

Kechi returned to the Dolby Theatre and dedicated her performance of Frances’ “Don’t Worry About Me” to her mother. She delivered a stunning performance, and I thought this was Kechi’s finest hour as a performer.  A-

I have been waiting to see Tyra Banks’ Golden Buzzer act, Light Balance, perform live at the Dolby Theatre. Tonight, the Light Balance men dedicated to this performance to their families. After seeing their technicolor light show, I believe that Light Balance belongs in the season finale and then headline a show in Las Vegas! A+

10-year-old Angelica Hale concluded the Season 12 Semi-finals round with a cover of David Guetta and Usher’s “Without You.” This new older sister (and potential future Disney and Nickelodeon star) delivered an intriguing cover, and at times I thought that she shrieked as she got into her higher vocal register. It was an interesting performance. B-

Tomorrow night, the Final Five finalists will be revealed!

Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar