America’s Got Talent 10 – Live Blog and Recap – Semi-Final 2 (VIDEO)
Welcome to the live blog and recap of America’s Got Talent 10! It’s the second and last Semi-Final round as judges Howard Stern, Mel B, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and host Nick Cannon continue the search for that million dollar act! Eleven acts will compete live tonight from Radio City Music Hall for just five spots in the finals!
The 11 acts performing on tonight’s show are:
3 Shades of Blue, Pop Rock Band
Alicia Michilli, Singer
Alondra Santos, Mariachi Singer
Daniella Mass, Opera Singer
Freelusion, Videomapping Dance Group
Gary Vider, Stand-up Comedian
Paul Zerdin, Ventriloquist
Piff the Magic Dragon, Magician/Comedian
Sharon Irving, Singer
The Professional Regurgitator, Regurgitator
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!
-So we open with a video of each of tonight’s semifinalists watching last week’s results show…except for Piff the Magic Dragon, who’s fast asleep on his couch. We open live in Radio City Music Hall, and we don’t even get judge introductions. Nick Cannon quickly intros the first act of the night (from his spot up in the nosebleed section of the audience)…
3 SHADES OF BLUE opens the show!
-The guys talk about how this show is the biggest opportunity they’ve ever had, and how victory is within reach as long as they give their best performance yet. However, even they admit that this is a tall order. Throughout this video package, we see a music video of sorts, where they’re in an abandoned building playing their version of “Feelin’ Good”. If nothing else, they look like stars, although I’m still not sold on their lead singer.
-And almost as soon as I say that, I find myself immediately turning the corner on the lead singer. Perhaps it’s because “Blame It On MY ADD” by AWOLNATION is a much better song for his voice than anything they’ve done so far. Either way, I thought this was a terrific song choice, and illustrated exactly the type of modern rock band they could be. I thought this was a great way to open the show, although I wonder if this will be remembered by the end of the night. But performance order doesn’t always matter, as Arielle Baril would likely attest to, after closing the show last week.
-Mel B thought it was a perfect song choice, and notes that this is the type of thing they should have been doing from the start. Howie loved it, and then jokes that it was the best performance of the night so far. Heidi states it was her favorite performance of theirs so far, and encourages them to rock on to the finals. Howard, however, didn’t love it, mostly because he loves the original so much that he couldn’t help comparing them to AWOLNATION. In their interview with Nick afterwards, they thank Howard for always supporting them, and express their hope that they can turn his opinion around if they make it through to the finals.
GARY VIDER is up next!
-Gary talks about how performing in the quarterfinals was the scariest thing he’s ever done. The comments from Heidi are giving him nightmares, in fact. But his roommate, Greg, is here to motivate him with his unconventional regimen, such as taking him to the gym and forcing him to do situps. Greg holds his feet in place while wearing a Heidi Klum mask, and then he shouts in Gary’s face. This was…weird, to say the least.
-Gary talks about his new workout regimen, saying he joined a gym recently. The trainer told him that it’s an all-day gym, and he can even workout at 3am if he wanted to. Gary told the guy, “If you see me here at 3am, call an ambulance, because I’ve been stuck under a piece of equipment for hours!” This gets a big laugh from Howard. He then makes some jokes about being Jewish, and then talks about running into Mel B in an elevator. Gary notes that Mel B’s cleavage was out of control, so he was trying his best not to stare, counted “One Boob-i-ssippi, Two Boob-i-ssippi”. However, Mel B still caught him…because he was counting out loud. Howie, who loves standup comedians and wants to do his best to support the working comic, gives this a standing ovation. Personally, I didn’t laugh once.
-Howie says every joke landed, and every joke worked, and he hopes to see Gary in the finals. Heidi notes that she’s often criticized Gary, so instead, she’s going to offer him her mother’s advice. However, she says it all in German, so we don’t know what she said. Mel B thought Gary was hilarious, and should go through. Howard warns Gary against taking comedy advice from Heidi, but goes on to state that, if it were up to him, he’d put Gary in the finals. Can someone please explain Gary’s popularity to me? I just don’t get it. Like, not even a little bit. Seems like a really good dude, but I just don’t find him funny.
-Back from break with Howie claiming that “#Boobissippi” is trending, but I’m literally staring at the United States Trends list on Twitter right now, and it’s nowhere to be found.
ALONDRA SANTOS is up next!
-Alondra goes on her first-ever helicopter ride with her father, and talks about how different her upbringing has been from. the one her father had. Her dad talks about his dreams for Alondra, and seriously, their relationship is so damn cute and heartwarming. It’s enough to make me want to see her succeed, even if she doesn’t exactly set my world on fire with her performances. Of course, this isn’t to say she’s not talented. She’s definitely got a voice on her. Should be interesting to see how she used it tonight.
-Alondra sings “La Copa De Vida (The Cup of Life)” by Ricky Martin, and it’s one of her most consistent vocals. Seriously, I don’t think her voice went off pitch even once, which is so much more than I could say about a lot of other singers in this competition. Still, I don’t think it’s the most dynamic performance, even with the schoolgirls playing trombones, and all the streamers exploding onto the stage at the end. That said, I think Alondra showed she’s a natural in some ways. I didn’t see nerves here at all, and she does look like she belongs up there. I don’t think she’ll go through, but I honestly wouldn’t be mad if she did.
-Howard thought it was great that she got all the “gringos” in the audience to sing “Ole, ole, ole!”, and reminds the audience that she’s only 13, and is far more comfortable and natural up there than people twice here age. Heidi agrees and praises the performance. Mel B, however, would have liked to have seen her do a song that better showcased her voice, although she’s generally positive on the performance. Howie loved it, and talks about how beautiful her culture is, noting that he calls her “Easy A, Straight Outta Mexico”. After the performance, Alondra gives a very eloquent interview with Nick, one that borders on something out of a beauty pageant. Not that I’m complaining, really. Just an observation. This girl is so damn cute and likable in her giddiness that it’s hard to root against her. With that said, I still don’t expect her to go through. Not with the impossible amount of competition on tap for this week. Although you never know. If you’d told me last week that Siro-A would be eliminated, I wouldn’t have believed it. Yet here we are.
FREELUSION is up next!
-Each of the members of Freelusion talk about how they’ve been interested in dance since their youth, and have always wanted to pursue it. They want to do things people have never done before, and which audiences have never seen before. The pressure is huge, considering they’re the last dance act in the competition (seriously though, I’m still shocked Siro-A is gone). You’d think there’d be less pressure since they’re not splitting votes with any other dance acts (like what happened to the three singers in the bottom 3 last week), but I like their “gotta do something new and awesome every time” attitude. Makes them fun to root for, because you know you’re going to get a crazy show from them.
-So it starts off simply enough, with two of the dancers basically…well, just dancing. It’s beautiful to watch, don’t get me wrong, but it seems like the technological backdrop is distracting from their very artful, lovely technique, as we wait for the visual effects to kick in fully. But, sure enough, once the visual effects do kick in, this becomes one of the most ambitious performances on AGT in a while, as the head of the third Freelusion performer is projected over a robot spider’s body. The robot spider chases the dancers off the stage, and then starts walking towards the judges. This is all shown from overhead, so it’s hard to tell if it’s a projection or a real robot. But Howie is certainly scared enough to back up out of his chair. This was so much more awesome than words can describe.
-Heidi calls it an “impressive undertaking” and lauds them for the underlying message, which is that technology is taking over our lives. However, she wasn’t as impressed with the dancing this time. Still, she called the overall performance “magical”. Mel B loved it, praising their dance technique, and their ambition in stepping it up. Howie says it wasn’t just amazing from a dance perspective, they also used all sorts of special effects, noting that they used a real robot there at the end, it wasn’t a projection. Howie then makes Laura (the female dancer) uncomfortable — or bashful — by noting how sexy she was in that performance, but he closes by stating that if America votes, there’s no way they won’t go through. Howard isn’t as enthusiastic, however, stating that while the visual effects were an A+, the dancing left something to be desired. Fair enough. In their interview with Nick, the group reiterates that they want to show people something they’ve never seen before, even though that means some will like it and some won’t. I really hope they go through. I think the finals NEEDS an act like this.
ALICIA MICHILLI is up next!
-Alicia talks about how there’s no clear path when it comes to music. She states that “This needs to work” if she’s going to have a future in the industry. She then talks about her parents, and how nervous they were for her on this show. But she feels the best reward would be to show them that all their hard work and support for her has paid off. “I hope it shows through in my performances how badly I want this. And I do want this,” she says. I love Alicia, but with Sharon Irving and Daniella Mass as competition, she’s going to need to bring it like never before. I think she can, but I’m still nervous for her regardless.
-Alicia sings “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers in this Tron-like grid of blue lasers. It’s a really cool visual, actually, although I don’t like the arrangement of the track, as it sounds a bit tinny and karaoke-esque. That said, Alicia sings the hell out of it, delivering what I think is one of her absolute best vocals of the competition. I truly do think it comes through in her performances, just how badly she wants this. I don’t know where her spot in the market would be, but I think she does have a place in it somewhere. Maybe doing the throwback soul type of thing Adele is doing? I don’t know, but I liked this a lot.
-Mel B thought Alicia didn’t need the laser background or anything like that, noting that her voice is more than enough. She loved it. Howie says people at home don’t notice this, but she hit all of her marks all while delivering an awesome vocal. He feels she’s a consummate professional, and says her parents shouldn’t be nervous for her anymore, they should be thrilled. He tells America to please vote. Howard, however, doesn’t think Alicia will go through, and he explains why. Basically, he thinks Alicia played it too safe, comparing it to the types of performances he’d see on The Lawrence Welk Show as a kid. Heidi disagrees, saying Alicia’s talent is enormous. Nick asks Alicia about Howard’s comments, and she says everyone has an opinion, and she respects every opinion. She’s so freaking adorable! I hope she makes it through.
PIFF THE MAGIC DRAGON is up next!
-So Piff is going through a bit of an existential experience since the last show, wondering if he’s even still a magic dragon anymore. He feels he doesn’t have the magic in him anymore, and contemplates changing his name to Piff the Boring, Tragic Dragon. However, he discovers a gold coin behind his ear, and remembers that he still has the power inside him. This was such a weird video. But I suppose it’s part of Piff’s charm.
-Piff brings out a case, and retrieves some bread and a “magic box” — a toaster. He has Howie place the bread in the toaster, and heats it up with his natural dragon fire…i.e., the toaster itself. This is going absolutely nowhere, as he stalls for time, waiting for the bread to toast. He pulls out a deck of cards and has Mel B pick a time to stop him when shuffling. Then does the same with Heidi. So Mel B and Heidi both have a card. He then has Howard name a card, so Howard names the Ace of Clubs…and yeah, this is just dying a death out there. The bread finally toasts, however, and this is what saves the act. On the bread, the suit of Mel B’s card is toasted onto it: the Three of Hearts. He then puts the bread together and bites it, revealing Howard’s card, the Ace of Clubs. Next, he tosses the cards to Mr. Piffles, who’s on a video screen. The card gets stuck on Piffles’s side of the video screen, so Piff runs backstage and into the video to retrieve the card, which turns out to be Heidi’s card! The judges give this a standing ovation, and while I was certainly impressed, I can’t say I was really THAT impressed.
-Howie tells Piff he’s not just a dragon, he slays. He wants Piff in the finals, and calls him brilliant, and “one of my favorites”. Throughout, Piff is pouring an insane amount of sugar into a cup of coffee, causing Howie to worry for his health. Howard, meanwhile, says he needs to see Piff in the finals along with Gary. Heidi thinks Piff looks super sexy in a dragon costume, and loves how sarcastic and funny he is. Lastly, she loves his magic, stating it’s really strong. We don’t hear from Mel B, strangely enough. In the interview with Nick, Piff enjoys some of his over-sugared coffee, and I can’t even imagine safely taking a joke sip of something with that much sugar in it. And I’m someone who’d marry a cup of coffee if the Supreme Court would let me.
DANIELLA MASS is up next!
-Daniella talks about the sacrifices her mother had to make in order to give her a better life, saying that she had to stop college in order to provide for Daniella. Her mother is her inspiration for showing her that you can achieve your dreams and do anything you set your mind to. In an absolutely adorable moment, Daniella’s mother says that Daniella is her best friend, and she’s hers. I love the relationships these contestants have with their families. Very life affirming.
-Daniella is singing “Crying” by Roy Orbison, but in Spanish, and with an operatic, orchestral arrangement. And you know what? This is my favorite Daniella Mass performance this season. No lie, I had goosebumps. Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t single out the production, which is stunning, as she stands in an icy forest with snowflakes falling, all while wearing a gorgeous white gown. I absolutely loved this, and if I had one issue, it was that the audio sounded a bit hollow in places. I wish we could have heard her better, because this was great. I’d buy a studio version of this ASAP.
-Howard jokes about the snow, saying you could choke to death on the snowflakes. Turning his attention to Daniella, however, he says that she has an absolutely beautiful voice, and if she doesn’t get through, it won’t be for lack of trying, but rather because this type of music isn’t as popular as other styles of music in the competition. Heidi agrees, and praises Daniella’s performance. Mel B praises the production, and then tells Daniella she should be proud of her performance. Howie says he’s a huge fan of the song choice as a Roy Orbison fan, but while he wasn’t a big fan of the theatricality, he thought Daniella’s voice was flawless. He then made jokes about the snowy set reminding him of his childhood in Canada. Nick asks Daniella how she feels, and she singles out Howard, who is trying to happily sing her song, and says, “Like that.” Ugh, Daniella is SO freaking pretty, I can’t take it. Talented too, of course, but also super pretty. I was so jealous of Rickey for getting to meet her.
— Rickey (@rickey) September 2, 2015
UZEYER NOVRUZOV is up next!
-Uzeyer says that the performance he’s doing tonight is the one he botched fifteen years ago. He fell on his head and ended up in a coma for several days. His body can’t take another fall like that. Of course, he’s going to do it anyway, because he wants to win this for his family. I love Uzeyer, but I’m terrified for him as well. I have all my fingers and toes crossed for him.
-Uzeyer kicks things off modestly, descending from the ceiling on an umbrella, like some mad cross between Charlie Chaplin and Mary Poppins. He then dances on the floor on a giant ring. It’s such a cool performance, so much so that I almost feel like he doesn’t need the ladder. I also love the video backdrop of men in umbrellas descending from the sky around Paris. Anyway, Uzeyer comes to the ladder, and climbs it with a big smile on his face, so I’m really hoping he’s got this. Once he’s balanced on the top, his assistants throw two oversized rings to him. I don’t know what he was planning to do, and we’ll never find out, because UZEYER FALLS OFF THE LADDER ONTO THE GROUND! OH MY GOD! PLEASE BE ALRIGHT! Thankfully, Uzeyer gets back up almost immediately, and asks for one more try, but it’s over. Nick assures the audience Uzeyer is okay.
-Howard feels awful for Uzeyer, saying they are proud of him for making it this far. He reiterates to the audience at home that this is a death-defying act, and that he’s so sorry this happened to Uzeyer, since he’s been so good in the past. The other judges echo these sentiments, as Uzeyer pleads for 90 more seconds so he can try again. Howie unfortunately says they don’t have an extra 90 seconds since other acts still need to go. Uzeyer seems really upset, and walks off the stage while Nick is giving out voting information. Poor guy. My heart goes out to him. But I can’t imagine America putting him through, because that would mean the possibility of something like this happening again. And I’m not sure people want to see him get hurt, even though he’s likely going to keep doing this, whether America is watching or not.
WATCH AND DISCUSS: Ladder Acrobat Suffers Tragic Fall on ‘America’s Got Talent 10’ (VIDEO)
THE PROFESSIONAL REGURGITATOR is up next!
-Stevie Starr talks about his daily routine, which includes five or six baths, never lifting weights, and eating tons of candy and entire sticks of butter. This dude really must have an iron stomach. To be able to eat like he does, and still have as good of a body as he does for his age speaks to some awesome genetics.
-So Stevie fills his stomach with smoke by drinking some from a cup. He then swallows dish soap and makes a bunch of bubbles. Impressive enough. But the act really takes off when he starts filling the bubbles with the smoke, and regurgitating them fully filled. Awesome stuff. He then swallows an egg, and brings it back up, cracking it into a dish to prove it’s a raw egg. The judges give him a standing ovation, particularly Heidi, who’s as enthusiastic for him as ever.
-Heidi reiterates that Stevie is her favorite act of the season, and then reminds America of his awesome previous acts as well, calling him incredible and unforgettable. Mel B says Stevie keeps giving and giving to us, and notes that part of her disgusted, but part of her wants to see him perform again and again. Howie notes, from the video package, that the soap is probably the healthiest thing he’s eaten this month, declaring he’s wonderfully disgusting. Howard says Stevie is the third act he’d put through after Gary Vider and Piff the Magic Dragon. I think this competition needs him, so I’m hoping Stevie gets through.
SHARON IRVING is up next!
-Sharon talks a bit about her upbringing in church, as it was the first place she really sang. She then talks about how she never believed dreams could come true, coming from the south side of Chicago. However, she now has hope that her dreams will become a reality. She’s got a killer voice, possibly the best of any singer left in the competition, so it wouldn’t surprise me if she ended up finishing highest out of all the singing acts this season.
-Sharon sings “Imagine” by John Lennon, and it has a vaguely contemporary gospel feel to it. The tempo eventually kicks up, adding a grandiose, epic sort of feel to it that recalls her performance of “Glory”. It’s brilliant, but personally, I’d have preferred the more intimate, quiet approach. Still, it’s a fantastic vocal, and the judges seem to think so too, giving her a standing ovation.
-Mel B thought Sharon was amazing, and believes it was perfect, and Heidi agrees. Howard predicts Sharon will be the fourth act to go through to the finals in his predictions, saying she’s not only the best singer in the competition, hands-down, but also the best dress, saying she looks like a star in addition to carrying herself like one. Howie makes a pun on the song, saying, “Imagine you’re in the finals. It’s easy if you try. You may think I’m a dreamer. But I’m sure I’m not the only one!” Nick then interviews Sharon to ask why she’s crying, and she explains the emotion of the song got to her, particularly considering where we are as a society right now. I think she’s a lock to go through, and I’d be shocked if she missed the cut.
PAUL ZERDIN closes the show!
-We get a funny video of Paul rehearsing for the semifinals by speaking in two voices while out in public, such as when he orders hot dog or visits the deli, confusing virtually everyone around him. He admits that the dual voices help keep him from going up, but he loves what he does. We see him pranking some citizens in NYC by making them think a duck is trapped under a car. I love this guy.
-Paul brings Howie up onstage, and Howie’s “Really?” reaction is hilarious, particularly considering how badly things went for him last week. He has Howie sit down, and his assistant puts on a creepy mask for his mouth that turns him into a human ventriloquist dummy. He forces “Howie” to admit that he doesn’t want to be a judge, he wants to be an act, and so he has Paul sit at the judges’ table on judge him. When he asks “Howie” what he wants to do tonight, “Howie” responds that he wants to show off his dancing. The real Howie seems mortified, and slightly annoyed to be forced into this type of thing again. However, his fellow judges are LOVING this, particularly when Paul has “Howie” declare he’s going to twerk for America. To his credit, Howie is a great sport about this, and actually does twerk, although his eyes are shooting daggers through Paul. He then has “Howie” do an Irish jig, which he again does, being a good sport about all this. The judges give him a standing ovation as Howie looks exasperated by all this. It was an entertaining act, although the fact felt less like a ventriloquism act and more like a “let’s see how much we can force Howie to do” sort of act. But again, it was entertaining, which is all that really matters.
-Heidi loved the act, and was sure Howie appreciated Paul not sticking his finger up his bum. Mel B says she’s never laughed so hard in a long time, and claims Paul is brilliant. Howie says Paul humiliated him, but he hears he was brilliant, apparently. Howard predicts Paul will not only advance to the finals, he will win this entire show. In his interview with Nick, Paul thanks Howie and asserts that all of Howie’s reactions were real. I would hope so.
WATCH AND DISCUSS: Ventriloquist Makes Howie Mandel Twerk on ‘America’s Got Talent 10’ (VIDEO)
-Aaaaand that’s a wrap on tonight’s show! But what did you think of the Semi-Final?
Until tomorrow night, thanks for reading!