America's Got Talent Review: Semifinals, Take Two!

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A night that started with Nick Cannon dangling from a rope concluded with one two semifinal acts earning an A. Read on for a rundown of last night's America's Got Talent performance show...

The Kinetic King - The second time was the charm for The Kinetic King. The best part about watching him was the hope that he'd mess up again. He claimed that he had a new "gadget." He ditched the backup dancers permanently and forced everyone to wear goggles. There was ping pong balls and candy flying everywhere. The whole routine was shorter than before, but visually epic. My Grade: B+

Fatally Unique - The small town dance crew is now against the West Springfield Dance Team that has professional choreographers. The opening was similar to WSDT with the insane dancers. Unfortunately, the gate didn't correctly close for them and it was distracting. I liked the improvement in the theme. The lifts were a bit sloppy, but the transition into faster music was interesting. After not being a fan of West Springfield, I prefer WSDT more. My Grade: B

Landon Swank - There's something endearing that Landon worked with his father to create his next act and even help him. This time he decided to do Russian Roulette, which we technically saw in the Las Vegas round with Frank Miles. The judges picked a button to explode Landon. It's sadistic if the trick went wrong. Of course, Landon was safe. My Grade: A

Gymkana - Gymkana pointed out that they are more of a school team that doesn't perform on stages, so the biggest challenge was adding oomph. Instead of ladders, the teams now had Zuma Zuma's chairs. The flipping was redundant, but the chair tricks were flawless. The flips took too long until the ring of fire. Someone tripped and the ring of fire almost engulfed a Gymkana member. They clearly didn't get to finish their routine even though everyone was fine. My Grade: D+

Summerwind Skippers - The Sexy Skippers had a horrible mistake that was commended instead of being reprimanded. They also got the memo to have a "dark" instead of happy routine. The basic skipping in the beginning had decent choreography, but wasn't anything special. The group had a very interesting group double Dutch section. Then they messed up again. My Grade: C-

Snap Boogie - Snap tried a routine this time that had a bit of class in the beginning, but I'm not sure if it connected as well as it could have. The transition to the “Boogie Wonderland” was better except that I feared for the background dancers on the platforms on wheels. His visuals were great and his tricks were fun. His final flip looked like a flop, but he managed to save it. My Grade: B+

Anna Graceman - Anna claimed to put another twist on a song, but she’s been inconsistent. Anna's lower-end of her vocals is not strong and during the chorus of "Home Sweet Home" it showed the most flaws. Her high end, on the other hand, was strong and had soul. Her vocal runs were nice as well. My Grade: A-

Steven Retchless - Steven was intimidated by Zuma Zuma and changed his routine. Steven had a really cool air-walking section but I'm iffy on the extras. His routine wasn't as engaging as his previous ones. I liked the use of the scaffolding and the insane split at the end. My Grade: B+

Smage Brothers Riding Show - It turns out that the whole Smage clan was filled with motorcyclists. All of the family and grandma helped out. I didn't like the sleeping person opening, but I liked the uni-motorcycle and the thin ramp. The routine felt disjointed. I have to commend the whole family for getting involved. There was a minor mistake near the end, but it was covered up by the final flip that worked perfectly. My Grade: A

Professor Splash - Professor Splash was going for a 70 foot dive where there was less padding this time around and this time was fire on top of water. The fire was a bit less dramatic than I hoped. His descent looked less centered, like his previous tricks. There wasn't the drama of the kiddy pool, but it was still interesting. My Grade: B

Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. - Black Sinatra chose another Sinatra classic with more dancers and saxophonists on the side. There's something pitchy about his opening, but when the full arrangement kicked in Landau gained confidence. The dancers weren't distracting and I liked how he tried to prove that he could make a Vegas show by crooning. My Grade: A-

Silhouettes - There are more video elements and props this time. I appreciated the opening because it wasn't the same screen. It looked cool except the projection of the tree might have been misinterpreted as the group making the shape. I liked the combination of the spinning prop plus color of the map when they got to the screen. I had no clue what words they were trying to make, but the performance was a great improvement from the national monuments. My Grade: A-

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