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'America's Got Talent' recap: Waiting for the final five

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Welcome back! We’ve had a few days to let last week’s mania settle in, and finally, it seems like we’re getting somewhere. We’re going from top ten to top five this week, and next week is going to be the finals. One thing that I didn’t realize is that there are no more judges’ picks from this point on, so America is left to make “responsible choices,” according to Piers. Let’s see how that goes.

This week is “heroes week,” where the contestants all have dedicated their acts to their personal heroes. Unfortunately, this does not mean, as I originally thought, that their acts are dedicated to the television show Heroes. I think that would make it way more interesting.

As Jerry introduced Kaitlyn Maher, I realized that he’s probably going to have a seizure before the show is over. He is so unconditionally excited for every act, to the point where it looks like he’s going to burst a vein in his forehead. Raise your hand if you were surprised that Kaitlyn Maher’s hero is her father. Not that she doesn’t melt my heart every time I see her, but I’m still confused as to why she’s here. Also, her microphone was about half the size of her body. I’m surprised she didn’t fall over. Again, Piers is the voice of reason here, and everyone boos him. He said she was good, but it wouldn’t be fair to her to put her on a Vegas stage. Of course it wouldn’t be fair, but does the audience agree? No, because no one is allowed to criticize a 4-year-old.

Donald Braswell sang another slow, romantic song. Jessica Price looked pretty, worried, and sparkly. And Joseph Hall performed for Elvis as Elvis, complete with dancers with letters on the backs of their leggings that spelled E-L-V-I-S. (Watch his performance below.) I feel really bad for the girl that got stuck with the “I.” But Hoff admitted that Hall makes the girls go crazy, even a girl that Hoff is dating. You hear that, America? Hoff is dating a girl! A real live girl!

Neal E. Boyd dedicated “All By Myself” to his choir teacher, and he really did sing it beautifully. Opera isn’t everyone’s thing, but you can’t deny he does have a great voice. His real competition comes from Queen Emily and Nuttin But Stringz, who as usual gave another amazingly passionate performance.(Watch it in the clip below.) The only problem was they probably have to change their name to “Other Thingz and Stringz” because now they have drummers and acrobats. Finally, Eli Mattson played “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” for Elton John, and managed to sound just like every pop pianist who’s been trying to imitate Elton John for the past 30 years. All in all, it was a very typical night, but we’ll see what America has to say about it tonight.

Who’s going to make it? Who’s out? And who’s excited for Natasha Bedingfield playing tonight? More importantly, who knows why Natasha Bedingfield is playing tonight? (America’s Got Talent — except when it has to import it from London?)