America’s Got Talent Semifinals 2

Apparently five will be going through this week with no judges’ pick thanks to the way they changed the rules last week. (Some people were very unhappy that the judges didn’t pick.)

Piers stands behind the decision to send both groups through. Rules are meant to be changed. According to Sharon last week showed that there are real stars. Hoff promises not to use the word Hoff anymore, but he is Hoff-ully excited.

The ten semifinalists are: FootworKings, Recycled Percussion, The EriAm Sisters, Mario and Jenny, Laurence Beaman, Drew Stevens, Hairo Torres, Jerrey Ou, Eric and Ricky, and Barbara Padilla. Lots of pressure for their acts. They’ve been working hard. They’re nervous. This isn’t a walk in the park. They worry about Piers buzzing people.

First is Recycled Percussion. One of the guys says drumming got him through tough times. (His parents got divorced and his dad was a homeless alcoholic. His dad is sober and in Hollywood now.) The band’s message is being drug-free. They say this is bigger and better than anything they’ve ever done. I’m excited. Stomp is so cool. They perform with a van that the top half is lifted away from in the middle. One guy without a shirt. One guy smashes his guitar at the end. It’s pretty cool though I think that live it would be more amazing. Piers says there were moments where he couldn’t figure out if they’re mad or talented. Very inventive and creative. They’ve got excitement, entertainment, everything desired in a Vegas act. Sharon thinks he’s absolutely light but he left out how ripped they are. David says they have just the right amount of grease. Great act! They keep coming back with more.

Second comes Laurence Beaman. He grew up in a strict, controlling religious group. He sings Alicia Keys’s “Fallin'” and while it’s surprising since he’s a guy, I think he sounds great. Much better than last time. (There’s one awkward moment but otherwise…) My only complaint is with the background singers, I think they should have been a bit louder to harmonize with him better. Sharon likes hearing him sing contemporary. She loves his rich voice but she could have done without the vocal acrobats (I partially agree, some of them he didn’t do well). She thinks he’s got it so he does need to go over the top. David liked his choice of song. Piers lives him but didn’t like the performance. (David asks if he was watching…) He likes the older music. Well that’s cause you’re old Piers! (If he makes it through he wants to do the Lord’s Prayer. Classical style. Interesting.)

Eric and Rickie now. Eric almost fainted when he heard they were going through. They feel like stars now. All their friends and classmates say they’ll vote for them. Eric is excited about the nice cars in Hollywood. They’re working extra super duper hard. Eric’s dream is to buy a ferrari with the prize money even though he can’t drive. The set up is Global Toy Shop. Piers buzzes midway through. I like the song but I just think they’re not good enough yet. I think in a few years they will be amazing dancers and right now they are just good for their age. Nick wants to understand how Piers can X lollipops and dolls. Hoff says they can have their own amusement park. Piers tries to talk and gets booed. He tells the kids that he likes them but that he thinks the music didn’t work to their dance style. (The judges get into a discussion about whether or not America has custard. For the record Sharon, we do have it, but it’s gross.) Sharon says she loved everything and can’t fault anything. She points out that nowadays people do ballroom dancing to pop music all the time. He apparently doesn’t watch the other dance shows.

Jeffrey Ou now. He’s upset about the technical issues and thought it would mean he was sent home. But he’s back so he has a chance to prove he’s worthy. The show has given him confidence. He has a girlfriend now. (It kind of sounds like she just likes him because he was on TV…) Nick says his keyboard is connected to the lights so he’s controlling the lights. Ok…oh, once he starts playing you kind of see what he meant. The lights flash on and off in time with the music. Piers buzzes. It’s kind of boring but he is talented. The problem is, it’s piano there’s only so much you can do with it. Piers thinks the performance was out of control (like his hair). He says he hardly hit a note. Sharon says he’s given himself personality, people will remember his look. But, the playing was “out there” and sounded more like silent film music. It wasn’t very good. David asks if he hit all the right notes. He says he did. David thinks he enjoyed it, he’ll tell him later.

Hairo Torres is fifth. He was never good enough in anything but dancing. His mom is his biggest supporter. All she wants is for him to be happy. He hurt his back in rehearsal and worries that it will hold him back. Hopefully the adrenalin will keep away the pain. The song is “I Gotta Feeling.” The theme is school dance. He does some of the weirdest looking moves ever. He would probably make a very good gymnast. Sharon loved all the new steps. David thinks it was great. Piers likes that Hairo dances the same way he does.

The EriAm Sisters are on now. They have a hard time deciding on the song. David thinks they should concentrate on singing over dancing. They chose “Miracles” from the Prince of Egypt, sung by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. I love this song. They have some really good moments but its otherwise just okay. I don’t think this was necessary the best choice though they get to show off some nice range with it. Piers thought it was a shaky start, flat in the first third, but he put it down to nerves and what happened next was they got confidence and it became really good. (Exactly how I felt.) Sharon says they weren’t working together in the beginning but it came through and they got it. Be careful with arrangements, only one can lead. They deserve to be in the semis. David agrees, he loves their spirit. Terrific at the end. Congrats.

Mario and Jenny talk about the rock bottom moments of their career. This has given them confidence and creativity again. They’re so sore from practice but it’s worth it. It starts with some dancing. Mario taps in boots which is strange. Piers buzzes. Jenny hangs on a pole. Mario drums and then balances a drum of fire on his head. Well…they lost most of the fear and excitement that they normally have. Piers thinks they blew it big time. It lacked the danger, illusion, and excitement. It’s not the act that was put through. Sharon says it showed that they aren’t one dimensional and as far as putting on a show, there’s nothing they can’t do. Very diverse. David liked it very much. A lot went on and he thought it was entertaining. He thinks they’re ready for Vegas.

Drew Stevens
sings a song I don’t recognize but he sounds really good. Better than last time. He has a super raspy voice that reminds of someone but I cannot think of who at the moment. Sharon tells him that so far the contest has been a rollercoaster for him. This week he chose a great song. Very aggressive. He made it his own. She didn’t like the song but she likes him. (I liked it.) She thinks he has star quality. David admires him for going for it. He doesn’t know if it worked for him in the beginning, Drew sold it. Bring it on. Piers says it was a massive gamble and it paid off.

FootworKingz barely made it through. Many in their community do footworking but no one has gotten so much prestige. Their theme will be superheroes (familiar theme, remember So You Think You Can Dance this year?) They plan to dance faster than ever. Oh I love it, incorporating the power rangers. Piers buzzes. Sharon buzzes. (One of the guys costumes is unraveling. Correction, two of them.) Well, I think last time was better, but I don’t think it warranted the buzzes. David says they’ve come a long way what he needs to see is for them to dance. Forget all the other stuff which gets in the way. Just dance together. Piers thought it was career suicide. They’re now the uncoolest. He doesn’t like that they included the power rangers. Sharon’s issue was that they do the same moves in different costumes, they need to do new things. That I agree with.

Last but not least, Barbara Padilla. She’s a cancer survivor which has given many people hope. She will be singing a prayer tonight. As always with her, she’s super talented but not my type of thing. Piers says not many can do what she does. Sharon says her skill surpasses even those who dislike opera. David says god has a plan for her. She gave a blessed performance and brings hope to people.

My preferences for who to go through: Recycled Percussion, Mario and Jenny, Drew Stevens, Barbara Padilla, and then I suppose FootworKingz or the EriAm Sisters though I’m not particularly invested in either. Who do you want to make through?

Results here!


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