NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” reached its second live quarterfinals episode on Tuesday night. Twelve hopefuls performed for judges Howie Mandel, Sharon Osbourne and Howard Stern.
Only four will advance, with America deciding the fate of the contestants via a public vote. The results from this week will be revealed by host Nick Cannon during Wednesday night’s show.
Here’s a rundown of Tuesday night’s acts:
–First up was dance act Lion Dance Me, who took traditional Chinese lion movements to a new level, hopping and balancing on metal poles. They wore the bright, colorful costumes and dragon heads that they had used in earlier rounds. Stern warned that their act may not be varied enough for the U.S. market. Osbourne loved their strength and timing but agreed that the martial arts-dancers needed to mix things up.
–Contortionist/dancer Turf is already a favorite with the judges and the audience. He combined body-popping with contortionism set to music. Sharon said he had guts and talent but needed to add more dance. Mandel told Turk that he always shows just how much he wants to win. Stern agreed that Turf was amazing but needed to incorporate more dance moves.
–The All Ways is a four-piece rock band that previously played gigs in front of an audience of one – a bartender. They specialize in pop-rock covers and chose to perform Lady Gaga’s “Telephone.” Mandel liked the band but wanted more rock from the boys. Sternis a fan but disliked the song choice and lack of commitment. Osbourne thought the band had drive and loved their retro-’80s look.
–Hawley Magic are a husband-and-wife team that performs dangerous illusions, including one that appeared to have the female assistant balance prone atop a sword, placed in the small of her back. She appeared to be punctured by the steel but, thankfully, she survived intact. Stern thought some of the theatrics were a little old-fashioned, but he liked the illusion. Osbourne and Mandel agreed that the team needs to update their presentation. Both enjoyed what Mandel dubbed “the wife kebab.”
–Young dance troupe The Lisa Clark Dancers combine modern, jazz and tap disciplines. The eight members perform very well-synchronized moves. Dressed in spandex tuxedos, they came up with a modern twist on vaudeville. Mandel buzzed them, saying that they looked like an after-school club dance recital. Osbourne also thought that the dance and music were “too cute,” blaming the choreographer. Stern told the dancers that they are in the most difficult category and felt that they were in danger of going home.
–Artist collective Aurora Light Painters performed something they called “Monsters Under the Bed.” Painting a tableau in neon light against a black backdrop, to the music of “Strangers in the Night,” the group presented a story about a cute monster visiting a girl in her bedroom. Howie thought that Aurora Light Painters had “peaked.” Stern had already used his “X” and said the story was not strong enough. Osbourne thought that the overall vision was not good.
–Danielle Stallings is a young singer who wants to make it to the big stage. At just 14 years of age, Danielle has a powerful and soulful voice. She sang the Bruno Mars song “It Will Rain” with plenty of confidence. Stern thought Danielle’s performance was “incredibly memorable.” Osbourne thought Danielle was “delightful,” and Mandel called her “a tremendous highlight.”
–Acrobatic couple Donovan and Rebecca displayed feats of strength and gymnastics. They flew around the stage, supported only by two long pieces of material suspended from the rafters. At one point, Donovan supported the weight of Rebecca, as she held on dangling by one of her feet. Sharon thought the act was fluid and seamless. Mandel liked the passion that he saw. Stern agreed that Donovan and Rebecca are “tremendous.”
–Former karaoke singer Big Barry is already disliked by Stern, so he started with a disadvantage. Barry is actually a short person, with what he claims is a “big talent” for singing. Stern buzzed in with his “X” quickly, followed by Osbourne, as Barry belted out “Feeling Good,” surrounded by tall female models. Mandel loved Barry’s loveable attitude but then got into a verbal fight with Stern, who thought Mandel was “grandstanding” by being a champion for what he views as a novelty act.
–Tom Cotter is a standup comic who has an easy, laid-back delivery. He’s a veteran on the comedy circuit but is still waiting to make it big after 25 years. His routine involved giving rapid-fire punch lines to everyday sayings and idioms. Stern told Tom that he was smooth and called him “phenomenal.” Sharon hopes to see Tom in the final and Mandel called him “cool as a cucumber.”
–Daredevil Ben Blaque, a crack-shot crossbow marksman, climaxed his act with a stack of four weapons, which he fired at once. His female assistant stood surrounded by four balloons, which Ben shot at and burst simultaneously. Osbourne thought Ben’s act was exciting, Stern said he believed that Ben would make it through to the final. Mandel agreed that Ben’s act was special.
–Tim Hockenberry is a singer who normally gigs in restaurants. He’s a recovering addict who wants to make a living from his voice, which has been compared to Joe Cocker’s. He chose to sing Katy Perry’s “Part of Me.” Mandel loved the choice of song and called Tim “a possible winner.” Sharon liked Tim’s passion and thought that he’d be around for a while. Stern was disappointed with this performance, causing a rift between the judges.
“America’s Got Talent” returns on Wednesday on NBC at 9 p.m. Eastern time.