Variety spices up round two of “America’s Got Talent: Season 12” Quarterfinals

Howie, Mel B, Heidi, and Simon pose together before the Season 12 acts take the stage. (Photo & graphic are properties of NBC)

By: Jacob Elyachar,

A Word from the Publisher: What the heck is wrong with your voting, America? Instead of embracing variety, you chose to advance THREE acts under the age of 18?

I do not understand why would you chose these acts which are not ready for prime time over seasoned professionals such as comedic daredevil Bello Nock and the outstanding dance crew Just Jerk.  Both of these acts not only have more talent than the three children that you voted through to the Semifinals, but also were primed to be Las Vegas acts that would have joined Terry Fator, Mat Franco, Piff the Magic Dragon, and the Jabbawockeez.

This week, please vote for acts who would be perfect to represent the variety of AGT alums that are dominating the Las Vegas entertainment scene. (End of “A Word from the Publisher”)  

12 new acts that constitute a variety of talents such as singing, dancing, magic, and yes…even the animal acts. Which acts impressed judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Mel B, and Howie Mandel at the Dolby Theatre? Who might need America to vote for them to receive the Dunkin’ Save? Read on to find out.

Up first to face the judges and America was dance crew Brobots and Mandroidz. While it took them a while for their parents to warm up to their dancing skills, this group delivered a superb set. I think that this dance crew represents the variety category very well and I believed that Brobots and Mandroidz improved significantly from the Judge Cuts round. Simon and the ladies gave them a standing ovation, but their performance did not move Howie. Since we lost Just Jerk, I think that the guys are worthy of representing the dance category in the Season 12 semifinals. B+/A-

Nine-year-old Celine Tam made her Dolby Theatre debut. She tackled Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston’s “When You Believe.” Yes, Celine does have an above average voice for a girl her age, but at the same time…Is it worth a million dollars? Sadly, Ms. Tam does not have a chance especially since Darci Lynn and Angelica Hale ran circles around her last week. I rather see a variety act go through over Ms. Tam. C-

Season 12’s annoying twins Mirror Image have polarized the AGT fan base. A bulk of the show’s Facebook fans has voiced their disinterest in this variety act. After butchering Queen’s “Somebody to Love,” the twins did an awful routine to “Poison.” Thank god, Simon buzzed them! I would have too! F

I have been waiting to see Johnny Manuel perform in the Season 12 quarterfinals. He tackled one of the most monstrous songs of all-time: “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.” Just like Jennifer Holliday, Jennifer Hudson, and friend to the blog, Jessica Sanchez, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” will make Johnny a star! A+

12-year-old dancer Merrick Hanna is one of his age group’s talented dancers. He creates these incredible routines that showcase so much heart. Every time, I see Merrick perform it feels like I am watching a young Derek Hough, tWitch, and my friends and Shaping Sound Dance Company founders Nick Lazzarini, Teddy Forance, and Travis Wall.  I honestly believe that Merrick could go into the semifinals and he correctly represents the variety acts. Also, I think that he will encourage more guys his age to dance. A-

Close-up magician Eric Jones has not disappointed viewers over the past two rounds. This round, he recruited all of the judges for his act. As Howie signed his name on a playing card (four of spades), Simon inspected the glass, and the ladies joined him on stage. Eric asked them to keep an eye on a Poker chip as he performed an optical illusion. As Mel and Heidi returned to their seats, Howie joined him on the stage, and Eric asked him to spread the playing cards. Eric was able to pick out Howie’s autographed card correctly. While I was a little hesitant with the timing, Eric perfectly executed his routine, and just like Simon stated, if Eric works on his showmanship, the sky is the limit. B+

The Masqueraders have been singing together for over 50 years! Tonight, they performed the song that the trio have been waiting to show the world. I fell in love with the Masqueraders from the first note. They gave me chills, and the Masqueraders delivered a show-stopping performance that might kick start the next chapter of their lives. A

Ukrainian dance act Light Balance was the lucky recipient of Tyra Banks’ Golden Buzzer. Due to a technical problem, Light Balance was unable to perform their routine live for America. However, we were able to watch their dress rehearsal, and they delivered a performance that was worthy of the AGT history book. They need to be one of the last variety acts standing at the Season 12 finale! A++

I do not care for Evie Clair as a performer. Tonight, I thought that there was something off with this performance. I believed that she was mumbling the first half of the track and it went all down from there. F

I hope that the Dolby Theatre had medics on sight because many people might have heart attacks after watching Demian Aditya. Demian thanked the judges for bringing him to the Live Shows, and he performed the Death Drop. As Tyra described the act, Demian was handcuffed into a small coffin like box. If he did not escape, Demian would be annihilated by three burning steel spikes. However, just like Light Balance, Demian suffered a technical problem with his act. Both Mel B and Simon buzzed him, and Simon compared Demian’s abysmal act to Mel B’s wedding night. D-

As Mel B briefly walked off the set, the Pompeyo Family brought out their variety show dogs to bring order to one of the show’s chaotic night in history.  The dogs were cute, but at the same time, they were paying homage to The Lion King, and we should have heard Sir Elton John singing “Circle of Life” and not Katy Perry’s “Roar.”  As Wendy Williams would have said: “This act was a mess!” C

Simon Cowell’s Golden Buzzer act, singer-songwriter Mandy Harvey, was the final act of the evening. She overcame her loss of hearing and delivered one of the most memorable moments of Season 12. Tonight, Mandy performed another original tune and she knocked it out of the park. Will she win? Maybe or maybe not, but no matter what she has stolen the hearts of the nation. A

Tomorrow night, seven more acts advance to the Season 12 Semifinals!

Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar