Welcome to the AGT Semifinals

08/29/12 10:15 PM

The trio of judges were tough during the first round of AGT semifinals, and for good reason – only three of the night’s 12 acts would get a shot at the finals which will occur in two weeks.

After Andrew de Leon’s Wild Card performance last week, singing coaches had been pulling their hairs out trying to mold his voice more appropriately for his chosen genre. Well, there must be a group of “Kojak” lookalikes somewhere, because Andrew displayed tremendous improvement this week.

More surprisingly, however, the asocial opera singer seemed to be warming up to his newfound fame. But Sharon wondered (out loud) if removing his “living dead” persona might make for a more palatable act…interpretation: “Andrew, you’re scaring people.”

The “Todd Oliver Show” featured talking dog Irving, and the Late Show setup seemed to win the judges over. Poor Irving. If Todd attached his doggie mouth contraption to Irving’s other end, it wouldn’t make much of a difference to the despondent pooch. Howard continues to vouch strongly for his Wild Card winner and pleaded for America to vote Todd through once again.

Strong woman-in-heels Rebecca gave her gushy guy Donovan a magnificent lift before singing boy wonder Edon kept the tweenagers screaming. But Edon’s song selection bored Howard to mean-man tears.

The Scott Brothers performed their usual looney-tunes inspired moves, but Howie and Howard didn’t think the duo brought their pop-lockin A-game this time around. It seems that folks are still nagging the judges about the Brothers’ last “around the hat” move. These guys are victims of their own b-boy genius.

Dittley Dittleman brought back the “Wow” with his mind-reading routine, which even shocked “Shock Jock” Howard Stern. Then along came Turk who mixed in a little dancing in between his bouts of extreme torture twists, per Sharon’s request.

A style-hungry Bria Kelly lacked the showmanship to make all three judges believers, and Joe Castillo whipped up his sand grains into an inspirational visual story that likely changed a few lives somewhere—he’s that good.

Once again, William Close unleashed his trove of melodic treasures and proved that he is the frontrunner that the judges unanimously praised him to be. Close is undeniably the instrument-sculpting, music-making dynamo to beat.

Tom Cotter kept it climactic with his slam-dunk extemporaneous comedy bit, and “Academy of Villains” danced the night to a sweet finish with an incredibly precise 30-person flip and twirl fest.

Next episode, this season’s first AGT finalists shall emerge.

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