‘America’s Got Talent’ review: Samantha Johnson, Piff the Magic Dragon, Myq Kaplan, and more return

America's Got Talent -The audition round of “America’s Got Talent” is over, and the good news tonight is that, at least for the most part, we had good acts. Yes, we did still have to endure that hugging thing for an extremely uncomfortable period of time.

Tonight, we were also treated to more than just the typical judging panel, as Neil Patrick Harris joined the group in order to both serve as a valuable influence and also a promoter for his upcoming variety show on NBC. It’s good cross-promotion, and given how much we like him, we don’t mind. Plus, he had a golden buzzer and that added to the drama of the night.

Silvia Silvia – The best crossbow person we’ve seen in the past couple of seasons. We’re not sure that we want to see her son moving forward, but this is the sort of variety we tend to enjoy having in the series.

Alondra Santos – She’s very good for a young singer, and we feel like what also helps her is that she sings a different style and flavor of music than what we tend to see elsewhere. It’s not her favorite of the acts, but she is a good contender..

Piff the Magic Dragon – Loved everything about this. Love the trick, love the humor, and he may be one of our favorite overall acts on this show. We even love the way that Neil played using the Golden Buzzer, because you didn’t quite know what he was doing until he pressed it.

Myq Kaplan – Full disclosure: We’ve known and loved Myq for years. He’s probably a more famous comic than the majority of them that have been on this show. Kind of like Neil and the cross-promotion, though, we really don’t mind since he’s entertaining.

Three Shades of Blue – We think that Howie Mandel is right in that the song tonight was not entirely memorable. However, we do think that lesser-known tunes can be memorable. You just need something that is catchy that will stick with viewers. They’re talented guys, but the song tonight didn’t quite work for us.

Master Qi – This is so insane. The trick did work where the fire was started using his “energy,” but it’s just so strange and it takes way too long to happen.

Samantha Johnson – Love this Sam Smith song. Great performance, great intonation. One of the best vocals we’ve heard on the show, and we’re very choosy about singers here.

Out of the people we mentioned above, all but Alondra and Master Qi advanced. Chapkis Dance Family is the only one we didn’t mention above who moved on, and we were rather surprised that they did.

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