americas got talent season 9 top 12 emily west acroarmy 'America's Got Talent' Season 9 Top 12: Emily West, AcroArmy stand outIt’s down to the nitty gritty on “America’s Got Talent” Season 9. This is a really strong field, so it’ll be interesting to see which acts advance to the finals next week. Let’s see how they did on performance night.

1. Mara Justine, singer

If you’re a regular reader, you know that I don’t think Mara is a strong enough singer to still be in the competition at this point. However, I now fear that she’s going to advance because people will feel bad about the audio problem happening during her performance and vote for her out of pity. This was a stronger performance than she gave last week, but I’m just don’t think she’s one of the top acts.

2. David & Leeman, magicians

It’s hard to describe the trick, but it’s clever. I don’t know how they did it, which is something. And there was a nice twist at the end — good fake out to make us think the trick didn’t work exactly right. Howard Stern is also correct in lauding their patter. They have great chemistry together and are very polished.

3. Sons of Serendip, musical group

Love the music choice. Duran Duran is money and “Ordinary World” is a great song for this group. The lead singer has a few bum notes here and there, though. For the first half, I was typing, “I like this, but I don’t love it.” But then the singer hit the crescendo on the bridge and it turned me around. They ended very strongly, so that might be enough. We’ll have to see how the rest of the field does.

4. Christian Stoinev and Scooby, hand balancer and dog

At least this week Stoinev has stopped the silly dog shenanigans. The dog is great, but he’s a sidekick, not the main act. However, this act is a little boring. I honestly think Andrey Moraru was the better hand-balancer and this one got through because of the dog, only for everyone to discover that Stoinev isn’t as good as Moraru. Heidi Klum is correct in saying that this time, there wasn’t enough dog. He went from one extreme to the other.

5. Emil & Dariel, cellists

OK, so, you know I’m not the biggest fan of this act if you read my posts regularly. I find them very talented cellists, but the act itself is boring to me. This week, not only is it boring, but they chose one of my least favorite songs of the last 15 years. “Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” is so overplayed and it also isn’t doing anything for the snooze factor of this act — plus, the addition of the choir is terrible. Sorry, they’re just not my cup of tea.

6. AcroArmy, acrobat act

The dramatic music and red outfits in the tableau that kicks off the act is breathtaking. This act has yet again put forth a really solid act that fills the stage and makes your heart pound, without being too busy or too much, like some group acts can be. The moment when they threw the three girls in the air and they crossed so close to each other, I audibly gasped and clapped. Outstanding.

7. Quintavious Johnson, singer

Man, I never noticed until he sang this song how he has some serious Mary J. Blige tone to his voice at moments. Nice. This kid is a talent. I hope when his voice changes that he doesn’t lose some of his magic. Either way, I think if a teenage singer is going to advance, it should be Quin over Mara, by a mile. I’m not a huge fan of over-doing the runs, so I think he could reel it in a little at times, but he makes some leaps in his range that are absolute killers. Well done.

8. Mike Super, magician

OK, so, I’m not the biggest Mike Super fan. But this was a solid trick. I do think he takes too long to get to the good stuff and he’s not as charismatic as David & Leeman to carry off so much dead time. But I will give him props — good trick.

9. Blue Journey, ballet/video act

I love the use of the more uptempo song this week. However, the “story” of the act this week isn’t as good as they’ve done in the past. Since last week they ended up having to be saved by America (and not voted through in one of the top 4 slots), I fear Blue’s journey has come to an end this week. They’re immensely talented but, much like Emil & Dariel, this act was a snoozefest this week, even with the better music.

10. Emily West, singer

After last week and this week, I’m fully on board the West train. “Nights in White Satin” is kind of a weird song choice, but good singing is good singing and she nails this. Also, the staging is gorgeous. “Haunting” is a great word to describe her performance.

11. Mat Franco, magician

Man, a lot of magicians made it through, huh? That’s cool, though, usually it’s the problem of to many singers, not enough other stuff. Anyway, this trick is not up to Franco’s usual standards — at least not at first. The King of Hearts thing was lame, Franco was not smooth enough when he shuffled the cards at the camera, we all saw how he paused on the King of Hearts. Then the close-up card tricks were probably awesome for the judges, but lost a little something in the translation to TV. Now, the very end, with Howard’s card in the box? That was alright. But overall, I was disappointed by Franco this week.

12. Miguel Dakota, singer

Interesting song choice. I can’t decide if I like the ballsy move or I think he got too far away from his wheelhouse (and too old for his demo). Honestly, this performance is really lacking something for me. I think it might be the repetitiveness of the song and the backup singers being right there like Miguel is Diana Ross. They also really overpowered him at times. This was just not my favorite performance by Miguel.

So which acts should go through? AcroArmy, Quintavious Johnson, Emily West, Sons of Serendip are my must-haves. The last two spots? That’s tough. I think I’d go with David & Leeman and Mat Franco, though Mat is due to body of work and not tonight’s performance. And there are several other acts I could see advancing over either of the magic acts, so it’ll be interesting to see.

What do you think, “AGT” fans?

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."