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America's Got Talent Recap: Semifinals, Week 2

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The final rounds of America's Got Talent are just around the corner and I was totally bummed to say goodbye to some of my personal favorites during last week's eliminations, but the show must go on, right? And in the case of AGT, it certainly does. It goes on and on and on and on.

Jacob Williams

Sharon Osbourne assured him "You did very awkward tonight," and normally, that's a good night for Williams, who previously delighted judges and audience alike with his "white and nerdy" flavor of funny. Unfortunately, his material was lacking a lot of the funny. And by "a lot" I mean all of it. All of the funny. From the Subway cheese joke that I just plain didn't get (and apparently neither did much of the audience) to the toils of changing your own diaper (what?) there was just too much awkward and not enough awesome.

The Olate Dogs

It took some time for the dancing dogs to grow on me, but grow they did. Tuesday night's performance featured more energetic antics from the adorable dogs, including a scooter chase and a conga line. Sharon begged voters to cast one for the Olate Dogs and Howard Stern declared that it would be a crime if they didn't make it to the finals. I decided that there needs to be an America's Got Talent drinking game with the rule "Drink every time Howie Mandel mentions his Twitter handle."

David Garibaldi and his CMYK

Everything that Garibaldi and his crew has done through the course of this season has been phenomenal, but like Stern, I can't help but wonder if the sheen has worn off a little. It's essentially the same routine each time they take the stage: music plays, they dance around and paint, the seemingly nonsensical blotches of paint are revealed to be an awesome portrait. Stern hinted at this underlying problem and warned them, should they advance, to avoid dragging the reveal out.

The Untouchables

Living up to their name, the ultra-polished dance group of adolescents stunned the audience with their professional-grade tango and mid-show costume change. When one of the youngest members of the group started crying because she was so proud of what she and her peers had accomplished, Mandel assured her that their hard work had paid off, "Keep those tears of happiness coming." Aww.

Tim Hockenberry

The Joe Cocker-esque musician ditched his ill-received Katy Perry cover for a simple rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine." The back-to-basics approached impressed Sharon and prompted Stern to call it the most moving performance by a vocalist all season. Howie was less enthusiastic about the performance, pointing out that while it was great and all, Hockenberry himself just might not be memorable enough to pull in the votes. Personally, I can go either way with him. He's great, but I see Howie's point.

Lightwire Theater

All I can really say is "OMG." From the lightsaber wielding dinosaurs to the Matrix-esque slow-motion, Lightwire totally rocked the stage. All three judges enthusiastically applauded the performance with Mandel adding, "You deserve a million dollars... you deserve your own headlining show."

Shanice and Maurice Hayes

The father-daughter duo, despite repeated pleas from the judges to showcase Shanice's clearly superior talent, stuck to their usual routine and divided Mariah Carey's "Anytime You Need a Friend" equally. Backed by a gospel choir, the initially charming routine quickly devolved into glorious cheese. Howie pointed out that it would have been better suited as a cheap cruise act. Ouch.

All Wheel Sports

The often overwhelming display of athleticism reached it's breaking point on Tuesday night. Howie is still clinging to his support for what he called, "Cirque du Soliel meets the X-Games" but the dangling acrobats were blatantly out of sync with one another and one of the bikers took a pretty rough looking spill. Stern pointed out that they do the same thing every time we see them which is so true that it hurts a little... but not as much as that downed biker's face probably does.

Clint Carvalho and his Extreme Parrots

Kitty the Parrot made another appearance, this time diving through hoops, delivering mail, and stealing a can of 7Up from Sharon Osbourne, but in comparison to her previous performance, it all felt a little trite. Carvalho implied as much (unintentionally, I'm sure) when he agreed with Sharon that Kitty didn't look as winded after this performance as she did after her last one, "Well, yeah, she fell off a building... " Overall, it was a capable enough display, but I'm with Howie in that it felt smaller and more like an "amusement park show" compared to their last act.

All That!

Despite setting their shoes on fire and clogging through some puddles, Sharon's old favorite didn't really bring anything fantastic to the stage. Honestly, if the camera hadn't zoomed in, I probably wouldn't have realized that there was any fire at all. Maybe I'm just jaded from the fact that the majorettes in my high school marching band twirled fire every other day and once you've see a 14-year-old with big hair caked in Aqua Net successfully back flip over a flaming hula hoop, smoldering boots just aren't that impressive. Sorry, guys.

Sebastien El Charro de Oro

Sebastien and his band joined forces with a full orchestra and dancers. The judges raved and Stern called him a "Mexican superhero"... after pointing out that his voice could use a little work. Yet another AGT drinking game rule: "Take a drink every time Howard Stern gets booed for being honest with a child."

The Magic of Puck

After his small-time (though still impressive) hankie trick during the YouTube round, Puck was advised to go bigger and, as Sharon said, he certainly raised the bar with his levitating/disappearing chick trick. Stern said, "I think this show needs a magician," and I'm totally okay with it being this one.

My predictions? The Olate Dogs, The Lightwire Theater, and a toss-up between The Untouchables and The Magic of Puck.

What about you?

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