'America's Got Talent' first semifinals are very strong

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Apologies (again this week!) for the lateness of this "America's Got Talent" recap. I was very sick this week and did not work for two days. But I did receive lots of emails asking about this, so I decided to post one, even if it is late. I'm rolling the performance/results into one, though.

1. Zuma Zuma


They start with a guy balancing on a tower of chairs while some other members limbo under fire. The fire is OK, but the chair tower is pretty impressive. They move on to a human tower with guys wrapped around the tower members, It's hard to explain, but it's cool. That was good, if not quite as exciting as they usually are. It seemed a little slower. But still - very good, and let's not forget their video package explaining how one off their members died doing a stunt. It's very dangerous.

2. Beth Ann Robinson

This week she has a very Cassie from "A Chrous Line" outfit on. Anyway, she does her best to fill up the stage and she's obviously a very good dancer, but I'm not sure she should keep going after tonight. I'm glad she made it out of her first round, but this isn't exactly the type of act that is right to win this show. Her turns are incredible, she looks 7-feet tall. And her joy is palpable, how much she enjoys dancing. Very, very good. But again - not sure she should move on. We'll see how the night goes.

3. Sandou Trio Russian Bar

So no bar this week. Huh. They're flying a piano while the girl sings and plays. Hmm. I'm already skeptical as it starts with the guy and the rose and the "Midsummer Night's Dream" set. Then the girl starts playing and zzzzzzzzzzz. Seriously, snooze. They take too long to the get to the part where the piano goes upside down, but even then - she's not that good a singer. They should've stuck with what works. They just blew it, which is too bad because they're an act that is perfect for this show. But not when they go all Squonk Opera on us.

4. Kevin Colis

The call this week is "Rhythm of Love" by the Plain White Ts. It's not very good. He's missing notes all over the place and this folksy crunchy granola campfire song has about five notes and five chords. There's just no soul in this, I feel like I'm at a Raffi concert. Next!

I'm totally with Piers on buzzing the last two acts, btw.

5. Matt Wilhelm

This week he has more people, so that's good. Makes it a little more interesting. I still don't find this terribly exciting. He needs to combine with a group like Yellow Design. He's obviously very good, but it's a lot of him spinning around on his bike and it's only interesting because of the black lights. There isn't enough substance, there isn't enough going on, for me. I think when you're talking about a Vegas show and a huge monetary prize, there needs to be more there there.

6. POPLYFE

"Come Together" is their piece tonight, which is an interesting choice. But it totally works, surprisingly. The lead singer's voice is so different from the Beatles that it sounds very original, plus her boys are able to rock out their guitars. She also gets to be all sexy, which is cool. You gotta have some of that and yes, I know she's underage, I don't mean it in a gross way. The "Cold Hearted Snake" set is also really working for me. I'm not sure these guys win, but I think they could advance.

7. West Springfield Dance Team


Wow - these guys just don't get a break. Three weeks in a row? Geez. The performance tonight is "biohazard" and set to "Crazy Train," which is always fun. I wonder if that kicks up and Sharon's just like, "Ugh, not again." As far as the dancing goes - this isn't as good as they've done before - except the mimed rope part, that was cool - but other than that, it was pretty basic. On the other hand, it's really unfair that a group that is expected to have a completely different routine every week has to go three weeks in a row. They could've given them a week off to really make a better show. A singer just has to sing, but a dance group is expected to be totally new and fresh, so I find it really unfair they had to go three weeks in a row. I think their routine this week reflected how quickly they put it together.

8. Melissa Villasenor

She kicks off with Sarah Silverman that is ... OK. Her Wanda Sikes is much stronger, but I just don't find her jokes that good. The Shakira part is not funny, the Xtina part is better. I just don't really laugh out loud at this girl. Sorry. I know humor is very subjective and this doesn't do it for me.

9. Team iLuminate


I'm surprised they are in the middle of the group this week. I suppose that's fair, though. They can't have the pimp spot every week. This week, they theme is a video game, which is a great concept, but it starts off a little slow. It doesn't actually really get exciting until Round 3 and the end. I still think they should advance - they're perfect for the concept of "AGT" and I can't wait to see what they do every week. I'm just opining I thought the beginning was a little slow.

10. Daniel Joseph Baker

"Turning Tables" by Adele is the call this week, so thank you for doing something other than Gaga, DJB. I love the Liberace outfit and white piano, it's very Vegas. Do I think he's one of the five strongest acts this week? I'm not sure I do. But I do think he's better than Kevin Colis and much more Las Vegas. Plus, he's just so delighted about being there and getting to be himself and that makes me happy for him.

11. Miami All Stars


They're doing swing this week, which is a bona fide way to get me on your side. I absolutely love that era of dance and music. The zoot suits and marvelous and I adore "Sing Sing Sing (With a Swing)." There are so many things happening, I can't even judge it all. I wish the camera would stay out wide. But anyway, that was terrific. Standing O totally deserved.

12. Lys Agnes


The hair out of the dreads is a cool change. This week the song is an opera version of Evanescence's "Bring Me to Life," which is an interesting choice. It's certainly a dramatic set, very "Wish You Were Somehow Here Again." I'm not actually sure I like this. I want to hear opera, not an operatic cover a pop song. Of course, the "whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa-WHOA" on the bridge is gorgeous and the ending is nice. I hope she goes back to opera next week, but I can see how someone would like that. I just personally wanted opera.

Who should advance? Gosh, I don't know. So many good ones! There are five right? So I would say - Lys Agnes, Miami All Stars, Team iLuminate, POPLYFE and Zuma Zuma., but that's just my taste. Guess we'll see. Let's move on to the results ...

The first group is Sandou Russian Bar, Zuma Zuma, Matt Wilhelm and Team iLuminate and obviously iLuminate advances. Wow, I'm surprised Zuma Zuma is out. That's a shame.

Group two is POPLYFE and Lys Agnes, so I really hope they both advanced. Nick Cannon informs us there is less than 1/10th of a percent separating these two acts, which - does that mean they were 5th and 6th in the voting? Nope, they are both through! Good stuff. Awesome.

The third group is Kevin Colis, Miami All Stars and Melissa Villasenor. I think Miami has this one in the bag. And then they do! Good for them.

I stopped to watch Prince Poppycock. I still love him, he's such a crazy act and I enjoy his voice.

The fourth group is Daniel Joseph Baker, Beth Ann Robinson and West Springfield. The first act eliminated Beth Ann, which I'm OK with. She's very good, but this is the wrong show for her.

As far as the judges' choice goes, I have no idea. I think West Springfield should've had an extra week to prepare, but I think Daniel Joseph Baker is more Vegas. Las Vegas is not full of dance teams performing, they're full of people like DJB. I think I'd give it to him, if I were a judge.

But the judges go: Howie goes with West Springfield, Piers goes with them too and DJB is out. Huh. I'm fine with that, they were both good.

What do you think, "AGT" fans?

Photo/Video credit: NBC