Donovan and Rebecca, from left, Nick Cannon and Danielle Stallings on "America's… (Virginia Sherwood / NBC )
"America always gets it right," Sharon Osbourne has said of "America's Got Talent"voters. We'll see about the "always" part as the season plays out. But voters certainly got it right this week, sending through to the semifinals three of the five most deserving acts -- of the 12 quarterfinalists who had performed Tuesday -- and offering up the other two for the judges to decide between for the fourth slot.
The results, tucked into a show featuring performances from the acrobatic circus "Traces" and singer Gavin DeGraw, may not have been terribly surprising, but they were certainly satisfying.
Summoned first to the stage to learn their fates were singer Tim Hockenberry and contortionist street dancer Turf. Called upon to comment on two of her favorites, Osbourne said, "I just can't call it … I couldn't make a choice at all."
Would one of them be sent home? It didn't seem likely. And after a long pause, Nick Cannon said what we pretty much knew he would say. Both of them had been voted through.
Only Hockenberry seemed surprised. "My faith has been rocked," he admitted. "I really thought it was over for me."
The next clump of contestants consisted of the Lisa Clark Dancers, the All Ways band, Aurora Light Painters and the controversial Big Barry. After rehashing the acts' most recent performances, Howard Stern, who had declined to make a prediction earlier in the show, couldn't help himself. "I think all four are in trouble, Nick," he said, echoing the thoughts of probably everyone but these performers' mothers (and Stern's mother, who's apparently a big fan of the Lisa Clark Dancers).
Tick-tock … tick-tock. Yes, Stern and everyone else was right. All of these acts were going home. Osbourne said she wasn't the least bit surprised.
Truly funny comedian Tom Cotter, martial arts dancers LionDanceMe and cheesy but not untalented Hawley Magic? Yup, Cotter survived to make us laugh again. "Called it, called it, called it!" Osbourne gloated, showering Cotter with praise.
That left crossbow stuntsman Ben Blaque, super-strong duo Donovan and Rebecca, and 14-year-old singer Danielle Stallings vying for one last spot. A quick goodbye to Blaque, and two talents were left standing.
Donovan and Rebecca promised more variety. Stallings showed earnest potential.
The judges -- perhaps for the sake of effect -- were split, with Stern voting for Donovan and Rebecca, Osbourne for Stallings, and Howie Mandel giving lipservice to the difficulty of the decision before putting Donovan and Rebecca through.
Stallings was in tears, but I'm guessing it's not the last we'll see of her. Wild-card contender, anyone?
What did you think of the results?
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