'America's Got Talent' recap: Singers dominate the semifinals

After clawing tooth and nail for a spot in the semifinals, the remaining acts on “America’s Got Talent” took the live stage once again to show both what they can do, and that they’re not out of surprises.

There were 11 performers that kicked off the show, but only five will make it through to the finals. As a result, the plethora of singers and other performers had to alter their acts slightly in an effort to show that they’re not just an act, they’re a talent. Given the limited spots left, the episode was top-heavy with the singers packing the house first.

Things kicked off with Yoli Mayor, a singer that’s had a strange journey on the show so far. After showing up glammed out to her audition, she’s been encouraged to strip things down and keep it simple. She did that with a song that showed off her voice and attire that was both beautiful and comfortable. The optics worked as she delivered a heavy song that made all four judges call her a worthwhile contender in the competition. While she wouldn’t be the most impressive singer to grace the stage that evening, she made a name for herself.

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The next singer taking the stage was Johnny Manuel, who decided to innovate in his own way. Understanding that his big “diva” voice has gotten him this far, he decided to put it all on the line anyway with an original song. The vocals were good, but judges Howie Mandel and Mel B both questioned why he would bother switching up something in his act that was working. Simon, on the other hand, disagreed.

“There is only one risk in being a performer, and that’s mediocrity,” he said, commending him on his song choice.

The next noteworthy singer to take the stage was 11-year-old Evie Clair, who battled her competition and sang an emotional song, like she alway does. The youngster might not have the best voice, but she’s fueled by making her sick father proud, and it shows every time she gets behind the microphone.  

Other musical acts included DaNell Daymon and Greater Works gospel choir, Chase Goehring and Mike Young, all delivering stellar performances that earned high marks from all four judges across the board.

Fortunately for fans of the show that aren’t necessarily in it for the singers, the night wasn’t too short on alternative acts. First up was the only remaining magician in the competition right now, Eric Jones. He’s made a name for himself by adding a spin on close up magic, and tonight was no exception. Adding a bit more showmanship to his work by joking with each judge that they were his favorite on the panel, he executed on previous advice from the panel and they responded well to it. 

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Soon after, Billy and Emily England, the roller-skating dancers, took the stage again with the preface that theirs is perhaps the most dangerous act remaining in the competition. They winked at this aspect of their talent by ending things on a false scare. Billy threw his sister off the stage in the final moment of their performance, making the judges, audience and viewers at home wonder if something awful had happened. Fortunately for everyone’s safety, it was all part of the act.

The next interesting act to take the stage could fall under the category of singer, or at least some of her characters could be. Mel B’s golden buzzer performer, ventriloquist Darci Lynne took the stage with a new character that was absolutely in love with judge Simon Cowell. She sang Aretha Franklin’s “A Natural Woman” while remaining in character and not moving her lips. In the end, the judges commended her on not only carrying a wonderful voice, but adding a full-fledged act to it, complete with comedy and character work. Simon even went as far as to suggest giving her some kind of children's show to showcase her work.

America has until 7 a.m. EST on September 6 to vote for their favorite to make it through to the finals during Wednesday’s live results show.