America's Go t Talent-Top 12-The KrisStef Brothers
Once America’s Got Talent reaches the Top 12, it simultaneously becomes easier to see the truly talented, and immensely harder to choose between them.  There will be no judge picks tonight, nor there be any during next week’s final six.  It’s all down to you voters and here’s hoping you chose wisely because complain as we might Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B., and Howie Mandel provided a vast array of worth competitors.  As long as you weren’t too distracted by Nick Cannon’s rhinestone encrusted shoes, we know you had to see something you loved.  We certainly did.

Chicago Boyz

At this level every talented act runs the risk of succumbing to tiny blunders and missteps; the Chicago Boyz weren’t exempt from that.  That doesn’t mean those gaffes should make voters abandon them though.  Five of those wonderfully athletic young men still jumped double dutch in unison while two of them jumped rope simultaneously.  Building on their biggest trick from the semi-finals, this time the Chicago Boyz built a five person high standing human pyramid.  Somehow they managed to jump rope without falling—it’s still utterly amazing that none of them ended up bloodied on the stage floor for even trying.  For the most part the judges supported them, repeatedly telling America that a couple minor mistakes shouldn’t matter.  Hopefully their talent will win out.

Branden James

What a difference song choice makes.  For the Top 12 Branden James sang “Halleluiah,” a ballad that that immediately sounded more appropriate for the opera singer.  Unfortunately it didn’t feel like he ever truly connected with the music.  The song he chose is a triumphant tune and his voice never rose to that passionate occasion.  However the judges were so taken by Branden’s selection that they threw their full support behind the soloist.  Howard did remind him that his success depends on how the viewing public compares his act with Forte—that could be the real danger for Branden.

Innovative Force

If there was a group that put it all on the line for the Top 12, its Innovative Force.  Their goal was to maximize the danger for their performance, and the girls did everything to make good on that goal.  There was an order to their routine this week that seemed to be missing from their semi-finals routine.  Their most stunning feat was grouping together in a pentagram shape and tossing three of their acrobats to each other at the same time like hot potatoes.  The judges

The Krisstef Brothers

It would be a shame if The Krisstef Got Brothers got more laughs than the competing comedian, but not for them.  Staging a fake infomercial, their hilarious voice-over booming during their performance gave verbal instructions on how to be a Krisstef Brother.  To drive that humor home, pairs of backup dancers clad in the same pastel colored ‘80’s style workout gear struggled hilariously through mimicking the duo.  The final two lifts were the most impressive; The Tootsie Roll Up had Stefan lifting Kris high over his head by his hands before lying on the ground.  Next Stefan started rolling over without making Kris so much as wiggle as he continued to hold his partner in the air.  The Hangover was equally impressive—seeing Kris balance his body in a headstand supported by (what else) Stefan’s head would have been stunning anyway, but their doing so hands free was completely unexpected.  Their final trick was a little frightening but in the end Stefan was able to balance his partner overhead one handed before he flipped down perfectly.  If these two aren’t in the final six, America will be missing out.

D’Angelo & Amanda

These two continued their run of perfection, in the spectacular way that only D’Angelo & Amanda can.  Amanda emerged from a birdcage, dominating the stage with a few solo moves before D’Angelo ran out to join her.  The two abandoned their usual platform and danced all over the stage, even running across and performing around the judges table.  A few of their better moves were slight repetitions from other performances.  Still as the judges said the tricks were still amazing, no matter how many times they’ve been seen.  Since the kids used their repetitive tricks as building clocks for even more impressive stunts, America can’t hold that against them.

Catapult Entertainment

Hoping to regain the judges support Catapult Entertainment performed an educational coming of age story.  At least that’s how it began; through the silkscreen they depicted a young man being bullied in different school backgrounds.  Their story unraveled when they tried to interpret his struggle in a broader sense; the dragon and monsters of his fears weren’t as compelling as they were visually impressive.  The image quickly dissolved into a family hug and heart—the idea was that family and love would heal.  For us it felt like the groups plan was to manipulate the viewing public by playing on a sensitive subject in society.  No real solution was put forth, and thee quick flashes of familial love didn’t measure up to the amount of distress they played up during their routine.  Yet again, the judges found favor in a performance where we found none—maybe the voters will see reason.

Forte

Song choice has never been a problem for Forte, and their triumphant rendition of Celine Dion’s famous “My Heart Will Go On” proved that.  We assume they were singing in Italian—it’s the language of the Opera after all—but if it wasn’t forgive our ignorance.  Like everyone else whose ears were touched by the trio we were too wrapped up in the wondrous sounds to take notice.  The word flawless had already been tossed around by the judges a couple times, but Forte truly deserved it.

Taylor Williamson

There’s a reason that Taylor Williamson is the only comedian in the finals.  Not only is he fearless, but his innovation is unmatched.  You want a set about family?  Then you’re going n to hear about his politically correct childhood and the therapist bills he sends to his mom.  You want to talk about weddings?  Taylor can tell you about the wedding of his great grandparents, who were first cousins (and more than likely had a ceremony in which everyone sat on the same side.  You want to talk sweet about grandparents?  Well then you need to hear Taylor rap about his racist grandmother who may or may not live to see him possible marry someone outside of his race, a joke that he said might be too dark for her.  Come one people, how can you not vote for someone who properly puns their on already amazing joke.  If that wasn’t enough, Howard and Howie loved him so much that when it sounded like Mel B. was going to give him a negative critique the men talked over her, for which we were grateful.  Last year we let a comedian suffer through being second best; don’t make that mistake this season.

Collins Key

Another performance, another chance for Collins Key to prove that you can never watch close enough to catch him in the act.  To Nick’s dismay, Collin’s borrowed the hosts watch—which is entirely encrusted in yellow and white diamonds—and reset it to an undisclosed time before placing it into a brown paper bag.  Two more bags had cheap watches added to them, and after Collins mixed up the bag, Heidi and Mel B. were each made to choose one for Collins to smash.  All the while Howie was resetting his watch to some random time, and when Nick’s watch was found safe in the remaining bag, its new time of 4:58 matched the one that Howie had just quietly set his watch two.  Collins only criticism was that his performance ran long—the judges only had time for two commenters.  Of course there’s not much anyone needs to hear from them; it’s obvious Collins deserves to count himself among the final six.

Kenichi Ebina

In every round someone succumbs to the notion to switch things up and for Kenichi Ebina that was the Top 12.  His stripped down routine was a real departure from his usually energetic and unique performances.  Of course the lack of graphics allowed for his body to really shine, displaying real technique in his every move.  The coolest thing about his routine was the snapshot of a strobe light that made it seem like Kenichi look like he was flying.

Jimmy Rose

Instead of his usual crooning via stool, Jimmy Rose added an electric guitar and a little movement to his act. Singing “God Gave Me You” Jimmy did his best to contend with the immense talent of the many before him. Unfortunately the most his performance did was remind us that the original performer, Blake Shelton, will be back on NBC very soon. Mel B. tried her best to champion Jimmy, but if he makes it into the final six expect us to be floored.

Cami Bradley

Quietly dominating the final slot of the night with her beautiful voice, Cami Bradley reminded everyone not to start counting finalists before the night is over. There has never been a soloist that could manipulate popular song to fit her plan, and all others after will have to reference her. How anyone could transform Bon Jovi’s iconic “Livin’ On a Prayer” into a passionate ballad is anyone’s guess. We know where the emotion came from; anyone who’s been to a karaoke bar knows how easy it is to get lost in the tune. But Cami’s arrangement, inflection, and talent awarded her all the praise she deserved. Any final doc without her is pointless.

Who Should Advance: Chicago Boyz, The Krisstef Brothers, Forte, Taylor Williamson, Collins Key, Cami Bradley