‘America’s Got Talent’ review: Steven Brundage, Sofie Dossi, Ryan Stock and AmberLynn perform in live show #2

AGT -Tonight, “America’s Got Talent” is airing its second live show, and we’re back to bring you the latest live review all about it! We’ll be offering up our quick takes for what looks on the surface like it is going to be a pretty stacked night of talent.

Now that we’ve said that, can Howie Mandel stop saying the same thing about the talent being at another level at the start of every season? Just once it’d be great to hear someone say “yeah, last year was better,” even if it’s not true.

FLIP – The dance crew from Canada has become the latest act to validate our theory that there must be a secret association of producers of America and Britain who require Fleur East’s “Sax” to be a part of every number in existence. Isn’t the song better when it’s not in any routine? The simple explanation for the act’s performance is that we understand why they were eliminated the first time. They are talented, but it is nothing that we haven’t seen from other crews before. There’s not a new angle or an emotional pull.

Moya Angela – Moya is to her category slightly stronger than FLIP is to theirs. She can really sing! The problem, as we’ve seen on this show for so many years, is that you need some sort of other angle in order to get people voting for you. There’s just not a lot of either a defining personality or a unique story that producers are showing.

Viktor Kee – This is one of the few times this season that we’ve been legitimately moved by a pre-show package, and much of that could be because we feel that he is so genuine and that he means what he says. That’s not something in this genre you often see. Also, his juggling his sensational, and it’s more than that to boot. It’s artistic, creative, interesting, and athletic. He doesn’t necessarily juggle anything unusual, but he makes it so that he doesn’t have to.

Kadie Lynn Robertson – This feels like it’d be a great performance for “The Voice,” since “My Church” is a super-current country song and viewers would be really into it. Kadie’s a good, promising talent, and we’re bummed that this is the show that she’s on. This isn’t much of a slam on “AGT,” but we just think that more traditional singer-songwriters tend to fare better over there where they have more chances to stand out. Kadie doesn’t have the huge backstory or a golden buzzer to support her here.

Ryan Stock and AmberLynn – This was completely crazy, but also completely scary given that things did not go according to plan. Basically, the final stunt at the end of the episode went awry and Ryan got shot with the arrow. It wasn’t head-on and he seemed to be reasonably okay. It’s just a shame given that this was the sort of stunt that, if done correctly, could have given these two a chance to move on to the next round. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and they were facing an uphill battle anyway.

Calysta Bevier – Great song choice in “Brave,” and kudos to the show for surprising us and not putting her at the end of the show as we predicted. She’s good enough that she doesn’t quite need that. We do think that this was a perfect way to calm things down after the craziness that took place right before, and she helped to get us right back on track for the night.

Sofie Dossi – It’s funny how going into this show, we wondered how Sofie could step things up given that her signature stunt is something we’ve seen twice from her. However, after Ryan Stock we were suddenly SO much more terrified than before! Add to that the blindfold and a smart choice in music and production, and you have someone who really knows how to work her craft. We’re not sure that she alone is a full Vegas show, but she could front a heck of a great circus group.

The Clairvoyants – There will always be people who are skeptical of this sort of thing, and we’re sure there is some sort of trick to it. (For the record, we don’t think the judges are in on it by any means.) What makes this act work is that these are so polished and slick that they can allow you to suspend belief and go on the journey, which is not something a lesser talent would be able to achieve.

Sal Valentinetti – We both agree and disagree with the judges on this one. We don’t necessarily think that Sal needs to just go up on stage and perform the same old standards time and time again. He’s not a Frank Sinatra tribute act! However, “Story of My Life,” or really anything from the One Direction songbook, doesn’t work for big band music. This song couldn’t show off Sal’s voice. Hopefully, he gets voted through and he can bring his style and charisma to something that is not so far a departure from what we consider to be the genre.

ThroWings – Whether it be the stunts, the lights, and the danger, this was everyone you could want for an acrobat act. Great choices, and we gotta say in general airing after the Ryan Stock incident is making ALL of these danger acts all the more terrifying to watch. Simon’s out of his mind for arguing that this lost some of its intensity this time around given the strobe light and what was there last time.

Steven Brundage – The Rubik’s Cube magic act is back, and understandably so! While he’s not the flashiest or most charismatic magic act we’ve ever seen, he may be the most creative one we’ve seen. The fact that he has taken something so mundane and turned it into something so spectacular is something that so many others probably wish that they could do.

Sos and Victoria – This was a rather weird way to end the show, given that this is the sort of performance that feels right for the start of the show rather than to close things off. Then again, mass kudos again to producers for not just jamming the predictable singer / golden buzzer act at the end of the show. Ultimately, there can’t be any excuses if they don’t make it through, and unfortunately they shouldn’t this time. It’s just hard for this sort of act to be continually impressive, even if it does take a lot of work. Also, we saw one of Victoria’s changes this time.

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