America's Got Talent
capped off the Season 12 semifinals in grand fashion, following up a rebound from the putrid quarterfinals with a solid night of performances. Outside of one unfortunate act -- which came courtesy the judges' wildcard -- everyone brought their A game and delivered arguably his or her respective best.
Still, there's a clear deliniation between who should stay and who should go, and the best part of the ideal lineup is that includes just two singers. So if the worthy advance, it will provide much needed genre diversity to the Top 10. But what should happen isn't always what does happen, especially when adorable children and plane crash survivors are involved.
Breakdown and Predictions
The five who deserve spots in the finale are Mandy Harvey, Angelica Hale, Colin Cloud, Light Balance and Diavolo. It's a solid mix with a few contenders, and none of the eliminated acts in this scenario has a chance to win anyway. The potential wrinkles in this plan are Celine Tam and Kechi, two singers who rely on cuteness and inspiration more than world-class chops.
Celine is Angelica Hale-lite (so much so that I actually confused their pictures in my performance rankings
) from vocal prowess to star power, while Kechi garners votes based on her horrific backstory. It's impossible not to root for her, but from a strictly vocal standpoint, she's a cut below the rest.
Merrick Hanna has an outside chance, even though his garage robot friend and four-second harness flight failed to raise the bar, while it's general consensus that sleigh-wreck Pompeyo Family Dogs, happy-to-be-here In the Stairwell and the formerly blind version of Manny from Modern Family are going home.
The esteemed Derek Stauffer calls Kechi a lock for the finals, but the nightmare scenario involves both her and Celine cracking a Top 5 that includes a whopping four singers. I hope it's not the case (it's my belief that Angelica must cancel out Celine), but crazier things have happened.
On to the show!
Who Needs Your Save?
After the customary 10-minute behind-the-scenes recap, which features Kechi tears consoled by a Simon hug and backstage cheers for Angelica's biggest note, it's time to find out which acts finished with the fourth-, fifth- and sixth-most votes.
Competing for the final Dunkin' Save of Season 12 are: Colin Cloud, Diavolo and Kechi.
It's not unexpected, as I surmised she'd be the top candidate for sixth-and-in. If she's the odd one out, we could have our correct five. But I'm not sure I see a scenario in which she doesn't win either the save or the judge vote. Our best hope is for a split decision, absolving everyone from having to choose against Kechi in a way that isn't anonymous.
Who's Headed to the Finals?
After a quick stop to see what's popping in the Dunkin' Lounge, it's time for our first official results. Tyra summons Christian Guardino, Merrick Hanna and Angelica Hale.
Angelica Hale is in the Top 10
It's an easy trio, and Angelina's tears of joy are infectious. In a good way. Next to learn their fates are Celine Tan, Mandy Harvey and the Pompeyo Family. Could it be real?
Mandy Harvey is in the Top 10
Yes! It is! It's real! It happened!
It comes down to In the Stairwell and Light Balance, which seems like an obvious choice. But they usually save the shocking result for last (i.e. Sara and Hero over the Englands). Did our nation's unwavering love of all things 'Murica lead to a stunner? Stay tuned.
Get Drunk on Absinthe
Our filler this evening comes courtesy the Cirque-like Las Vegas show Absinthe, which I actually saw a few years back at Caesars. It's fantastical and fun, and it has boobies.
There's a strongman duo, some jugglers tossing toilet paper, acrobatic tap dancers, a guy who pommel horses on a bathtub filled with water followed by aerials, more jugglers with bowling pins, a chick who climbs into a giant bubble, and some fireworks to cap things off.
I highly recommend the show.
Expecting the Expected?
Hilarity ensues as Trya sits down with a some kids to get their takes on piano-playing chickens, guys covered in cucumbers, mini Village People and a dancing pumpkin man. Then they give their advice to Simon, which includes "Be more nicer."
Go ahead, try to get those 10 minutes back. OR ... watch it again and waste another 10. You didn't have anything better to do anyway.
NOW, will it be Light Balance (please?) or In the Stairwell?
Light Balance is in the Top 10
After a Jimmy Kimmel ripoff called "America's Got Tweets," during which the talent reads actual tweets, it's time to end the suspense.
Kechi wins the Dunkin' Save
It was bound to happen, so one worthy act is calling it a day. Will it be Diavolo or Colin? Is it possible we're about to have a Top 10 devoid of magic/mentalism?
While we wait, enjoy the non-mean Mean Tweets.
Simon chooses Diavolo
Mel chooses Diavolo
Howie chooses Diavolo
Diavolo is in the Top 10
Wow, not a single for Colin Cloud. And no magic in the finals. What a sad concept.
Ending on a Tragic Note
America mostly got it right, and it's no surprise Kechi's incredible and emotional backstory earned her some addtional votes. I'm fine with her being rewarded for everything she's overcome, and I hope her life continues on this upward and inspirational path.
Do you agree with the decisions, particularly regarding Diavolo vs. Colin? Who do you think was deserving of a spot in the finale, and which advancing act should have been eliminated? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Finally, before we part ways for the week, we have some sad news to report. Evie Clair's father, Amos Abplanalp, lost his battle with cancer on September 7, at the age of 41, just one day after America voted her through to the finals. Her journey has been a gut-wrenching one she so gracefully and willingly shared with all of us, and I'd be lying if I said I hadn't shed more than a few tears for her and her family along the way.
It is apparently unclear if she'll be taking the stage again, but I can guarantee that if she does -- and if she sings "A Thousand Years" as I previously hoped -- I will be my own Puddles Pity Party (screw it, I will be no matter what). So please join me in offering condolances to Evie during this tough time, and I hope they know the collective thoughts and prayers of America are with their family.
Rest in peace, Amos, and I cannot comprehend how proud you must have been to witness your beautiful daughter capturing our hearts.