Ashleigh and Pudsey, the winning act on "Britain's Got Talent,"… (Virginia Sherwood/NBC )
"America's Got Talent"added four more acts to its roster of semifinalists Wednesday night, and yes, they were pretty much who you would have expected they'd be.
Young comedian Jacob Williams, who has based his amusing act around his awkward-nerd persona, beat out Rock Star Juggler Mike Price and master balancer Cristin Sandu, who both seriously stumbled during Tuesday night's live show. "America did get it right," Howard Stern said after the results were revealed, noting that, of the three, Williams alone "didn't crack under pressure."
Glow-in-the-dark electronic dance/puppet act Lightwire Theater bested singing drag queen All Beef Patty and uninspiring "Glee" wannabes Inspire the Fire. Sharon Osbourne told the members of Lightwire Theater their performance "stood out so far above everyone else" on Tuesday night that she felt bad for the other acts.
The eerily professional and polished kid dance group the Untouchables adorably triumphed over solo dancer Elusive and 15-year-old singer Jake Wesley Rogers. Stern had said beforehand that all three of these acts ought to have been proud of themselves, but Howie Mandel had special praise for the Untouchables after learning they'd moved on, saying they were "far more polished" than most professional dance acts he'd seen.
Then the final trio was gathered onstage. Escape artist Spencer Horsman, who'd turned in a stunt Osbourne had called "boring," was quickly sent packing, but not before cheekily giving himself a plug for a wildcard slot. That left extreme sports act All Wheel Sports and original rap band Wordspit and the Illest to vie for the judges' affections and that fourth semifinal slot.
All Wheel Sports made the usual promises about "bigger and better" and rising to the challenge. But Wordspit called Mandel out for saying they hadn't played the game. This isn't the game, the group's lead singer said. "This is our lives." And they were going to continue to show up and be themselves.
Stern, the only judge who supported the band's decision to perform an original song the previous night, praised both acts and then voted for Wordspit and the Illest to go through. "I think all you guys are stars," he told them.
Mandel said Wordspit and the Illest was actually his "favorite group that has ever been on this show," but then tossed his vote to All Wheel Sports, saying they had a better marketing strategy and had the potential to go further.
Osbourne hemmed and hawed about "two very different acts" with "good points" and "bad points," and then chose All Wheel Sports, sending them through and Wordspit and the Illest off to be original elsewhere.
But possibly only until the wildcard slots roll around.
Really, the biggest (perhaps only) surprise of the evening was the complete mediocrity of the winning "Britain's Got Talent" act, which performed, as did singer/DJ Havana Brown, on Wednesday's show. Even the girl and the dog – Ashleigh and Pudsey – seemed alarmed by their good fortune. "We never expected to win in a million years," Ashleigh said, presumably speaking for two.
Here's hoping the dog act in next week's quarterfinal lineup – Olate Dogs – shows us something a little more tail-wag-worthy.
Are you pleased with Wednesday night's results? Were the right acts sent through?