America’s Got Talent review: Merrick Hanna, Greater Works Choir, more from Judge Cuts #4

Judge Cuts #4Tonight marks the finale Judge Cuts show for America’s Got Talent, and that means higher stakes and a great sense of the entire field. By the end of the episode, we’ll finally know who the full roster (depending on if there are any wild cards) and will be able to size it up better.

What we’re trying to say here is rather simple: Get ready for a flurry of additional content over the days ahead on the show! For now, though, let’s keep with the matter at hand, and that is reviewing all of these contestants and determining who are the worthy contenders moving forward. We’ll be reviewing this episode, as always, live.

Artyon and Paige – The two are no doubt adorable at what they do — who doesn’t love dancing kids? — but they’re not winning the show. We don’t really think that this is the point here in the first place. These are just two kids having a good time doing a G-rated version of the Dirty Dancing performance, so we’re not going to fault them. Maybe they’ll advance, and if they do, we hope they have a good time. Grade: B.

In the Stairwell – We really dig these guys. While they may be working a little bit of the cheese factor, we do love that these are these clean-cut military guys going on stage and performing “Bye Bye Bye.” It’s such a surprise, and there aren’t many venues for acapella groups anymore. If they’re going to go in this direction, we’d suggest them to make the vocals even tighter and go even bigger with some of their dance moves. Have even more fun with it! Grade: B+.

Will Tsai – We do think that he is a brilliant magician; his biggest problem tonight was probably just that he did close-up magic too far away from the audience. He didn’t get the credit for what he did here, and unfortunately, we’re very worried about his future on the show after the critique he had here. Grade: B+.

Henry Richardson – We actually think that Will’s magic was the more innovative of the two, but we had a chance of viewing it as an audience member more so than a judge. What Henry did that was better for the sake of AGT was catering to his crowd and showing off his personality. He’s only a teenager, so kudos to him for doing what he’s done even with that in mind. Grade: B+.

Elena and Sasha – Simon Cowell is a jerk. This was crazy-amazing, and he’s complaining about them barely missing the target? Seriously? Grade: A-.

Greater Works Choir – Lots of good stuff tonight. SEAL’S DANCING WAS AMAZING. You could feel that the guy was super-into every little thing that they were doing during the routine, so it’s hard to fault him if he decided to press the Golden Buzzer. We expected it, but the moment never actually came to pass. Grade: A-.

Pompeyo Family Dogs – Once again, another great act! Simon’s commentary about the dogs was great since the grooming is a little all over the place. What’s so funny here is that dogs were so chaotic both before and after the routine, but during it, they were so polished and had all of their stuff together. Grade: A-.

Johnny Manuel – Here’s the funny thing — Simon Cowell got upset at him for singing Stevie Wonder because he thought it was too predictable. Then, he made him sing “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston — arguably the most overplayed song in music history? Don’t understand that choice at all. No question, though, that Johnny is a great singer … and he’s got the Golden Buzzer. Another singer with it. Grade: B+.

Maria Popazov – What Maria did was absolutely stunning visually, but we understand that it was a little slow-moving. An act like her is probably better served for a for a fifteen-minute show as opposed to just a couple of minutes. Grade: B-.

Maxim Popazov – Maxim introduced danger that was a little more tangible than his wife, which is probably why the judges were more on edge during this. This was super-risky, but also very much entertaining and different than anything else this season. In our mind, this was actually the Golden Buzzer act of the night. Grade: A.

Merrick Hanna – One of the best dancers on the. Period. It’s one thing to come out and do a routine; it’s another to make things emote and be expressive through your whole body. This was a routine that genuinely moved us just as much as the first one. He’s got a talent, and it goes just beyond his dance ability. Grade: A.

Kechi – Outstanding end to the show tonight. Beautiful performance, even though we do think that “A Song for You” is overdone. We’d say that the audition was slightly better, but she’s one of those singers who’s lived through SO much we believe every single word she sings. Grade: A-.

Be sure to share in the comments below who you think are some of the best acts tonight! Meanwhile, head over to the link here in the event you do want some additional news when it comes to the show. (Photo: NBC.)

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