It’s finally time for the live shows to start for “America’s Got Talent” Season 9. Who is going to rise to the top?
1. Sean & Luke, tap dancers
These guys are very talented tap dancers, but I’m not sure their act is big enough for this show. They should have gone after “So You Think You Can Dance” because on “AGT,” they’re just going to do the same thing week after week with different backup dancers and staging. Also, the lighting on this routine was out of control. It made it hard to watch, honestly. They need to dial that back if they make it through this week.
2. Valo & Bobby, acrobats
Now, while the tap dancers are as good at what they do as these acrobats are at what they do, the acrobats have an act tailor-made for “AGT.” This is magnificent, really impressive. They manage to incorporate several stunts without the transition from one to the other feeling boring or slow, and their climax stunt with the bicycle in the wheel being balanced on Bobby’s head is terrifyingly good. My only (good) concern is where do they even go from here? What’s bigger than that stunt? But this duo would make a killer stage show in Las Vegas.
3. Julia Goodwin, singer
Julia is a fine singer, but this is really boring. It’s kind of neat that she chose to do “Iris” by Goo Goo Dolls, but she didn’t make the arrangement interesting enough for this to be a real winner. It just wasn’t vocally that strong and it was kind of snoozefest.
4. Baila Conmigo, dance troupe
This is exciting and definitely fills up the whole stage, but someone seriously needs to get the lighting director under control. It was nearly unwatchable at times. Are they good enough to advance? They’re definitely very talented, it really depends on how the rest of the night shakes out.
5. David & Leeman, magicians
This trick takes way too long to get to the good stuff and honestly, it’s not that good of a trick. They planted the scrap of paper with the right word (“camera-ready”) using sleight of hand, it’s why they were prompting Howie to pick the “biggest” word after his first choices were the words “wrong” and “many.” C’mon, guys.
6. The Willis Clan, family band
“AGT” voters typically love a good wholesome act that is also talented and the Willis Family fits the bill. They’re a veritable Partridge family with more members. Their “Power of Love” performance is a little boring for me, but I would not be surprised if they advance, especially with the Carrie Underwood-Miranda Lambert hybrid daughter who fronts the band and the two dancing little kids in front.
7. Flight Crew Jump, acrobatic jump rope troupe
Again with the lights. Do they not have monitors in the control booth? Anyway, this is another solid-but-not-great act. I think they have more of a chance to advance than the tap-dancers, but less of a chance than Bailo Conmigo or Valo & Bobby, as far as the precision acts go. They were certainly very precise, but it wasn’t overly exciting.
8. Jasmine Flowers, Chinese dance troupe
This is one of my favorite acts of the night. We’ve seen large-scale Latin dancers like Bailo Conmigo before, but this is something unique for “AGT.” Visually it’s stunning, really beautiful. I think this act is (so far) only trumped by Valo & Bobby. But the judges are correct about the energy falling a little with this group. It’s not as flashy as some of the others.
9. Emily West, singer
I love her retro look and sound, but “Chandelier” might have been biting off more than Emily can chew. She doesn’t make the leaps into the high notes sound effortless and in fact, she misses a couple of them. She shouldn’t have picked such a hard song, honestly. She’s not good enough to pull it off. You want to hear someone really nail this song on a singing competition? Check out Kat Perkins’ version.
10. JD Anderson, strongman
The problem with an act like this is no matter how you dress it up, it’s just a guy lifting or breaking heavy stuff. The set-up with the tuxedo and the shushing was weird and then the act didn’t even work at times. Sorry, next.
11. Dan Naturman, comedian
Creating a kid versus putting together a TV stand from IKEA, amirite? Healthcare be crazy, amirite? Nope, sorry.
12. Miguel Dakota, singer
Easily the best vocal of the night. Miguel’s arrangement of “Come Together” is awesome, I can see why he got the last spot of the night. He should advance easily and I can’t wait to see what he does next, which is a high compliment for a talent competition show.
So, which five acts should go through to the Top 20? Valo & Bobby, Jasmine Flowers and Miguel Dakota are my shoo-ins. The other two spots should go to two out of the Willis Family Band, Bailo Conmigo and Flight Jump Crew.
What say you, “America’s Got Talent” fans?