'America's Got Talent': Michael Grimm, AscenDance miles ahead of rest

michael-grimm-americas-got-talent.jpgLast week on "America's Got Talent" we saw Fighting Gravity, Nathaniel Kenyon, Christina & Ali and Future Funk all advance. Who will make it through to the semifinals this week?

Disclaimer: The live shows are my first exposure to any of these acts, so I have no prior performances to go by.

1. Cheer SF
I'll confess to having an almost unnatural love of cheerleading when it's competition-style like this is. I love that they're doing their routine to "For Your Entertainment," but it's not that exciting. It's a bit sloppy and not in sync with the music. Hmmm. This is making the entire state of Kentucky cry. They're cute and had some very good stunts, but overall not that great.

2. Alice Tan Ridley
So it's Gabby Sidibe's mom, which is cool. Love Gabby. Her mom does "Midnight Train to Georgia." She starts and ... well, she's no Gladys Knight. Sorry, but she's a woman where if I heard her singing in the subway then I'd be bowled over, but ... hmmm. She can sing but she didn't blow me away.

3. Mona Sampath Dance Company
I'm not sure this sustains a Las Vegas show, but it's certainly entertaining and technically sound. The crazy lights and background are great, they really add to the performance, though it does verge on too psychedelic. I agree with Howie's assessment that there was no "wow" moment but I still think they're the best so far tonight.

4. Iron Horse
So this is a cute rockabilly type thing but it sounds like a band you'd hear in any bar in any town. How did these guys make it this far? They are obviously cannon fodder so that the "right" acts get through. Sorry, boys. You can spin that bass right back to Illinois.

5. The Strong Man
I'll confess to not really seeing how this is a performance talent. It's definitely something that not everybody can do, but it's not for a show. Also, this guy is not charismatic enough to pull off such a boring act. Just because he stations a few hot chicks around and blasts '80s hair band music doesn't mean this is entertaining. NEXT.

6. Ronith
Um, is this for real? What the eff is up with tonight?! Everybody stinks! This guy is stupid and not funny. I am fast-forwarding. That's my version of the buzzer.

7. Hannibal Means
This is another act I don't like. I need more wine to recap this sh*tshow. This week makes last week look positively talent-packed. I mean, he's good but what a snoozapalooza. Has he done better things prior to this week? Because yawn.

8. Wreckless
Okay, this is pretty cool. The dancing is good and the circus/commedia dell'arte thing is great. On some nights, I wouldn't advance them, but on this night, they are definitely good enough.

9. Lil Chris
Aww, so this is what you get if you combine Usher with Justin Bieber! How adorable. His voice needs work, he's at a very funny place, age-wise, for a male singer. But you can tell he's got talent. I agree with Piers that this chance may have come too soon for Chris. But he's seems sweet and he can definitely sing.

10. AscenDance
Well this is interesting. After watching for a few minutes, I actually think that they could have a Vegas show if they had a variety of routines -- different songs, different tempos, outfits, lights, etc. It's just so unusual. I mean, it's the weirdest act but it was so beautiful and almost heartbreaking. It was just ... captivating. Luckily the judges agree -- glad I wasn't imagining things.

11. Antonio Restivo
The use of "Crazy Train" is excellent. This is sort of like if the Undertake met David Copperfield, I guess? Because underneath all the smoke and mirrors (and fire), it's just a sub-par illusionist act. I've seen better, even on this show Piers says that's his best so far, but I didn't think it was that great. The actual illusions weren't anything new.

12. Michael Grimm

Ahh, so this is the Kevin Skinner this year. Got it. Except he's way better than Kevin Skinner. What a great Bob Seger-Joe Cocker voice he has. Even Katharine McPhee is on the Grimm train. She tweets, "I never watch this show but I happened to catch it. Check out a new singer Michael Grimm. He's awesome. #americasgottalent."


Who should advance? Mona Sampath, Wreckless, AscenDance and Michael Grimm, by a mile. But you can tell Alice Tan Ridley or Lil Chris might sneak in there.

What do you guys think?

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Photo credit: NBC


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