The second live semifinals results show of America’s Got Talent Season 16 aired Wednesday, and once again, it was a shocker — maybe even more shocking than last Wednesday’s elimination night. For the second week in a row, two Golden Buzzer acts were in jeopardy, and one of them was actually 9-year-old opera prodigy Victory Brinker, who’d made history earlier this season when she received the series’ first-ever group Golden Buzzer from host Terry Crews and all four judges.
When Terry announced the three acts up for elimination — Victory Brinker, quick-change artist Lea Kyle (who was judge Heidi Klum’s Golden Buzzer pick), and Vegas-worthy unicycle stunt team Unicircle Flow — Simon Cowell admitted he was “shocked for a moment.” But then he added pragmatically, “You're fourth, fifth, and sixth, so you've done incredibly well. Two of you are going into the finals.”
Automatically going through to next week’s finals, based on America’s vote from Tuesday night, were the Northwell Health Nurse Choir (judge Howie Mandel’s Golden Buzzer act), former The Voice contestant Brooke Simpson and former Last Comic Standing winner Josh Blue. Automatically going home were vocal trio 1accord, children’s dance troupe Chapkidz and, less surprisingly, all three acts that were red-X’d by Simon during Tuesday’s semifinals performance show: comedian Kabir Singh, hand-balancers Rialcris, and mentalist Peter Antonio.
However, Chapkidz’s elimination was definitely another surprise, and Simon — who’d actually declared Chapkidz the all-around best performer on Tuesday — confessed that he was “absolutely gutted” that they weren’t going to the finals. He even argued, “I think we should have a wild card.”
Well, if there was a wild card at this late stage of the AGT game, certainly an argument could be made that it could to go to several semifinalists, including Victory, Lea, or Unicircle Flow. But after viewers’ real-time Instant Save vote, Lea — yes, that’s right, Lea, not Victory, even though Victory had started off with a slim lead— was the one that ultimately scraped through to the finals. Victory was of course then saved by the judges.
But while Victory Brinker has secured a much-deserved spot in the finals, she isn’t quite living up to the promise of her first name. There was a time when I thought the five-away Golden Buzzer act was the golden child of Season 16, but after this week’s surprise-filled results show, all bets are off. Next week’s finals sure are going to be interesting. See you then.
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