America’s Got Talent review: Courtney Hadwin, Brian King Joseph, and more

America's Got Talent

Tonight, the second and final America’s Got Talent semifinal show is airing on NBC, and this one is going to be interested. Will the abundance of singers cancel each other out, or will some of these people step it up after the variety acts brought it last week? We wondered a lot about that going into the show.

Ultimately, we really just want to see some great performances given that on paper, we think that the first show going in had a better overall crop. The acts tonight had to really prove themselves.

All of the acts below are listed in order from our least-favorite act of the strongest one of the night as a whole.

11. Christina Wells – If this performance had come about a month ago, it wouldn’t have had the same power to it. As a tribute to the late Aretha Franklin, it was wonderful and Christina put her all into it. Unfortunately, she had some notes that didn’t quite land along the way and that hurts her at this stage. We also do have to recognize that “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” is a song that has been reasonably overdone on talent shows over the years.

10. Da Republik – Consider this an example of the biased judging on this show sometimes. If a dance crew slightly under-performs, they get hit with a buzzer from one of the judges. Yet, if a singer does the same thing, they tend to get off scot-free. We have Da Republik ranked higher than Christina just because there were more tricks and stunts in here than we’ve see. Yet, we overall think they have a smaller chance of advancing.

9. Aaron Crow – We like Aaron’s mystique and the sense of danger that he brings to most of his acts. Yet, we can’t help but feel like this is the same exact thing that he did last time except with a slightly different structure to the act. It was faster-paced, but after seeing variety from him the first two rounds this felt more like a letdown.

8. Noah Guthrie – This was really risky to do a cover of “And I Will Always Love You” – vocally, it worked. We almost wish that there was no guitar here, though — we would’ve just went full acapella for the entire thing. (We know that this was closer to the Dolly Parton version than the Whitney Houston one.) It probably would’ve worked better and really accented Noah’s singing voice, which has probably been underrated for most of the season so far.

7. We Three – We actually dug this so much more than the judges did! We like the rawness and the musicality of it, and we also like that they went out and did something completely different. We’re a little worried that the judges are sending the wrong message in “we only like you when you sing about tragedy.”

6. Daniel Emmet – Daniel was the best performer of the night at the time in which he performed (fourth). We like the song choice (it suited him nicely), and we think that he did hit many of the notes and it sounded nice to listen to — that may be fairly rudimentary, but that’s something that not every singer so far this season has had.

5. Glennis Grace – We’re torn on this. We feel the need to rank her here based on the quality of her singing and the difficulty of “This Woman’s Work” as a song. Yet, we also have heard so many covers of this over the years and there wasn’t really anything that was new or different about this. Ultimately, we’re just not sure how much it really brought to the table that we’ll remember.

4. Vicki Barbolak – A much stronger routine than the list live show, especially since there was some creativeness to her jokes and she delivered them really well tonight. We still think that her ideal lane is on some sort of sitcom rather than being a traditional stand-up comic, but there’s certainly nothing that is wrong with that at all. It’s actually a good idea for NBC.

3. Courtney Hadwin – We still feel like she and Shin Lim are the top two contenders for the title tonight, but we do think that this was probably her least interesting performance tonight. The scream early on was a little too much, almost like there wasn’t enough build-up to it. Yet, she still has something that almost no other singer does this season — the personality, the stage presence, and the vocal chops that make her feel and sound different than everyone.

2. Brian King Joseph – While we’re not sure that we would say that he is going to win the show, but we do think that this was his best performance to date. Great production, great musicality, and the staging and even the lighting was really smart. It allowed him to really be the star of the show.

1. Angel City Chorale – Probably our second-favorite performance of theirs that we’ve seen next to the Judge Cuts performance. The end here was especially magical thanks both the vocals and the choreography. This was beautiful, and in our mind this is a near lock to advance to the finale. (By the way, we love the song choice in “The Rising.”

What did you think about tonight’s America’s Got Talent live show? Share right now in the comments!

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