‘America’s Got Talent’ review: Brian Justin Crum, the Clairvoyants, Steven Brundage shine in semifinal show
Tonight (insert sad violin here), we’re having the last semifinal show for “America’s Got Talent.” As a result of that, we’re going to hopefully see every act rise to the next level in hopes of giving you a really great finale in one week’s time.
Of course, we’re going to have more updates on all of the talent over the course of the night, so be sure to refresh this page early and often.
Jayna Brown – We had this feeling that Jayna was going to be thrown into the start of the show, mostly because she’s for whatever reason firmly in the camp of acts the show seems fine with viewers forgetting about. It’s a shame that she is a longshot to advance given this early placement; also, we would’ve preferred a song with a stronger melody to show off her amazing voice.
For those of you who are Jayna fans, here’s a reason to hold out hope: Sal Valentinetti performed first last week, and we didn’t think in advance he had much of a chance of advancing.
Kadan Bart Rockett – The level of ability that Kadan and his sister both have at their age is outstanding. Hopefully, the two of them both continue to really enjoy doing this for many years to come so that they can be a Vegas act down the road. Watching them have a few little bumps in the road tonight in their presentation, we’re not sure that they are quite at the superstar level yet, but we applaud them for continuing to find tricks that are appropriate to them rather than trying to be something they’re not just yet.
Kadie Lynn Roberson – We’re sure that some people out there are going to accuse us of being overly cranky tonight, mostly because we don’t see any of these first three performances making it to the finale based on what we know is still to come. Kadie’s performance of “I Hope You Dance” had its moments, but it felt pitched a little too low. Also, the musical arrangement was a little sleepy, and the whole thing just didn’t feel unique enough for the competition at this stage.
Viktor Kee – The thing about Viktor is that we’re not sure that he has given a perfect performance in the live shows, but at the same time there is such an incredible degree of difficulty to what he is doing that we don’t mind a mistake or two. What he does is surprisingly artistic and moving, and we’re not sure we’ve ever said that about juggling before.
Linkin’ Bridge – Love the song choice. “7 Years” is arguably our favorite song of the year. There were a few moments here and there where things got just a tad sloppy between the vocal and the backing track, and that suggested to us mostly that these guys didn’t have too much time to get this together. Yet, at the same time the emotion and the vibe were so amazing on-point. This was straight-up moving. We’re being hyper-critical tonight, but when this was good, it was better than anything they’ve done so far this season.
The Passing Zone – Admittedly, the actual act was fairly short in terms of juggling; most of this was just them making Simon Cowell incredibly uncomfortable as they prepared to torment him with flaming torches. This was precisely what they needed as wild cards. We’re not sure it’ll be enough, but we gotta admit that we stopped everything and practically enjoyed this in slow motion.
Calysta Bevier – We expected her to be very good, but at the same time after the three performances that were before her, we admittedly found ourselves a little bit bored watching this one. Other than Linkin’ Bridge, we’re starting to think tonight that the non-music acts are the ones really bringing the fire (in one case literally), while the singing acts perhaps are not doing enough to step things up.
Steven Brundage – We really do agree with Simon’s assessment on him as most-improved, and we really want to boo Howie Mandel for dwelling on how his reconstruction of Brad Pitt didn’t look that much like him. Consider the canvas! This was really good, really original, and incredibly slick. What’s awesome about Steven is that he has such a unique angle, and he keeps finding ways to impress with it.
Sofie Dossi – This was all sorts of outstanding, really beyond words. It proved that Sofie, despite her age, really is world-class at what he does. She’s a very good contortionist, but more than that she’s exceptional at knowing how to stage and present her act. We’ve seen other people do what she does, but there’s a style about it that is second to none. Also, smart move to abandon the bow trick when there wasn’t any use for it anymore.
The Clairvoyants – What this duo act does is take mentalism to the next level, and their presentation and overall performance quality is so good that we honestly don’t find ourselves altogether transfixed on how they are able to pull this off. While some of the hocus-pocus about the tree before the performance at times bordered on cheesy, what they did as a whole was worthy of our undivided attention. They’re legitimately outstanding at what they do, and they separate themselves from the other magic acts very well.
Brian Justin Crum – Really cool arrangement of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” and we loved the confidence and intensity that he brought to it. While we do somewhat-agree with Simon on the start of the track, the ending of this was such a vocal masterpiece that it’s fairly easy to ignore where we were in the early going. Based on this alone, he’s got a really good shot of being there at the end of the competition.
If you want to get some other news when it comes to “America’s Got Talent,” head over here to see where we’ve ranked everyone going into the show! Also, sign up over here to score some other TV news on all we cover via our official CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: NBC.)