America's Got Talent Season 9 Judges' Graphic
After the overabundance of worthy hopefuls last week on America’s Got Talent it feels impossible that another twelve could line up to steal our hearts.  But that friends, is the name of the game.  With only five slots left in what is sure to be one of the most competitive semi-finals in the show’s history hardly anything else matters.  Continuing his trend this season, Nick Cannon was careful to wear his elegant navy blue floral brocade jacket with surprisingly pleasing cranberry rhinestone loafers.  Somehow Nick’s silent performance show credo of impeccable outfits awakened something in Howie Mandel.  Perhaps he misses the suspense of Nick’s ensembles; why else would he blindside the public with that detestable pink camouflage suit jacket?  Luckily Heidi Klum, Mel B., and Howard Stern showed up more appropriately attired to single out the final five deserving quarter finalist.  Voting is open on Google until 12:00 noon Eastern Standard Time, so get to work.

Bad Boys of Ballet
Set against an animated geometric black and white back ground, the Bad Boys of Ballet performed a routine to Ariana Grande’s summer hit “Problem.”  (Give me a break, I work with children.)  As usual, their leader and only female dancer took center stage clad in pink with the rest of her boys in blue.  There were two glaring issues with their routine: that the leader was the only focal point, and that their routine wasn’t impressive enough to measure up with the current level of competition.  Of course they’re a million times more amazing that most could hope to be, with some truly accomplished arabesques and twirls, but they just needed more.

One Voice Children’s Choir
The one hundred young people that make up the One Voice Children’s Choir played on their natural preciouses charm with professional ease.  Dressed all in white with their stands in the midst of blue mist and twinkling lights, the children belted out the title song from the movie still captivating the minds of most of the young at heart across the globe, “Let It Go” from Frozen.  Keeping it classy, their single soloist sang with the poise, grace, and power, of someone double her years.  Howie, Heidi, and Mel B. were convinced even though Howard found the kids lacking after previously going to bat for the group.

Jonah Smith
With a rather distinctive voice and an awesome band behind him, Jonah Smith’s success hinged on their song choice.  Luckily they performed the popular tune “Stay With Me” which lent itself to the tense, raspy quality of Jonah’s voice as well as the band’s soulful skills.  All of the judges championed the band for their flawless performance; hopefully it’s enough to win over the voters.

Dom the Bom’s Triple Threat
Young Dom returned to the stage with his two triplet siblings for some more card throwing madness.  Dom the Bom’s Triple Threat attacked the supermarket masked stage, chopping different vegetables in half, knocking over cereal boxes, and water bottles.  Although Dom’s siblings popped out every now and again to hold something Dom was chopping with his multiple decks, their role in the act was fairly ornamental.   That, coupled with the performances round about routine of running around caused Howard to layer the hammer as gently as possible.  Unwilling to make the triplets cry, none of the judges could truly say this novelty act may have lost its appeal, but America will soon decide.

Extreme
The dance group Extreme bet their entire success of their performance on an adorable little blond dancer.  The crew itself is rather large, but besides a brief vogue from a talented male dancer the young girl seemed to be their only interesting focal point.  With dated costumes and a rather run of the mill choreography, the bright spot was how high their little focal point was thrown in the air.  Most of the judges could see that might not be enough to be memorable enough to win votes.

Emil and Dariel
These classical rock stars took over the Radio City Music Hall stage with the Rolling Stone’s “(I Can’t Get No)Satisfaction.”  Performing with a drummer and guitarist by their sides, Emil & Dariel started slow, with the lights low, showing of their accomplished classical cellist prowess before lowering the boom and switching to the rock tune.  With their open air cellos, simple black suits, and bundles of charm, the only thing that outweighs their general appeal is their amazing sound.  As the first resounding and thunderous applause of the night, it was clear Emily & Dariel‘s future is in the semi-finals.

Nina Burri
Sometimes it’s not clear what’s enough to captivate the audience of America’s Got Talent.  Normally I’d say that Nina Burri’s solo contortionist performance wouldn’t be enough for the magnitude of Radio City Music Hall’s stage.  Amidst the dark stage and artificial snow, Nina stood on a platform highlighted by the spotlight and her sparkling silver bodysuit.  Every move she made hypnotized the audience, contorting her limbs to the point that they looked disjointed.  Nina always held the audiences gaze with a powerful stare that kept almost every person entranced by her immeasurable skill.  All the judges except Heidi were enthralled by Nina—hopefully you saw enough to ignore the odd man out.

Quintavious Johnson
Every once and a while a voice takes over the hearts and minds of everyone it touches from the AGT stage.  Last night that voice belonged to Quintavious Johnson.  Singing the vocally challenging “And I Am Telling You (I’m Not Going)” Quintavious made the song more appropriate with a few word changes.  It was clear why the tune was chosen—though many attempt it few people in the world’s voices are equal to the task this song presents.  Quintavious’s vocals rose to and shattered every single peak and valley the song had to offer.  As he belted out the finals bars, demanding the crowd love him with amazing lung control and a powerful pitch, it was clear Quintavious’s future was assured.  See you in the semi-finals young mans.

Mothmen Dance
It’s true that Mothmen Dance utilized a trick not seen on the AGT stage, at least not within recent memory.  Using wires and harnesses the sic man group shot into the air, jumping leaping and twirling.  Of course, that’s after a quarter of their performance time was wasted by them slowly spinning around against an outer space background.  With other dancers risking their lives it’s hard to take this group seriously, even if their talent far exceeds the norm.

Smoothini
Close up magician Smoothini returned for another round of flawless tricks.  Pulling Mel B. and Howie on stage, Smoothini first put s stack of one dollar bills on Mel’s hand before tapping them with his wallet and turning them into hundred dollar bills.  After he did a cute number on how with each family member his money gets cut in half, flipping between, the hundred, the fifty, the twenty, and the ten dollar bill in the process.  For his finale, he picked up a hundred dollar bill and identified all the marks to prove it was authentic.  Smoothini then moved the seal on the bill, pushing it across to the other side before giving the bill to Howie to prove it.  Without a doubt Smoothini was engaging, but for the judges’ nit invited to the stage, they felt uninvolved and far away from the excitement.  Will a disjointed seating arrangement block this amazing magician from the next round?

Jonatan Riquelme
There aren’t enough words to properly express the stress and fear your heart is thrown into while watching Jonatan Riquelme perform.  High in the air standing on the wide seat of a swing Jonatan warmed up by performing a handstand supported by a board atop a long metal tube.  Lowering the swing he stacked a five tube high tower of alternating width before replacing the board and raising the swing.  After jostling the tube tower to emphasize the danger, Jonatan climbed and mastered the tower quickly, even standing with his hands on his hips.  The only thing Jonatan should worry about tonight is whether he’ll be called first or second for the next round.

Kelli Glover
Redemption was the focus of Kelli Glover’s performance; being cut from AGT during judgment week back in 2009 has left a sore spot.  Though Kelli redeemed herself by making it to Radio City Music Hall, we’ll have to wait and see if she was able to force her way into the semi-finals.  Kelli’s performance of “If I Ain’t Got You,” began with a slight falter in her voice.  Though she was able to pick it up and produce some major runs for the chorus and finale, she seemed to coast through the verses.  Though somewhat pleased, the lack of perfection wasn’t lost on the judges.  Whether America believes different is a question tonight will answer.

Who Deserves to Advance: Emil & Dariel, Quintavious Johnson, Jonatan Riquelme, Smoothini, Nina Burri

Wildcards: Jonah Smith, One Voice Children’s Choir