This week, “America's Got Talent” raced into the second week of the live quarterfinals, and the pace and the pressure even got to the famous panel of judges, along with the performers. Nothing goes perfectly when the situation on stage goes live as the cameras roll, but a few among this week's dozen acts had definitive moments, and others experienced glitches that they never dreamed would steal away the chance of a lifetime. The choices are up to America now, and nothing can roll back time.

Ladies’ choice

Judge Mel B, must have known these “America's Got Talent” performances would come from some of her favorites because the Scary Spice girl donned silver hair for the occasion.

The first performance came from one of her favorites of the season, Brobots and Mandroids. The dance team was all energy in moves that stepped and snaked this way and that snuck into Mel’s heart, but not so much for every judge. Howie Mandel said that there was no “wow” for him this time, and Mel B protested to the contrary that there were “so many wows.” Heidi Klum concurred, saying they “brought it” once again. Simon Cowell likes the brotherhood of these guys, even having to practice against parents’ wishes, and he urged them to keep pushing for their dream.

Mel B wasn't quite as thrilled with lovely little Celine Tam’s choice of song this time. Tam took on “When You Believe” while standing on a literal “rose bed” that seemed to swallow the little girl with a big voice.

Backing vocalists were added for this performance, and the production did seem overwhelming, but those factors have nothing to do with her still stellar abilities. Mel B said that the song was “too big” in this case, but Heidi Klum countered, saying “forget everything she just said,” celebrating that Celine is “a little girl,” when this huge gift.

Howie Mandel said that beauty lies in the fact that Celine is not always “polished” because she is such a young performer. Simon Cowell commended that she “controlled the second half” and she managed to stay put on what looked to him “like a clamshell about to eat you.” Celine still delights her audience, so don't expect her to be leaving right away.

Twin singer/dancers, Mirror Image, are another favorite of Heidi and Mel, and the female judges were raving as the boys did a medley mash of Queen’s “Somebody to Love” with the hip-hop, “Poison.” Simon Cowell reaffirmed his original X for the boys, saying he didn't know what kind of act they were. Heidi called the British judge a “party pooper,” and Mel B gushed over the “fire and energy” from the brothers. Howie Mandel seemed more in Simon's corner, but he did tease Mel B for saying she was a “single Pringle” in flirting. Cute is one thing, but it may not cut much further ground in the competition.

Not all songs

For those who complain that “America's Got Talent” is too heavy on singers, the night of that should have been very pleasing.

Johnny Manuel is a 32-year-old singer, and absolutely no one can complain about his spectacular turn on “I Am Telling You I Am Not Going” from “Dreamgirls.” The night started all over with this performance because the singer made his own moment with the Broadway showstopper. Simon Cowell called the singer who got Seal’s golden buzzer “a diva” in the best way because anyone “looking for that male vocal lead” should look to Johnny. Howie Mandel said he forgot everything before the performance. Heidi Klum credited that even though she hated to say Seal was right, he was right about Manuel. Mel B simply called him “amazing.”

Merrick Hanna doesn't say or sing a word during his dancing, but he mesmerizes with his performance, in an exquisite interpretation of “Lost Boy” that took everyone watching to Neverland and then to the safety of home again.

For this young man, it is not just his movements or the way he meshes with screen graphics, but also his genuine gift for storytelling and portraying every emotion that makes him unique. Simon Cowell gave him a standing ovation, and called him “the best of the night.” Howie Mandel teased that he and Merrick were “the only two on “America's Got Talent” without a low-cut top! He then raved that Merrick was “so original.” Mel B and Heidi concurred on his artistry.

Magician, Eric Jones, may have more than a chance of moving on this week, as his act of passing things through a glass, including himself, captivated the judges. Simon said that he still needed to work on showmanship, but his ability to create magic was undeniable, as playing cards, poker chips, and himself, a person, passed through solid glass.

Howie Mandel loves his “low-key ease,” and the tally will tell whether America agrees.

Not quite as planned

Classic R&B trio, The Masqueraders, took a trip down Memory Lane, detailing their career in music and how it collided with civil rights violence of the 60s. They sang their own song that might have changed their lives decades ago, “Just an Average Guy,” and garnered glowing reviews. Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell offered standing ovations. Mel B prefers “just you,” she insisted to the singers, saying the performance was overproduced. Mandel called them “classic.” Expect them to make it through on the votes.

Illumination dance act, Light Balance, did not even get to actually perform in this crucial round, because a technical “issue” as Tyler Banks announced, prevented their light displays from being transmitted.

An earlier dress rehearsal was shown, and the panel still gave all standing ovations. It's hard to imagine that an act who didn't actually perform would go through, but it may happen, especially because the panel applauded that “so much work” already went into the effort.

Singer, Evie Clair, was singing to her dad more than ever in this performance. This time, he was at home battling his stage IV colon cancer, too ill to travel, still, he had to know that he was at the center of every heart at the Dolby Theatre when his daughter sang and played piano on the song “Wings.” The judges all rose to their feet and were visibly touched. Besides her father's health issues, her parents celebrated their 25th anniversary on the day of the performance, and mom was there to cheer on their daughter.

It was undoubtedly Evie’s most beautiful vocal, despite the circumstance. Howie Mandel said he was speechless. Mel B called Evie “a singing angel,” and Heidi Klum sincerely expressed “I'm proud of you.” Simon Cowell closed in saying “you are one heck of a brave young lady,” to the singer.

Daredevil Damien Aditya didn't have the night that he expected, either. He had planned to perform the possibly life-ending “Death Drop.” It was good that the wooden box holding him didn't drop to the burning spears below, and one would suppose that it's good that he freed himself from the handcuffs and the nails driven into the box, too. The problem is that no one saw anything to assure that the feat was actually accomplished.

The audience and the panel only saw Damien brandishing a blow torch behind the judges' chairs, and Tyra Banks announced once more that there was “a problem” beyond the performer’s control. The panel was less than pleased and expressed “feeling bad” about the situation. Simon made a tasteless comparison at the expense of Mel B, and she marched out in anger. Who knows how all this emotion will transpire in the votes.

The Pompeyo Family and their sweet dogs didn't deliver a noteworthy performance with a Safari kind of theme, doing their usual wonderful things with jumping ropes, twirling this way and that, and even driving the jeep away before a final leap. Simon praised that “the dogs saved ‘America's Got Talent’ tonight” and it was deserved.

The judges were unanimous in praising that the family and their passion put together the perfect family act.

Mandy Harvey was the final performer of the night, and she could not have been more perfect with her original composition, first created for her sister's wedding, but now expressing love and hope of all humanity. The hearing-impaired singer spoke eloquently that “music is felt,” and anyone within earshot couldn't help but feel every word of her song to the core of the heart. The performance was beautifully simple and simply expressed, as her lyrics were lighted behind Mandy. The judges gave the sign language “clapping” applause with their ovation. Simon was so emotional, he could hardly talk.

Mel B, having returned, called Mandy “a miracle worker” with her art. Howie Mandel made the sign language symbol for “vote” to urge the clicking and calling.

Predictions for seven performers going on:
Celine Tam
Johnny Manuel
Merrick Hanna
Pompeyo Family
The Masqueraders
Eric Jones
Mandy Harvey
The truth will be told in the vote results Wednesday.