The wild card edition of America's Got Talent" posed an interesting problem for the voters watching at home. Handpicked by the judges, these 12 acts brought their best to the stage on August 21, making it nearly impossible to predict the performers that would move on to the semifinals.
With tension breaking performances from Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen, and the cast of the Broadway musical "Bring It On," the results show was full of surprises and brutal honesty from Howard Stern.
First Elimination: Sebastien "El Charro del Oro" trumps the dangerous actsThough marksman Ben Blaque and the impressive Bandbaz Brothers wowed the crowd, America voted 10-year-old mariachi singer Sebastien De La Cruz through to the next round. Howie Mandel brought the young performer back to "America's Got Talent," even though he has said this is not the year of the singer.
"I don't think you are just a singer. I think you are an entertainer," Mandel explained.
Second elimination: Andrew De Leon kicks Horse out of the competitionThe self-taught opera singer definitely learned his lesson after Las Vegas. Though he was nervous backstage, Andrew De Leon redeemed himself beautifully during the wild card show. America sent this feel-good act to the semifinals as Horse and Jake Wesley Rogers left the show for a second time.
At this point, Mandel was two-for-two on his selections, giving him reason to crow. "I knew it. It's even sweeter because you had that hurdle to go over. You learned so much from being crushed in Vegas," the comedian told De Leon.
Third elimination: Topical humor topples Cristin Sandu, buries Spencer HorsmanHandicapping this wild card show was a difficult task, as witnessed by the triumph of ventriloquist Todd Oliver and his dog Irving. Cristin Sandu made a valiant effort, Spencer Horsman survived a cement death trap, but topical humor won out in the end.
After listening to Mandel's boasts, Howard Stern now had reason to smile as one of his selections was voted through. "I am so happy for you; you really did follow directions," the radio host told Oliver.
Fourth elimination: Small percentage separates the final two acts.Howard Stern took exception to the immediate dismissal of illusionists Jarrett & Raja during the final elimination. "I think this is a crime," Stern said, criticizing America's voting. He also was critical of contestants contortionist Lindsey Norton and All That!, saying each act is falling into a familiar pattern.
According to host Nick Cannon, Norton and All That! were just a half-percentage point apart in the audience voting. In the end, it came down to Sharon Osbourne deciding between two of her selections. After praising Norton for her talent and personality, she decided to send the male clogging revue to the semifinals.
"America's Got Talent" begins the Season 7 semifinal rounds on Tuesday, 8/28.