‘America’s Got Talent’ Semifinals 1 recap: Darci Lynne Farmer, Chase Goehring, Preacher Lawson performed
By John Benutty, Marcus James Dixon
The live shows of “America’s Got Talent” 2017 continued Tuesday night on NBC with 11 acts performing during the Semifinals 1 episode. The 11 talented acts were: singer Mike Yung, gospel choir Greater Works, extreme rollerskating duo Billy & Emily England, stand-up comedian Preacher Lawson, singing ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer, dog act Sara & Hero, close-up magician Eric Jones, singer Evie Clair, singer Yoli Mayor, singer Johnny Manuel and singer-songwriter/guitarist Chase Goehring.
Which acts did the “AGT” judges — Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howie Mandel — fawn over and which ones were they only lukewarm on? Below, check out our minute-by-minute “Americas Got Talent” Semifinals 1 recap and then sound off in the comments section about the reality TV show’s most shocking moments. Keep refreshing/reloading this page for the most recent updates.
8:00 p.m. — The show has begun! Hmm, there are lots of singers on the docket tonight — is this “America’s Got Talent” or “American Idol”?
8:01 p.m. — Whoa. Tyra Banks looks like a bombshell tonight. Love love loving that gold dress!
8:07 p.m. — First up in the semis is Yoli, who barely advanced to the round when the judges saved her from elimination. “Say You Won’t Let Go” by James Arthur (UK “X-Factor” winner) was a perfect song choice for her and the judges agreed. Absolutely gorgeous.
8:09 p.m. — Tyra reminds us that voting is open on multiple platforms until 7 a.m. Eastern Wednesday morning. There are a lot of heavyweight acts in this semi so voting is going to be crucial to making sure the best of the best make it through.
8:14 p.m. — OMG Eric begins his act with all four judges sitting on stage. For a second there I thought it was going to be a comedy roast not a magic trick!
8:16 p.m. — Of course Simon takes out a $100 bill to use a prop in the trick. I wonder how many he has in his wallet.
8:17 p.m. — Okay wait, how is Eric making coins disappear when they’re literally sitting in the palms of the judges? I hate magic. I hate not being able to figure these things out!
8:22 p.m. — Eric’s act was a true “wow” moment for the judges who were up close with the tricks. Mel went as far as to call him a superhero with what he was able to accomplish tonight and Simon finally came around to believe that he has the stage presence he needed to make it to the finals.
8:27 p.m. — Greater Works is back one week after their powerful performance last week and Tyra tells us they’re taking on an Aerosmith classic!
8:30 p.m. — That classic is “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” and of course they’re already slaying it, though it’s a much more subdued performance compared to last week’s high energy one.
SEEEvie Clair performs on ‘America’s Got Talent’ Semifinals 1: Teenage singer makes her dad proud [WATCH]
8:32 p.m. — The judges rise to their feet as DaNell Daymon breaks out into tears. I think the video package leading up to the performance added the perfect amount of weight and meaning to what they did this week. Howie reiterates that Greater Works has made him a “choir lover.”
8:39 p.m. — As Tyra points out, one of the most impressive things about comedy acts like Preacher Lawson is that they don’t have the pyrotechnics and large sets/props to back them up on stage. It’s just them and the mic.
8:41 p.m. — The subject of Preacher’s material tonight is him being single. That’s a smart way to pick up some extra votes from the audience!
8:44 p.m. — Simon wants to know why Preacher doesn’t have his own sitcom yet. He says he’s “got it” and lights up the room when he’s on stage. Heidi liked the act tonight, but offered some constructive criticism in saying that sometimes he rushes and is better when he slows it down.
8:52 p.m. — In order to prove that he isn’t just a “diva singer,” Johnny Manuel performs an original song of his own instead.
8:55 p.m. — None of the judges stood up to clap, a sign that they were underwhelmed. Howie thinks he should have stayed in the lane of classic diva songs.
SEEVentriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer performs on ‘America’s Got Talent’ Semifinals 1 with naughty puppet named Edna [WATCH]
9:01 p.m. — The second hour of the night starts with Billy & Emily. I always love their performances, but hope they bring something new and dynamic for this act. It’s usually just a lot of spinning. Bring back the beard-hold!
9:03 p.m. — Whoa, the angle of the camera is making this look much cooler than it usually does! And I probably don’t have to say that I’m obsessed with the Game of Thrones “mother of dragons” realness going on with the set.
9:05 p.m. — Um, did Billy just throw Emily off the platform? Shock value!
9:07 p.m. — OMG cuteness factor with these home video clips of an even younger Evie Clair!
9:09 p.m. — That’s weird, they showed us the pre-performance package for Evie and then cut to commercial before her song. More technical glitches? Please tell me it isn’t so!
9:13 p.m. — Okay we’re back and everything seems fine. Evie’s at the piano again accompanied by a string sextet.
9:16 p.m. — Simon says Evie’s tone and pitch were perfect and commends her for being just as good performing a cover as she does when she sings one of her own songs.
9:25 p.m. — I love that part of Sara & Hero’s act is sharing the spotlight with guest stints of other dogs–it makes the act feel fresh each week. Well, that and the elaborately themed sets! This week their stage is a beach!
9:26 p.m. — Aaaah! Simon is silenced by Hero and Loki fighting over the frisbee during judges comments! If people weren’t going to vote for this act based on the performance they have to do it for this bonus footage going on right now. I’m literally laughing out loud.
SEEJohnny Manuel performs on ‘America’s Got Talent’ Semifinals 1: Singer underwhelms with original song [WATCH]
9:35 p.m. — Chase is back with another original song, this one called “What Is Love?” Of all the singers in the competition, Chase is the most artistic and easiest to imagine climbing the charts with hits on the radio.
9:37 p.m. — Simon makes a strong case for Chase needing to be in the final. Mel backs him up by stressing how original and special his talent is.
9:43 p.m. — Darci Lynne is the most buzzworthy performer of the season and for good reason. I haven’t considered even for a second that anyone other than her will win this season.
9:44 p.m. — Edna Doorknocker is the puppet Darci Lynne uses this week. Love the voice she’s giving her, but I think I love the shade she threw at The Singing Trump even more!
9:47 p.m. — Yes! Yes! Yes! Darci Lynne and Edna left the stage to serenade Simon with “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” at the judges table! This is next level for Darci Lynne’s act. Incredible.
9:49 p.m. — Simon hits the nail on the head with what makes Darci Lynne so incredible–she’s a singer, a performer and a comedy act all rolled into one. He thinks she’s going to exceed what it means to hit the “big time.” He envisions her having her own Sesame Street-like television show.
9:56 p.m. — Time is running short heading in to Mike Yung’s performance. I hope we can get it all in, but to be honest I won’t be mad if the judges are cut off right at the buzzer!
9:59 p.m. — Wow. The producers saved the best for last this week. Mike shut the house down with a touching and raw vocal. All the judges stood to clap except Howie, but Simon got in some personal comments about how much he likes Mike and Mel finally understands the type of artist that makes Mike special.
10:00 p.m. — Tomorrow night the results will come down with only 5 of the 11 acts advancing to the finals in two weeks. Once again, voting closes at 7 am Eastern Time so hurry up and vote for your fave, then sound off in the comments below! Thanks for following along with me tonight!