‘America’s Got Talent: The Champions’ recap: Which acts advanced to the finals?

America’s Got Talent: The Champions continued this week with 12 acts fighting to advance to next week’s finals. There is no Golden Buzzer in this round, meaning that the contestants must leave it all out on the stage if they wanted to advance.

So who stepped up their game and who took a step back? Here’s a recap of this week’s semi-finals round.

JJ Pantano

The show kicked off with the pint-sized comedian who returned to the stage after just scraping by in the opening rounds. He did his usual set that saw him roast judges Howie Mandel, Alesha Dixon, Heidi Klum, and Simon Cowell. While he was good, something tells me he wouldn’t have gotten many laughs if he wasn’t a kid. In fact, the best line of the night came when he talked about Cowell freezing himself once he dies. All in all, it was a nice act but still wasn’t good enough, in my opinion, for this stage of the competition.

Tyler Butler-Figueroa

The violinist was up next and he actually did something different than what we have previously heard from him. He performed a nice rendition of “A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong that had the audience in tears. He even brought out a singer to accompany him. What I liked about this performance was it is the first time ever that we’ve heard Tyler’s violin playing without any backing track. Simon commented that Tyler can win the whole thing but I wouldn’t go that far.

Marc Spellman aka ‘X

The magician who made Season 13 winner Shin Lim appear out of nowhere in the opening round was up next. This time, he brought out host Terry Crews and performed a cool watch trick. While it was cool, it did not leave me wanting more and at this stage of the competition, you have to step it up. I personally felt that Marc took a step back on this night.

Duo Destiny

The winners of Poland’s Got Talent 2018 were next and put together another sexy acrobatic act. This time, she carried him in midair and showed her strength in a graceful way. Howie said he felt it was similar to what they had done previously and I’d have to agree. Of the two acrobat acts remaining, I don’t feel that Duo Destiny is up to par with Duo Transcend.


In a world filled with political division, Hans proved that all you need is GLITTER BABY! He returned with a hilarious semifinal performance to “Bang Bang” by Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande and Jessie J. The German pranced all around the stage and really took control. He told the judges he wants to “Make America Glitter Again”! With the show on the same night as the Iowa Caucuses, it had me wishing he was in the running.

Dania Diaz

The magician and finalist from Spain’s Got Talent 2018 followed with a really nice performance. She took a selfie with the judges to start and put together a nice card trick that eventually had Alesha’s chosen card in the photo that she took in the beginning. What I love about Dania’s performances is she manages to incorporate the story into her trick and make it really heartfelt. However, it was missing that big “WOW” moment.

Duo Transcend

This was by far my favorite act of the entire night. They proved that they deserve a place in the finals with another heart-stopping performance set to “The Greatest Show” from The Greatest Showman. They performed a death-defying aerial routine before adding a new element of roller skates to their act. Did anyone else notice, though, they stole that from Billy and Emily England on America’s Got Talent Season 12? No? Regardless, it was easily the best act of the night. They are just one of two acts that I can see winning this entire season.

Strauss Serpent

The winner from Africa’s Got Talent was up next and performed another gross yet interesting routine with his body. He shifted and moved his bones in such a way that was honestly pretty revolting. I’m not saying it’s not talent, but that’s definitely not something I’d personally pay to watch. To me, it was one of the worst acts of the evening.

Ryan Neimiller

The comedian returned and after making it to the America’s Got Talent Season 14 finals, I wondered how much material he had left. I got my answer tonight; he performed a nice set but didn’t make me laugh this time around. Heidi and Simon felt the same way as they both said afterward that this performance did not pack a punch like his previous routines did.

Alexa Lauenburger

The 12-year-old dog trainer won Germany’s Got Talent and based on her act, it is so easy to see why. She returned with her 12 fur babies and had them flip, jump over beams and run into tubes for the audience. Of all the years I’ve been watching AGT, Alexa has the best dog act I’ve ever seen.

Sandou Trio Russian Bar

The high-flying act really stepped up their game with a flaming (quite literally), high-flying performance. It was truly dangerous and got the crowd on their feet. It had me wanting more and even Heidi was begging the superfans to put them through to the finale.

Marcelito Pomoy

The final act of the night belonged to the winner of Philippines Got Talent. With his unique dual voices, he performed a stunning rendition of “Con Te Partiro” that had both the judges and audience on their feet. Simon issued a warning to Marcelito, telling him to change it up because now the surprise element is gone. The surprise may be gone, but he is one of the most unique acts to ever be on the show.

The Results

Following all the performances, Terry returned with the results. He revealed that the superfans had voted Hans, Tyler Butler-Figueroa, Marcelito Pomoy, Alexa Lauenburger and Sandou Trio Russian Bar into the finale. The judges voted Duo Transcend into the final round with them.

Those six acts join Golden Buzzer winners Angelina Jordan, Boogie Storm, V. Unbeatable and Silhouettes in next week’s finale.

What did you think of the performances? Let me know in the comments below!

America’s Got Talent: The Champions airs Mondays at 8/7c on NBC.

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