America’s Got Talent 10 – Live Blog and Recap – Live Round 2 (VIDEO)
Welcome to the live blog and recap of America’s Got Talent 10, as we continue the quarterfinals at Radio City Musical Hall for “Live Round 2”! Judges Howard Stern, Mel B, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and host Nick Cannon continue the search for that million dollar act! It’s the best of the best competing for the million dollars now, with America holding the deciding vote in the competition! So be sure to vote for your favorites to keep them alive in the competition!
The 12 acts performing on tonight’s show are:
3 Shades of Blue, Pop Rock Band
Animation Crew, Popping Dance Crew
Arielle Baril, Opera Singer
Damone Rippy, Flyboarder
Derek Hughes, Magician/Comedian
DM Nation, Hip-Hop Dance Crew
Ira, Singing Puppet
Freckled Sky, Video Projection Dance Group
Myq Kaplan, Stand-up Comedian
Sharon Irving, Singer
The CraigLewis Band, R&B Vocal Duo
Uzeyer Novruzov, Ladder Acrobat
Keep it locked right here as I’ll be updating with commentary and videos as the night rolls on!
Let’s get this show on the road!
-Nick introduces the judges, and we waste almost no time getting right to the action!
DM NATION opens the show!
-I’m really excited about this act. I wasn’t really all that sold on them the first time I saw them, but watching their previous auditions back, they actually are far more precise in their movements than most dance acts. The girls recap their journey, and express their excitement about having made it to Radio City Music Hall. I’d be a bit worried that they’re going so early in the show, but Siro-A and Alondra Santos both went early last week and still made it through, so I guess we’ll see.
-The performance is one of those acts that’s hard to describe, considering it’s dance. Needless to say, this is an awesome routine, and probably my favorite of theirs so far. Granted, whether or not they get through is going to be depend largely on the acts coming up later in the show.
-Howie and Heidi give DM nation a standing ovation, and Howie declares the group is better than pizza. Mel B is ecstatic and asks America to keep these girls around. Howard, however, is far less enthusiastic, telling the girls that their routines are starting to run together. I mean, he’s not entirely wrong, really, but I would still wager that what they do is a far sight better than some of the other acts that have gone through to the quarterfinals for this go-round.
DEREK HUGHES is up next!
-Derek talks about his family, saying how passionate he is to be a father, since he didn’t have a role model when he was younger. However, he’s passionate about magic too, going on to talk about how badly he wants this. Derek is a sentimental favorite of mine. He’s not my favorite musician in the competition, but he’s very talented, has a great sense of humor, and has a great story behind him. He’s just innately likable, and that counts for a lot.
-Derek’s act involves teaching kids how to cheat at cards. He brings Mel B onstage and has her pick a card from a stack. He has her sign her name on the card while joking about how he doesn’t work out. He then asks her to name the first card game that comes to mind. She says “Snap”, prompting him to make some jokes about the game of Snap that are more humorous in their execution than in written form. He then sneaks Mel B’s card from the deck and into his empty pocket, giving the impression that it teleported there. He then demonstrates the trick so Mel can pick it up. He then repeats the trick, making it teleport without any apparent hand trickery, wowing both Mel B and the audience. Derek then does this one last time by having Mel B do the trick. Ultimately, this results in all the cards being scattered on the floor, with only Mel’s card remaining. Impressive.
-Howie thought it fired on every cylinder, saying he’s funny, witty, and has great sleight of hand. He bets Derek will be one of the seven going through. Howard loves what is happening with Derek, saying there is growth in Derek’s act. He compares him to legendary magician Doug Henning, and predicts he’ll be one of the seven to advance. Heidi could totally see Derek having a show in Las Vegas, while Mel B says he made her a believer. “You WOWED me! … I love your personality, and now I love your magic!” she declares. Nick interviews Derek about the judges’ comments, and he says it’s everything he visualized hearing over the past month. While this wasn’t the flashiest act in the world, I think Derek is a shoo-in to advance.
3 SHADES OF BLUE is up next!
-The guys talk about how they still make time for their families, despite the fact that they don’t live together anymore. You know, these guys live about fifteen minutes from me. Anyway, I digress. They talk about dropping out of school to pursue music full-time, which sounds about right. But hey, they’re achieving success, so I can’t really blame them. If nothing else, they won’t be buried in crippling student loan debt. I have a master’s degree, and I’m pretty sure these guys are collectively smarter than me, for that reason alone.
-They perform “Chains” by Nick Jonas, and this is easily their best performance, in my opinion. With that said, I still think their singer is the band’s weakness. They’re amazing musicians, but their singer just isn’t that riveting or anything. Still, the gymnastics display is cool, and the harmonies were on-point. And again, these guys are just such great musicians that I can’t hate on them. I don’t think I’d put them through, but I wouldn’t be mad if they made it.
-Howard thought it sounded amazing in here, and praised the gymnastics and the harmonies. Heidi said it took her a while to figure out what song they were singing, but she loved it once she did. Mel B liked it, but feels the singer isn’t confident enough in his vocals, which he needs to be at this stage of the competition. Howie dug them, and says they’ll get votes because girls will like them, and the song itself will be popular with voters. I don’t know about that, but I guess we’ll see.
ANIMATION CREW is up next!
-We see the guys, out and about through New York, and it’s pretty entertaining, as they participate in a dance battle against a rival hip hop dance group they encounter at the basketball courts. Sure, it’s totally staged. But it’s still hilarious. And hey, these guys are not only super-talented, they’re really likable too. If they really nail this performance, they’re going to make it really hard for America to pick just one dance act from this group of finalists. Of course, America can pick all the dance acts they want, but I don’t really expect these acts not to split votes with each other. Should be interesting to see how the voting plays out. Anyway, we go to break before their performance, then come back with Nick hyping next season’s auditions, while also defending Heidi against Donald Trump, saying she’s a ten and always will be. Heidi gets up and gives Nick a kiss on the cheek in a cute moment.
-Animation Crew performs a classic arcade game routine, with an 8-bit background and a giant set in the shape of an arcade cabinet with joysticks and everything. It’s kind of a low energy act, as they mostly pop and lock, which is probably why Howard buzzes them. Wait, HOWARD BUZZED THEM?! WHAT THE HELL HOWARD! Towards the end, the guys pick up the energy, and I really hope this makes Howard regret buzzing them, but I’m thinking he’s going to stick by his X.
-Howard doesn’t know what’s going on tonight, calling it a really lazy routine and a poor use of the stage. “They were packed in like sardines, I didn’t see anything new or original. … You didn’t bring your A game, you didn’t bring your B game, you didn’t bring your C game even,” he says. Heidi doesn’t agree with the X, but she does get where Howard is coming from, saying the videogame theme kind of took over the performance. “The videogame won, instead of you guys,” she said. Mel B defends them, saying the video background and everything is part of their act, and that the young people of America will really get behind them. Howie predicts it might be game over for these guys. I couldn’t disagree more. I really enjoyed this.
ARIELLE BARIL is up next!
-Arielle talks about her audition, and receiving the Golden Buzzer from Heidi. “I was so overwhelmed, because there’s nothing that I would rather do,” she says. Her mother talks about how she learned singing by mimicking her brother, and Joshua says he was wowed the first time he heard his little sister sing. Arielle says it would mean the world for her to win America’s Got Talent. You know, for someone with no formal training, she’s got an incredible skill.
-Arielle sings “Pie Jesu” by Andrew Lloyd Weber, and it’s absolutely breathtaking. At least in the instrumentation, as this arrangement is just spellbinding. Unfortunately, it drowns Arielle out completely in places. But the parts we can hear are gorgeous, in my opinion. She has great vocal control, and considerable power to her voice. Just not enough to overcome the volume of the arrangement.
-Heidi says if she had another Golden Buzzer, she’d push it again. She thought this was a solid performance. Mel B can’t believe she’s only 12-years-old with no formal training, saying she sings beautifully. Howie feels Arielle has a long career ahead of her, and is beautiful inside and out. Howard says his wife and daughter are here, and he wants to go give them a hug right now, because Arielle’s voice makes him want to love. Heidi obliges him by giving him a big hug, in an endearing little moment. Nick asks Arielle where that love comes from, and she says it all comes from her family, naturally.
UZEYER NOVRUZOV is up next!
-Uzeyer talks about growing up in Russia, then talks about how much his wife and kids mean to him, declaring that he feels like he’s at home with them. He’s doing this for his kids, saying that a show of his own would allow him to give his kids a better future. Honestly, from the pre-performance package, it looks like they have a pretty good life as it is. At the very least, they have a really cool dad.
-The performance begins with Uzeyer trying to use the tiny ladder as stilts, but he unfortunately falls off. It’s a minor mistake, and he quickly recovers, and frankly, I’m just glad he fell when the ladder was only three feet tall, rather than 16 feet. He continually goes on higher and higher ladders, climbing and then dancing his way down, until he brings out a ladder that looks damn near 20 feet. Howie looks terrified for him, as this is the biggest ladder we’ve seen Uzeyer use yet — also the widest. The crowd is behind him though, clapping in rhythm to show their support. My heart is practically in my throat right now, as he nearly reaches the top, even though there are two-suited men to keep the ladder from crushing the judges if Uzeyer fails. Still, this thing looks horrifically wobbly, and this is probably the most scared I’ve been for any act on this show. But Uzeyer makes it to the top and balances on top for several seconds before sliding down to the bottom, earning a standing ovation from all four judges. Frankly, I think they’re just relieved he isn’t dead. Hell, I am too.
-Howie doesn’t think audiences at home realize how high that ladder was. He isn’t sure if Uzeyer is a danger act, a variety act, or what. But he feels Uzeyer is dangerous and exciting. Howard feels Uzeyer is sensational, and says he’s the kind of act we don’t get to see these kinds of acts on TV anymore. He implores the crowd to cheer for him again. Heidi loves Uzeyer, and says America just has to vote for him. Mel B says it was too much, noting that she nearly peed her pants. “I’m clenched up everywhere!” she shouts, prompting Howie to ask, “Everywhere?” Come on, Howie, don’t be gross. Nick asks Uzeyer what it was like, and he compares it to jumping from parachutes. He apologizes to the audience for scaring them, and promises that if he makes it through, he won’t use a ladder in the next round. Wait, but what else can he do? I mean, I suppose he can do hand balancing, as we saw him doing it at the jungle gym with his kids in his pre-performance video. But can he do anything else that can top the ladder act? I almost want to vote for him just to see what else he’ll do.
IRA FENNELBLOOM is up next!
-Ira and his mother, Miriam, walk around Queens, encountering a bunch of other puppets. Miriam and Ira go to their favorite diner, where he eats a short stack. He then meets an officer who arrests him for stealing America’s hearts. They then get accosted by their landlord for not paying their rent, at which point Miriam promises to pay them back with interest once Ira wins. This was adorable. But then, I’m a sucker for puppets.
-Ira gets right into the song, as he’s got a full puppet band with him this time. He sings “It’s Not Unusual” by Tom Jones, and I’m basically just waiting for Howard to buzz this. Don’t get me wrong, I love this. But that’s because Ira is my top guilty pleasure act. And this is just so gloriously absurd, with Miriam in a giant clamshell, carried by hunky guys, and then getting on top of the boat to play the saxophone. This was just a blast, and Ira’s voice is STILL on-point. Surprisingly, Howard didn’t buzz this!
-Howard not only didn’t buzz these guys, he feels these guys are really fun. He praises them for dumping Mel B from their act, and says they made him love an act that looks, visually, like “an old smelly sock.” Heidi thinks the act has a lot of personality, but felt that personality was mostly missing from this performance. She missed Ira and Miriam yapping with each other. You know, me too, actually. Mel B says the smile on her face didn’t leave her face for one second, calling him entertaining and saying he’s winning her over. “That’s great news to me!” Ira says, before adding that he’ll always love Mel B. Howie then jokes that the act was a little “cruise shippy” (referencing the giant cruise ship setting), but they end up with good reviews overall. Nick interviews the puppets, and they admit Ira is a bit sea sick. I know who I’m voting for.
DAMONE RIPPY is up next!
-They’re in New Jersey for this pre-taped segment, since it’s too dark outside to do this live. Damone talks about how great his first audition went, and his mom gushes about how he’s become a heartthrob since then. No mention of how he was cut after that first audition and got to skip Judge Cuts altogether before being brought back for this round. Not that I mind, anyway. I like Damone and I’m glad he’s back.
-It starts off with Damone in a white tux, looking for all the world like Justin Bieber, with that hairstyle. He then falls off the boat he’s in, as it’s all a cinematic preparation for our cut to the live (well, pre-taped) footage. He does a lot of cool tricks and flips set to “Come Get It Bae” by Pharrell, and while I wouldn’t say it’s as purely fun as his first audition, his tricks are actually far more impressive. I see no way he advances, really, but I enjoyed this, all the same.
-Back in the studio, Heidi says she saw a lot of people doing this during her vacation in Europe, which makes it a lot less special for her now. Granted, none of them do it as well as he does, she admits. Mel B somewhat agrees with Heidi, but she just can’t take how good-looking he is. She seriously gets flustered just looking at him, and covers her face with her hands while telling him she likes his act overall. Howie praises Damone simply for being brave enough to dunk his head in the Hudson. Howard, however, didn’t think Damone did enough to show he’s grown as a showbiz act. Nick asks Damone what it’s like to be a heartthrob, and he says he’s just blessed to be here at all, really.
MYQ KAPLAN is up next!
-Myq talks about his girlfriend, whom he met because she was a fan of his comedy. He says fans could be stalkers or soulmates, so he’s glad his girlfriend turned out to be a soulmate.
-Myq does a routine talking about how he doesn’t particularly like children, before seguing into how he used to tell corny jokes as a child. Such as when he’d tell kids somebody called them an owl, and they would respond with “Who?” Myq then says he told one kid who took it badly…before turning his head around and eating a mouse. The routine then switches over to trying to get pasta and pasta sauce through the TSA checkpoints. Honestly, I didn’t particularly care for this. I like Myq and all, but this wasn’t his best.
-Mel B felt this is the kind of act where she wishes there was more time, because not every joke landed, and he needs time to build his jokes. Myq promises to give her more time next time. Howie, meanwhile, says he felt Myq left the crowd wanting more. Howard praises Myq for being an excellent comic with great material, saying he deserves a spot in the next round. Heidi really likes Myq, but doesn’t like his jokes. However, she says comedy is different for everybody, so America might put him through anyway. Nick asks Myq if he agrees that comedy is subjective, and he does. He says if you’re pleasing everybody, you’re doing something wrong. Hmm, that’s kind of a salient point, actually.
-We then see a preview of a video we’re going to see on tomorrow night’s results show, in which the judges go to Madame Tussaud’s in New York City, and pretend to be wax versions of themselves to prank unsuspecting fans.
-Back from break with Nick announcing that two popular AGT alums will be performing together on tomorrow night’s results show, William Close and Emily West! Should be a good show.
THE CRAIGLEWIS BAND
-The guys talk about being mama’s boys, and how their support means everything. They both grew up singing in church, noting that church is the best place to learn how to sing, since they’ll call you out if you’re getting it wrong. They have the full support of their community as they head off to Radio City Music Hall, with the guys vowing they’re going to take this all the way.
-From the first piano note, I somehow knew they would be singing “Try A Little Tenderness” by Otis Redding. Not that this is a bad thing, mind you, since this is exactly the type of song they should be performing, with the slightly church-y feel of the arrangement. However, when it dips into a more modern, upbeat, borderline hip hop arrangement, it’s a lot less impressive, in my opinion. However, it sounds less like they’re singing and more like they’re shouting, towards the end, which I found problematic. But I can’t front on these vocal chops. Still, I just felt sort of disappointed by this.
-Heidi thought these guys did a perfect version of this song, saying they made it their own. Mel B thought their voices were spot-on, noting that their energy and performance was just “the perfect delivery”. Howie, who stood up for the guys, called it the best moment of the night. “There was no tenderness! There was smashing! You gets smashed this out of the park!” he says. Howard says his fellow judges were all right tonight. Nick interviews the guys, who say they’re overwhelmed by the comments they’ve received.
FRECKLED SKY is up next!
-The act recalls getting the Golden Buzzer, with the creator of the troupe talking about how he’s been waiting for this moment all his life. He doesn’t want his act to have any limitations, and the dancers for the act state that ballet is uniquely capable of bringing their leader’s vision to life. Honestly, this is the act I’m most looking forward to seeing. As a Golden Buzzer act, we miss out on seeing them grow from performance to performance, so it’ll be interesting to see if they’re still as good now as they were in their audition.
-It’s an act that’s difficult to describe, as the dancers perform against a backdrop of shattering shapes and formations. They are then mirrored by colorful, digitized silhouettes of themselves, as they splash in the shallow water in which they move. It’s absolutely gorgeous to watch, even if it isn’t all that exciting, really. The ending, in which they try to reach out to each other, but miss like two ships passing in the night, is beautiful though. I think they deserve to go through.
-Howard says it’s easy to see why he chose this group as his Golden Buzzer act. He notes that some mixed media acts only rely on the media, but this act relies on the dancing. However, he felt their audition was better, and that they brought the energy down too much this time around. But he still feels they deserve to go through. Mel B says they’re amazing dancers, but states this act didn’t grab her immediately. That said, she felt the performance really grabbed her in the middle, and declares that it was a great performance. They just need to be gripping from the very beginning. Heidi wants the act to go through just to see a happy ending to the sad story the dance was telling. Howard then jokes about getting a happy ending, and yeah…I get enough of that from Bachelor In Paradise, thanks. Howie notes that while there are a lot of mixed media dance acts, which should make what Freckled Sky does even harder, they manage to set themselves apart, saying they even make it rain! Yeah, I would expect these guys to go through.
SHARON IRVING closes the show!
-Sharon talks about her grandfather, who was an activist and pastor who worked with Dr. Martin Luther King. She wishes he were here to see him sing, and fights back tears when talking about how much she misses him. However, she still feels his presence in the Chicago home in which she was raised. Unfortunately, they’ll have to sell that house due to financial pressures. That said, she still wants to fight for this, saying she wants to make her family proud. As Mel B’s Golden Buzzer act, she has a lot to live up to, but she has an amazing voice, so I’m expecting big things.
-Sharon sings “Glory” by Common and John Legend, and in an interesting choice, she actually raps the rap part instead of singing it, as opposed to other people who perform this song on talent shows (like India Carney did on The Voice). The more the song goes on, with its towering arrangement and its choral backing, and Sharon’s wonderful stage presence (she’s even got style, with a badass cape that makes her look like a superhero preacher), the more I come to realize that I might actually like Sharon’s version BETTER than the original. The judges are floored by her vocal, as all four of them give her a standing ovation at the end of the performance. Of course, there’s no guarantee she’ll advance on the strength of this alone, given that Samantha Johnson landed in the bottom three after getting a standing ovation in the show’s closing performance. But I’m hopeful for Sharon.
-Mel B says Sharon is already a ready-made star, and notes how happy she is that she hit her Golden Buzzer for Sharon. Heidi and Howie think she performed amazingly well, with Howie adding that Sharon should not only always sing, she should always sing exactly like she just did. Howard declares that Sharon is not only an amazing singer, she may be the million dollar act. Nick interviews Sharon, and she fights back tears when talking about how her grandmother has never been able to come to her performances. “But I can feel her here all the time now,” she says. I think Sharon could be the one to beat in this competition.
-That’s a wrap! What did you think of tonight’s show? Which seven acts will advance to the semifinals on tomorrow night’s results show? Sound off in the comments!
And to predict which seven acts will advance, VOTE in our official poll and add your predictions!
Until tomorrow night, thanks for reading!