America’s Got Talent review: Did Light Balance, Demian Aditya get fair shake?

Light BalanceThis America’s Got Talent review is going to read a little bit different from some of the others that we’ve posted over time. Why? Well, chalk up some of that to technical problems that plagued some of the acts.

It really doesn’t seem fair to grade either Light Balance or Demian Aditya, given that neither one of them got to perform the performance they were hoping to. In the case of the former, they were plagued by technical problems that forced their rehearsal to be shown. They didn’t get the full energy from the show crowd, and that could hurt their support. Meanwhile, Demian was the unfortunate victim of a glitch that was not his fault, but it took some of the suspense out of his act and made the ending feel incredibly strange and tacked-on.

The sad thing is that these problems likely cost the two a spot in the next round … which makes us hope that the show finds a way to include them anyway. We do think that had their acts gone successfully, they would’ve had a great shot to advance. Instead, we’re likely going to get another sea of singers, otherwise known as what we got in round 1.

For now, let’s go ahead and grade the remainder of the performers.

Brobots and Mandroidz – A very skilled, accomplished dance crew whose major problem is just that they do roughly the same thing we’ve seen many times from many other dance crews. There’s nothing terrible about this performance, but also nothing that stuck with you throughout the show. Grade: C+.

Celine Tam – She’s incredibly talented, but the presentation and the vocal felt a little over-rehearsed and lacking of passion. She lacked behind some of the other singers tonight in terms of conveying the spirit of the song, which is admittedly hard for her in the first place because of her age. Grade: B-.

Mirror Image – We don’t understand why they’re here or what this was supposed to be other than an act designed to get a buzzer. Like The Singing Trump last week, we don’t know who this was meant for and there’s no merit in seeing it again. Grade: D+.

Johnny Manuel – We’re so sick of hearing “And I Am Telling You I Am Not Going,” given that we’ve heard so many people sing it well over the years. Still, Johnny doing an outstanding version of the song is far preferable than anything that we’ve seen/heard in the show so far. Grade: A-.

Merrick Hanna – We appreciate the evolution for him in becoming a Kenichi Ebina style performer who combines the dance with the background and the effects. This was a little similar dance-wise to his first few, but we love how he is effectively creating new performances and ideas visually while keeping elements of the story he’s told so far. Grade: B.

Eric Jones – He’s a very good magician and this was a very strong performance — but also not a spectacular one, since we’ve seen some various on this before. Really after all of the buildup, we probably expected a slightly bigger reveal at the end. Grade: B.

The Masqueraders – They’re story is super cool beyond a doubt, and it’s great that they did an old original song. However, the timing was a little off and the vocals, story aside, just didn’t hold a candle to Johnny, Evie, or Mandy tonight. Grade: B-.

Light Balance – No grade given. We still did enjoy this performance more than most tonight.

Evie Clair – This was a lovely performance, but we also don’t think that she is moving the needle in terms of doing something exceptional or memorable. The problem for Evie is that she’s been unfairly weighted because of her story; kudos to her for fighting on, but it’s hard as a viewer to separate that from the talent and that probably makes her run on the show more challenging. Grade: B.

Demian Aditya – No grade given. This was completely unfair to him.

Pomeyo Family Dogs – We’re not a huge fan of dressing dogs up as different animals or any of that extreme grooming that goes on, but we’re not going to deny that this was a really fun performance that had a great production at the center of it. For all of the talk of them being too wild, we found just enough control in here for this to be one of the most entertaining acts of the night. Grade: A-.

Mandy Harvey – This is your reminder that being a great singer is not just about having a good voice. Mandy can’t even hear her voice, but she still emotes and tells a story so much better than almost anyone else this season. This was really lovely, and we could see her having a career in the right markets after this. It’s a little hypocritical for us to blast an overabundance of singers and still say that one had the best performance of the episode, but it’s true in this case. Grade: A.

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Meanwhile, head over here to get some other news when it comes to the show, including our pre-episode rankings and more. (Photo: NBC.)


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