America’s Got Talent 2018 Semifinals begin tonight. Eleven contestants will perform in front of judges Howie Mandel, Mel B., Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell for YOUR votes. Check out the full list of contestants HERE. Tyra Banks hosts. Join us as we live blog all the performances.
See who is performing tonight, and then join us at 8 pm ET as we live blog all the performances.
Duo Transcend – Married acrobatic duo
Makayla Phillips – Teen singer
Shin Lim – Sleight of hand magician
Amanda Mena – Teen singer
Samuel Comroe – Comedian with Touretts
Voices of Hope – Children’s choir
Junior New System – Dance Group
Us the Duo – Married singing duoe
Michael Ketterer – Singer
Zucharoh – Acrobatic dance group
Front Pictures – Projection (Wildcard)
Amanda Mena Semifinals
In Spanish, Amanda’s mom shares how heartbreaking it was to watch her being bullied by her schoolmates, but she thinks it made her stronger. This week, Amanda dresses her age while singing Pharrell’s “Happy.” The arrangement allows the young singer to riff and hit high notes. It’s nice seeing her go young. But is it a strategy that will earn her votes? The older crowd loves the classics. Mel B gushes over her Golden Buzzer pick. Heidi thinks she’s “sophisticated” for her age. Calls it her best performance yet. Simon notes her confidence and likable personality. Howie says that no matter what happens, she should be proud. Amanda leaves with encouraging words for fellow school kids who might be bullied.
This is the male dance troupe that dances with heels. Howie thinks they should dance in heels for the full routine. They were almost cut at the semis, so they plan to change it up with…stunts! They being in heels and shorts. And there’s lots of tumbling! They toss their heels halfway through. Howie is not going to like that. I like the way these dudes meld the masculine with the feminine, but maye they should have kept the heels on longer. Mel B loves this group. “This has to be your best performance ever!” Simon adds, “That’s what we call a semifinal performance.” Heidi calls the performance, “explosive.” Oh. Howie thinks they listened to him. “Start with the heels,” he said. I thought he said the non-heels portion of the performance was boring?
Good lawd. They’re reciting poetry to each other. Against one of their sugar sweet songs, we see the journey of their relationship. I’m too cyncial for this! This song is about being broke-ass but still in loooove. I mean. Sonny and Cher did this 50 years ago. “I’m Still Broke,” appears to be the name of the song. SO MUCH WHIMSEY. Whimsey overload. Simon call them nice and sweet. He compares the song to an “egg commercial.” He calls it “background noise.”BURN. Heidi agrees. Ohh. They throwing them under the bus. Howie is wondering if a song about paying bills rise to the occastion. Mel B appreciates their unique sound. “I hope America votes for you,” Mel says. Howie snarks “Right now Mel has the most bills to pay.” Eep!
The director has no children, so the kids in the choir are sort of a substitute. They sing “Defying Gravity” from the Broadway musical Wicked. The solo voices seem a little nervous tonight. Oh. They third solo is a belter! Honestly, it’s like being back in high school! I was a choir kid myself. No dis. But is this a Las Vegas worthy act. UH NOPE. Simon and his choir obsession. I do not get it. LOL. Simon is the only judge on his feet. Howie admires their aspirational vibe. “I thought it was wicked,” says Heidi. Har. “You’re like my happy place.” Mel B felt the timing in the beginning was off. Simon boos her. “None of this matters! This is exactly the kind of act I like to see doing well,” says Simon. He then begs America to vote them. He cray.
A few years ago, he sliced up his thumb practicing an intricate trick. The docs told him he may never be able to handle cards again. He worked very hard in rehab and recovered! Lucky for hs. Mel and Hiedi are helping tonight. Number one. Has there ever been a magician so good at eye-f*cking the camera? I don’t think so. And it’s another mesmerizing performance from Shin. He bettah make it through to the finals. He’s my favorite right now. Sidenote: Tyra’s very vocal freakouts are cracking me up. “That wasn’t a trick,” says Simon. “It was actually incredible.” He also feels he was even better this time. “You need to be in the finals,” says Howie. “How does he do that with his hair.” Heh. “You had me at the word go,” says Mel B. “I loved it.” Heidi enjoyed watching it up close. She thinks he’ll eventually be a household name
This 15 year old singer was last week’s Dunkin Save. She’s performing Jessie J’s “Who You Are.” The song is a litte bit too big for her. Some of the high notes get away from her. But she’s got the look and sound to be a pop singer. She’s a little bland compared to some of the other acts, though. And no tragic backstory! She’s got a tough road. She’s Heidi’s golden buzzer. She begs America to vote for her. “You got guts,” says Simon. He thought the song was overproduced, but still her best performance yet. Howie thought she did an amazing job, but didn’t “blow the roof off.” He says, “You’ve got to take it up 9 levels. Mel B. disagrees. “She just killed it,” she says. I’m on Team Howie.
One of the members shares how outer space influenced his art. He wants America to feel the same sense of wonder, he did as a child, looking up into the sky!They were chosen to return after ALMOST beating Mikalaya for the Dunkin’ Save. And it’s a space theme this time, with the dude floating around in space alongside turtles and dolphins? Hm. Simon buzzed them! Unfortunately, I agree. This is really boring. No wow moments or creativity. They were so much better before. Howie was confused, but Mel B was confusing him. Simon hated the music, thought animals in space was weird. Mel B calls it “breathtaking, clever and interesting.” Heidi also liked it. I’m Team Simon! “There are no fish in space,” says Howie. Indeed.
The guy has a disease that’s diminishing his eyesight.During the judge cuts, he dropped his wife,. but then they redeemed themselves during the Quarterfinals. The duo promise to do something completely different this time. After a bunch of crazy acrobatic stunts he PURPOSELY drops her into a fire pit! And then dives in after her. They don rollerskates to do more stunts on the floor (remember that roller skating couple from a year or two ago? There’s no hair involved this time. Still, the stunts were pretty crazy. They definitely stepped it up. “How many ways are you trying to find to kill your wife,” says Simon. He let’s the lords name slip out in vain. Oops. “You deliver everything you need to deliver,” says Howie. Mel B calls it “flawless” and “Nail biting.” Heidi calls them “insane.”
Comedian with Touretts – Another mildy amusing routine from Samuel. Howie thinks he delivered a performance that will take him to the finals. “This is my favorite performance of the night,” says Mel. Heidi is underwhelmed, but thinks he’s a nice guy. Simon says it was hard to folllow the acrobats. But he nailed “I think we’re going to see you in the finals,” he says. Tara asks him about his “accent.” He’s from Southern California, yet talks like a southern. He says he has no idea where it comes from. “Maybe I was born with swag,”, he says. Or maybe it’s Forign Accent Syndrome (Yes. It’s a thing!)
Zurcaroh Acrobatic Group IT'S A SHOW STOPPER INCREDIBLE & EPIC Semifinals week 1.
INTRO SEMI-FINALS Week 2 America's Got Talent 2018 AGT Season 13
Her pre-package video features Christina gazing into a mirror and realizes that she’s beautiful inside and out! It’s overly sentimental and cloying. Also, performing first doesn’t bode well for her chances in the competition. She’s obviously not a favorite. Christina belts out a serviceable version of Aretha Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman.” She’s super growly tonight. Yikes. She’s pushing her voice too hard–she whiffs a couple of notes and is flat throughout. That was unpleasant. Heidi is standing for her, though. “You are an amazing woman,” says Howie. “There was a couple of note shere…you pushed a little hard and hit a couple of weird notes.” Christina seems to be aware of that. So many singers tonight. She’s done. Mel tells her to look after her voice. Heidi says she’s got moxie. Simon felt the song was over-orchestrated and yes, she hit some bum notes. He hopes America puts her through anyway. Tara calls her a “gorgeous beautiful woman.”
Da Republik Semifinals
This group barely got through the Quarterfinals. At the time, I was surprised the judges chose them over Front Pictures. Well they are here, and performing second. So don’t expect them to advance. Gotta have some canon fodder, I suppose. Their video package features the group gathering on a hillside…to stare at the sun, or something. No mention of their dramatic backstory either (They are from poor families in the Dominican Republic). There’s a ton going on onstage, none of it very interesting. Simon buzzes them. Mean. You put them though because you liked their personalities. What were you expecting? They’ve been mediocre since day one. Simon hated the routine. He felt it sucked out their personality. He predicts they won’t make it to the final. Mel appreciates their tricks and jumps. She felt they were a little under rehearsed. Heidi loved them. “I never get tired of you…spectacular.” Howie felt there were some mistakes. And that the first two acts are maybe allowing the pressure get to them.
In his video package, he talks about making correct choices as he gazes down an empty highway. Oh, this is about making song choices–Simon and Howie both criticized him. He’s confident that tonight’s song will impress everyone! He sings an odd, bluesy flip of “I Will Always Love You.” The electric guitar parts are very Elvis. The Voice sounds like he’s been rehearsing too much. People are either going to hate or love this arrangement. He’s taking a risk. Gotta give him that. Howie gives him a standing ovation. Heidi says she loves the way he stripped down the song. “You really sang with a lot of heart.” Simon thought it was a really smart idea.The first half was horrible, the second half better. “I genuinely don’t know if you made the right decision.” Heidi calls Simon “grumpy.” Howie says, “I think you made absolutely the right decision. So far the best of the evening.” Mel B calls his voice. “Soulful, rich and power.” She didn’t like the rendition. “I’m 50 50.” My prediction? Viewers won’t like that he messed with an iconic song.
Daniel remembers how Simon made him sing another song song during his audition. Then he was a Judge Cut wildcard. THEN he was a Dunkin Save. He’s a fighter damn it! If he goes home this week DRAMATIC PAUSE He’ll know he did everything he could. He performs “Somewhere” from the Broadway musical West Side Story. It’s nice, but nothing spectacular.Such an emotional song. When it’s sung well, I get goosebumps. I wasn’t feeling that rendition. Heidi is on her feet. Simon said only the last 20 seconds were magic. He respects the way he fights. Mel wishes he would have sung something operatic. “The performance wasn’t up to par for me,” she says.Heidi loved it. “For me, this was the best performance of the night.” Howie calls it “musical theater” like it’s a bad thing. “I didn’t love it.”
Angel City Choral Semifinals
The director reads letters they received since their TV debut. Oh man.They’re singing “The Rising.” Considering it’s September 11? INSTANT ADVANCE TO THE NEXT ROUND. They’re dressed in white and holding white lights. Even my cold cold cynical heart can’t bring forth the snark. It’s not a great rendition of the song, but the sincerity and grandeur, I suspect, will not be denied. Howie loves what they’re about. “That was just so beautiful, from start to end,” says Mel. The director says the song is dedicated to all the first responders. I don’t think Mel or Howie knew the history of that song. Simon calls it optimistic and positive, also “One of the best choirs we’ve had on the show.”
Aaron Crowe Semifinals
Aaron fondles his knives as he contemplates which of the judges he plans to target. All of them! Welp. It’s Howie back in the hot seat. Unfortunately, this trick is very similar to the last time. He’s taking forever to get to the point. Howie is in a box, and the judges pick numbers. Simon changes his mind at the last minute trying to trick him up. I guess the point is that no matter which numbers the judges pick it will never be Howie? Just like last time, except the trick really didn’t go as planned before. This is SO anti-climatic. Aaron’s audition was awesome, but it’s been downhill ever since. Simon says he’s “slightly disappointed at the ending!” He’s joking. Simon calls Aaron a “great entertainer.” Mel “really enjoyed it.” Heidi says there’s a “big black cloud over you head of danger and suspense…and I love it.”
The trio talk about how much their songwriting means to them. Tonight, they are singing a brand new song. The lead guitarist also plays trumpet. He’s working loop pedals, too. The song is called “Make Up” and I bet you can guess what it’s about. It’s the “you’re beautiful just the way you are cliche.” Eh. Not very original. This song sounds like Train circa 2008. Oh. Simon didn’t like the song. “I thought it was a mess…I thought it was all over the place.” I agree with Simon.Really mediocre song. Howie didn’t think it popped. “People weren’t tapping their feet.” Mel thinks Howie and Simon are harsh. “I love your songwriting. I’m glad that you switched direction.” Heidi knows they are great musicians, but their vocals were off tonight.
Glennis shares how hard it is to be away from her young son. “I want to make it to the finals for him,” she says. She performs “Woman’s Work” by Kate Bush. Her vocals are strong and perfect. Smart not to cover a big voiced diva, where she tends to sound karaoke. She can hit her big notes and sound somewhat original. There’s no denying those steel pipes. However, vocal showboating comes at the expense of connection. She’s a shoe-in though. Mel gushes, “YES YES YES.” She call it perfect. “Every moment with you is a special moment. You need to be at the finale,” says Heidi. “This was the best performance of the night so far,” says Simon. “It was very emotional, classy.” Howie calls it “perfection.” and “you are the first person who brought it home.” Glennis says her voice comes from “my soul.”