Every year during the 'AGT' quarterfinals, there's a curious mix of ubertalented and "How did they even get here?" acts. Last night showcased both sides, including our first live triple-X'd contestant in Ulysses, the sweet Don King/Bill Cosby hybrid who loves to sing seventies theme songs -- and looked nothing short of shocked when the judges bashed his best efforts. From mariachi to mind reading, dancing dogs to sand painting, men hitting each other with large objects, and a human cannonball, the last leg of the quarterfinals was by far the most competitive. Let's take a look at some of the impressive acts who battled it out for the last four slots in the semifinals.
Most Surprising: Homespun Music
William Close was one of three acts sent straight from the audition rounds to the live shows, and this instrument-making musician did not disappoint the judges or America. All three judges firmly labeled Close the one to beat, and Howard Stern even suggested he'd be willing to put up his own hard-earned cash to give the musician a chance at the big time.
Appealing directly to the judges is quite a gamble for contestants. If all goes well, it's that much more impressive, but one wrong move and it can look like you're poking fun at them. Eric Dittelman played the Vegas odds last night, hosting a special mind-reading edition of "Deal or No Deal." How did it pan out? This is one you need to see for yourself.
The Human Field Goal
What can you say about a human cannonball? It's dangerous and very cool to watch, and Stern was quick to point out that 85% of these specialized stunt performers die during their act. Howie and Sharon wondered where the act could go next, but David "the Bullet" Smith promised he still had plenty up his sleeve.
Art With a Message
Joe Castillo has been an 'AGT' favorite from the beginning, a sand painter of sorts who also manages to tell a story in a mere 90 seconds. This week, he chose an instrumental piece of music and relied on the images alone to tell the tale of endangered wildlife. It was beautifully moving, even before Stern brought out his best preachy-dad voice and told us how important it was to vote Castillo through.