'America's Got Talent' First Semi-Finals Results Show Leaves Judges Stunned After Shocking Eliminations

By
Howie Mandel on America's Got Talent
NBC

The competition on America's Got Talent got more intense than ever during the first night of the semi-finals round on Tuesday, and on Wednesday's live results show some of the most celebrated and praised performers of the season got sent home, leaving the judges stunned.

Only five acts were voted through to the finals, meaning fans were going to have to say goodbye to some spectacularly talented performers no matter what. But there were a few stars who really resonated with the voting audience, and they got enough support to keep competing.

Stand-up comic Preacher Lawson was the first performer to find out he would be moving on to the next round of the show, following his hilarious semi-finals set, where he joked about the difficulties of being single and roasted host Tyra Banks, which earned him a standing ovation from the judges.

12-year-old ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer was the next contestant to earn the votes needed to move on to the finals. Farmer's popularity has been universal since the season premiere when she earned the Golden Buzzer, and her mind-blowing cover of Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," on Tuesday earned a lot of love.

The third available finals spot was awarded to Sarah Carson and her amazingly well-trained collie, Hero. The impressive human and canine performers put on an impressive Baywatch-inspired semi-finals act that Carson managed to pull off in only six days.

13-year-old Evie Clair, whose touching story about learning to sing to comfort her father during his battle with cancer, earned the night's Dunkin' Save, after it was announced that she was one of the acts in danger of elimination at the start of the show, and the young hopeful was overjoyed that her AGT journey gets to continue.

Finally, the last spot of the night went to singer-songwriter Chase Goehring, who earned the Golden Buzzer during the Judge Cuts round, after the judges voted for him over magician Eric Jones. The Ed Sheeran-esque musician wowed the judges during the semi-finals with an emotional original song.

Along with Jones, whose impressive close-up magic didn't earn him enough popular support to stay in the game, New York City-based subway busker Mike Yung was also eliminated, along with DaNell Daymon and his gospel choir, Greater Works.

In one of the night's most shocking moments, singers Johnny Manuel and Yoli Mayor were called to the front of the stage, where Banks revealed that neither of them would be moving on. Both singers had been two of the season's most lauded, and judge Simon Cowell was left stunned by the surprising eliminations.

"I don't normally say this in the semi-finals, and it's going to sound like a cliché, but I don’t mean it this way, but no one is going to leave here tonight a loser," Cowell said. "I'm disappointed that neither of you are going to [move on] but you could not have done any more, and that's the most important thing. You can walk out with your heads held high."

One of the night's other truly surprising eliminations came when rollerblading brother and sister daredevils Billy and Emily England got the axe, despite a flame-throwing, pulse-pounding performance unlike anything on AGT before.

Check out all the amazing performers fight to be finalists when the next AGT semi-finals round kicks off Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

Despite Jones' elimination, his incredible illusions on Tuesday left an real impression on the judges, who were left mystified and believing in the impossible. Check out the video below for a look at the spellbinding performance.