On August 22, 2017, NBC’s America’s Got Talent held its second quarterfinals live round for Season 12. The results will be announced live on August 23, 2017. After watching all of the performances, I made some predictions on who would advance. Below, I will include the acts that performed and my thoughts on how they did, and some thoughts on their odds of getting through to the semifinals. In all, 7 of the 12 acts advance. Last week, I predicted 5 of them only, as I felt that Puddles Pity Party and especially Just Jerk would advance.
This is the deaf singer. Although a lot of people moan about sob stories on AGT, the truth is that Mandy proved tonight that she deserves her spot. She sang well, and we found out that she is also a pretty good songwriter. Mandy wrote a song for her cousin’s wedding called “Mara’s Song.” It was written perfectly for her voice, and she hit a lot of beautiful notes that reminded me of Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel.” I’m not saying it was that good. But Mandy earned her keep, and I believe she will easily advance to the next round.
The next act I believe will advance is Merrick Hanna. Although his robotic dancing moves are starting to get a little repetitive, Simon duly noted that he is a creative artist that keeps things fresh. His idea of playing a boy without a family worked great for a show like America’s Got Talent. Hanna is good, but he’s a few steps below Kenichi Ebina, who won the whole show a few seasons ago. Nonetheless, his storytelling and overall talent should be enough to at least get him to the semifinals. And when Simon says you deserve it, that usually means you are going to advance.
Johnny is very close to a surefire lock to advance from the quarterfinals to the semifinals and probably also to the finals. He sang “And I’m Telling You,” the song made famous by Jennifer Holliday and then more famous by Jennifer Hudson. This was a solid performance from a pure vocal perspective. I didn’t find it to have the kind of booming power as when a lot of others sing it. So from that perspective, I didn’t think it quite had the punch that the judges seemed to think it had. Nonetheless, this is a performance that is clearly deserving of a semifinal spot.
The Pompeyo Family has a dog act that is quite similar to Olate Dogs. Olate won the show and the million dollars a few seasons ago. I believe that it’s pretty objectively clear that Pompeyo’s dogs are not quite as good as the Olate bunch. Nonetheless, they are pretty close. And I think they have a great chance of advancing out of this round. My prediction is that they will advance. The dog tricks are some of the best I have seen. It just so happens that Olate is the best I have ever seen. So you can’t expect them to rise to that level. But a lot of voters probably won’t be comparing, anyway. Judged individually, which is probably what most voters do, I’d have to say that Pompeyo Family will probably advance to the semifinals.
The 4 that I strongly predict will make it are the acts mentioned above: Johnny Manuel, Mandy Harvey, Merrick Hanna, and Pompeyo Family.
I am going to put 5 in the Maybe category, so to speak. But when added to the 4 above, that adds up to 9 acts. Only 7 are going to make it. So I will have to predict which 2 of these won’t make it.
The acts in my Maybe category are Celine Tam, Evie Clair, Light Balance, Eric Jones, and The Masqueraders.
Celine sang “When You Believe.” It got good comments from all judges with a mix of negative from Mel B. She made the overused comment that the song was “too big” for Celine. I disagree with this. They always mindlessly say this with Whitney Houston songs. But the difficulty level on this song isn’t that high. The fact is that Celine is a soft singer, not a power singer. But she’s consistently good and gets the most she can out of the voice she has. That voice doesn’t appear to be as good as the other 9-year-old girl, Angelica Hale. Angelica advanced to the semifinal from last week’s live show.
From a voting perspective, not all kids make it just because they are kids. So Celine is not a lock based on the “cute kid” vote. This is a factor in voting, but it’s not always the deciding factor. Because Celine didn’t knock it out of the park, I am on the fence here. But because she got the Golden Buzzer in the second round, I am going to predict that she advances this week but may be in big trouble in the semifinals.
Jones had some good tricks that may have been good enough to get him to the semifinals. But his delivery was a bit choppy because his instructions to Howie were a bit confusing to Howie. This caused the performance to drag a little. What I didn’t like so much is the fact that the last two tricks were based largely on not being able to see what he was doing. It’s impressive to “walk through glass.” But it’s old-style magic. Once you put a curtain up there, it’s obvious that you are just using some kind of trick glass wall. And whatever he did to pull the card through the glass was hidden from camera view. This is not as impressive as it should be to win the whole show. But this season needs some magic at least in the semifinals. Based on the needs of the show, Jones will probably be picked if it comes down to a judge choice. So I predict he will advance this round.
It’s hard to say what effect the technical problems will have on Light Balance. What happened was they got set to go live, and the equipment for the light show malfunctioned. Luckily, they had completely recorded the dress rehearsal. So AGT played the recorded dress rehearsal, and it was very good.
This kind of act (a dance-based light show in the dark) is visually impressive, and the dancing was pretty good. However, this kind of act has always come up short in the actual voting for America’s Got Talent. Some similar acts have made the top 3, but none has won.
Despite the technical problem, which may or may not have been the act’s fault, all 4 judges gave glowing comments. Based on that, my prediction is that they will advance to the semifinal. But they have an uphill battle to win it all since American TV voters don’t seem to prefer this kind of act.
So these are my other 3 picks to advance. To recap, they are Celine Tam, Eric Jones, and Light Balance.
I have 2 more in the Maybe category. They are Evie Clair and The Masqueraders.
Evie played the piano this time, showing a little bit more overall musician skills than before. But with a similar style of song as Mandy Harvey in this quarterfinal round, Evie’s voice just didn’t have the same level of clarity and emotion. she is competent but not brilliant at this time, pretty much putting her on a level that is very comparable to Celine Tam. I don’t know if her backstory, which is about her dad’s battle with cancer, will be a strong factor in voting. I would not be surprised if Evie makes it, but my prediction is she falls short this time.
I would also not be surprised if The Masqueraders advance to the semifinals. However, I am predicting that they will fall a little short. The lead singer has flashes of being very soulful. But the other two seemed like random backup singers, at least this round. The group just didn’t really stand out, and their original song, “I’m Just an Average Man,” wasn’t very catchy in my opinion. I have nothing against them. But the lead singer just wasn’t quite exciting enough to push this trio to the top tonight. Again, though, I would not be surprised if they advance. But they would have to do something very different to have a chance of winning.
So my Maybe acts that I predict will not quite make it are Evie Clair and The Masqueraders. But both are worthy, and I would not mind seeing them in the semifinals.
My bottom 3 acts are Demian Aditya, Mirror Image, and Brobots & Mandroidz. I definitely don’t think that these acts will advance, although it would not be shocking if Brobots & Mandroidz somehow managed to squeak into the 5th, 6th, or 7th spot.
Demian’s act had a technical failure. He did escape from a box that was suspended over fire and some sharp objects that presumably would have stabbed him right through the box if it had fallen with him in it. But the box somehow got stuck on the metal scaffolding-type structure as it was falling. This caused Aditya to get a couple of Xs from the judges. Those who get Xs on a live show rarely ever advance to the next round. I don’t know if the glitch was intentional to create water-cooler talk or not. But it’s likely sealed Demian’s fate.
Mirror Image and Brobots & Mandroidz just didn’t stand out with their dancing or, in Mirror Image’s case, their singing, either. I have never liked these acts yet. It’s not like they have no talent. But both seem to be about something other than talent. Mirror Image is more about personality than pure talent. They could definitely succeed as actors, which is probably where they will end up. The Brobots group seems to be more about flash over substance. Their dancing moves really aren’t that hard. I was thinking I could do a lot of those moves, and that’s just not something I should be able to say when watching a dance crew in the quarterfinals of America’s Got Talent. This group’s choreography is for the birds.
So my prediction is that the following 7 acts will advance: Mandy Harvey, Merrick Hanna, Pompeyo Family, Johnny Manuel, Light Balance, Eric Jones, and Celine Tam. I figure I’ll get at least 5 of these right.