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America's Got Talent Semifinals Recap: Which Five Acts Should Move On?

TVLine logo TVLine 6 days ago Andy Swift
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With five acts already guaranteed placement in the finals, Tuesday’s episode of America’s Got Talent gave the 11 remaining hopefuls one last shot at next week’s main event.

Pint-sized songstress Celine Tam opened the night with a killer rendition of “How Far I’ll Go” from Disney’s Moana — or at least thought she crushed it. Mel B. said she found the performance to be “too musical theater,” adding that it didn’t show off enough of her range as a singer.

As for the next act, actual mentalist Colin Cloud, the judges were unanimous. His latest trick — in which he covertly infiltrated the judges’ lives for an entire week without their knowledge — was met with as much as praise as confusion. Howie Mandel even chanted, “Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote!”

Like Tam before him, Christian Guardino turned out a pretty solid performance, taking on Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On.” But unlike Tam, the judges had only positive things to say about Guardino. “America needs you,” Mandel told him, saying that he’s “beautiful inside and out.” Added Mel B., “Now that’s how you kill it on AGT.” There was just a lot of love going around.

The first standing ovation of the night went to In the Stairwell, which dedicated its performance of Ed Sheeran’s “Castle on the Hill” to the soldiers abroad who are currently separated from their families. The performance was so good, in fact, that Mandel said he went from “not loving” the group to… loving it, I guess. Either way, all of the judges were very thankful for the singers’ service.

Despite having “the worst robot I’ve ever seen in my life,” according to Cowell, dancer Merrick Hanna also received pretty decent praise from the judges. (And am I crazy, or did he look like a tiny version of Archie? The red hair, the letterman jacket — come on, people.)

Singer Mandy Harvey’s performance received a warm reception from the judges, who also enjoyed the Pompeyo Family Dogs — even though he acknowledged the group’s slip-up (so to speak).

But no one left the judges as speechless as Kechi Okwuchi, whose performance blew all four judges away. “I want to hug you and I want to hold you,” Howie told her. “I don’t have words.” Struggling to speak, Mel B. thanked her for giving people so much hope. Cowell summed up everyone’s thoughts when he told her, “It was your best performance by a clear mile.”

One of the best-received performances of the night came courtesy of Light Balance. “It was really, really special and stunning,” Cowell told the group. The final act, singer Angelica Hale, also received well-deserved praise for her stunning performance of Usher’s “Without You.”

Which five acts deserve to proceed to next week’s finals? Cast your vote(s) below, then drop a comment with more of your thoughts.

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