America's Got Talent” truly does seem to make the summer go by faster, considering that the first live show of Season 12 rolled around last night, August 15, leaving the fate of 12 talented acts to sweat out the tally of America's choices. Only seven move forward, so many “America's Got Talent” dreams end too soon, but lives are still transformed forever after the stints on center stage. Simon Cowell described the night as “the best night of their lives, and the worst night of their lives” since both extremes are possible. Hollywood held the fate of many lives for the frenzied few moments on stage, and many performers made the most of their time at the Dolby Theatre.

Super song and dance

Christian Guardino has already been granted his most desired blessing in having his vision restored after going blind. The young man's beautiful voice fills every venue with beautiful imagery, and his choice of “Make It Rain” made the judges and everyone in the audience stand to an ovation. Howie Mandel gave Christian his golden buzzer, and he was moved to tears, “making it rain,” after the performance. Heidi Klum raved that it was “ridiculous” to how good the singer was. Simon Cowell wants Christian to broaden his talents by playing an instrument, a.k.a. the piano, next time if he moves on.

Artyon and Paige may not be the pick of everyone on the judges’ panel, but the tiny and devoted dancers proved that they know how to put an audience in the palm of their hands.

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They did a fiercely fast “Footloose” routine of the theme song, got standing ovations from Heidi and Mel B, and definitely got the respect that a pair so young could put in such hard work. This time, Artyon won the cheers with his dazzling flips, while Simon Cowell got booed before he even began to talk, joined the panel in good reviews for what Heidi called “an explosion” of youthful energy.

The singing man of the Air Force Academy, In The Stairwell, stepped up their a cappella skills in a big way during their performance of Fun’s “Some Nights.” It was some night for the group! They had perfect synchronization in their harmonies and showed stunning emotion for an ensemble so large. Mel B lapped up their “yummy harmonies” and being in sight of so many single guys. Heidi Klum described that “freedom, brotherhood, talent, and hotness” were the terms that applied to the group. After the roars of ovation, Simon Cowell credited that they deserved this chance so much. They were the first real stunners of these auditions, and only being “live” could capture their energy.

The Singing Trump was up for his return visit, this time descending from a fake Air Force One. The singing really, really was no good this time. Simon Cowell was lost in a fog from the flight of this performance, asking, “What’s happening?” Mel B certainly noticed that the timing was off for the wannabe commander-in-chief. Heidi Klum said that while she didn't feel so good about the real thing, she did “love this Trump.” Howie Mandel said that being “not great” was the appeal of this singing politician for both sides. This campaign should be ending soon.

Just when everyone thinks that nine-year-old Angelica Hale has given all she's got to “America's Got Talent,” well, as the singer herself says,“You ain't seen nothing yet!” The school-age singer took on her most adult tune yet in “Clarity” from Russian-German dance producer, Zedd. Angelica earned ovations from everyone in the theater, and Simon Cowell wasn’t short on praise, telling her that she was “so special-- that was amazing.” Mel B raved that she “did everything” wonderful with the song, and Heidi told the little girl that she doesn't just say she's going to do marvelous things with her voice, “you do them.” Hollie reminded Angelica of her pledge to be “in it to win it,” and responded “You just might!" She is a sure bet to stay for several weeks.

Daring spins and steps

Bello Nock did all he could to earn his way to the live shows, even shooting himself from a cannon. Still, he fell short. Simon Cowell decided to call him back for another chance, so the daredevil went for the most dangerous feat he knew on the Wheel of Death. The spinning wheels on each end of the contraption that kept spinning seem to delight rather than scare the straight-haired Bello to death! Simon Cowell was elated that the quirky Bello was a “great pick,” and Heidi called the experience of his performance “wow and wild.” Mel B was bored in the beginning but loved the climax of Bello climbing the outside rings.

Just Jerk, the dedicated dance troupe from South Korea, remembered to bring their high-energy moves again and with a routine in hues of blues, reds, and blasts! Mel B was dazzled once again, exclaiming “on point!” Heidi Klum didn't find the wow factor in this performance. Simon Cowell wanted something more from any possible next performance, and Howie said that they were in need of America's vote.

Heart and hilarity

Puddles Pity Party took on Lorde’s song, “Royals,” and received mixed reviews. The mournful clown got an X from Simon and started to walk off stage immediately after singing until Tyra Banks coaxed him back. Simon claimed, “I just couldn't get into your world tonight.” Puddles definitely succeeded in getting the audience to feel his pathos, and Mel B was still in love with his interpretation. Howie insisted that he always brought something “unique and interesting” to every performance. Now, it's up to the voters if those qualities are enough.

Comedian Preacher Lawson puts everything he’s got into every laugh routine he creates, and this one was a riot, moving from Oprah’s pick to how tough it must be to become the world’s fastest clapper. Preacher ended with a rigorous physical riot over screen saver photos of himself and the size of cell phone screens. Howie Mandel told him he was headed all the way to the finals. Mel B simply said “I adore you,” while Simon said that his life would be different from now on and that he should not be surprised if he becomes the subject of a TV sitcom. Heidi affirmed her love for the humor man, but she was not so hot for the jokes this round.

It was a night of hit and miss for Yoli Mayor, too. The soulful singer looked utterly voluptuous in red, singing “Only Human. “ Every note makes it clear how much “America's Got Talent” means to the Cuban-American, and Simon and Heidi heard talent that deserved collations. Simon insisted, “This one can't be thrown away.” Mel B sensed that something was off in the performance. Heidi called the same performance “fantastic,” concluding that Yoli is “superhuman.”

Daredevil skating siblings, Billy and Emily, certainly have something superhuman on their side. The superfast spinning duo did their routine on the smallest sphere ever, to the fitting tune, “Believer,” and it worked, because they survived to were served standing ovations from everyone. Heidi assured them that it “never gets old” seeing their act. “Perfection” was the assessment from Simon Cowell, while Mel B called the two extraordinary. Howie Mandel brought up Emily’s missing bones, but America is almost certain to be ready for more from these super-spinning siblings, so devoted to each other.

There couldn't have been a more darling closer for the first “America's Got Talent” quarterfinals than ventriloquist-singer, Darci Lynne, and her new puppet friend, a mouse named Oscar, with a powerful crush on Mel B. Mel B, bestowed her golden buzzer on Darci, and the young super-talent is the epitome of what family entertainment and competitions like “America's Got Talent” embody. Darcy and Oscar delivered a flawless “Who's Loving You,” and Mel B promised a date along with her standing ovation in unison with the crowd. Darci already has a Vegas-style act, she's just waiting for the doors to open.

Predictions for the seven picks to semifinals:

  • In The Stairwell
  • Preacher Lawson
  • Angelica Hale
  • Bello Nock
  • Puddles Pity Party
  • Billy and Emily
  • Darci Lynne

Feel free to join in with personal picks in the comment section, and tune in to see the vote results tonight.