None of the “America's Got Talent” performers shooting for the last chance at the semifinals this week suffered any technical glitches, and truly gave their all. Wednesday night's revelation of America's votes brought dreams fulfilled for seven of the talents and lives still transformed forever because of their “America's Got Talent” journey. Simon Cowell described Season 12’s quarterfinals as “the most competitive ever” in the show’s history. The ratings for the most original talent TV competition have been the highest in the past five seasons, showing why voting numbers are also rising.

Tremendous talents took the night, but so did tremendous heart and testaments to hope.

Memorable moments

Tyra Banks got down to the first order of business in announcing the performers in 6th, 7th, and 8th places, and up for the save vote of the night. Angelina Green, Colin Cloud, and DaNell Daymon and Greater Works comprised the trio. All three had given memorable performances, lifting in hope, and even staging a murder, so it was immediately clear that this vote would be tight.

The first acts called forward for their verdict were Diavolo, who merge “carpentry and choreography” to quote Howie Mandel, and light and graphics artists, Oskar and Gaspar. The judges and the crowd at the Dolby Theatre had all been blown away by both performances.

Diavolo took their place in the semifinals and demonstrated such exuberance that Tyra exclaimed “I just had my butt kicked by somebody,” but it was all in the joy of the moment. Expect these performers to go fairly deep to the weeks ahead.

Heart, humor, slight of hand, and a ‘Hero’

Vocal group, Final Draft, and Kechi came up as the second pair facing the vote.

Final Draft just could not muster the performance they needed for this stage of the competition, especially under being given a second chance. Kechi, being from Houston, could not have been more destined to sing “By the Grace of God” as an offering of strength and resilience to her hometown. When the envelope was opened, Kechi was the next semifinalist, and she almost collapsed in disbelief.

Her emotions were so genuine as she said “I never even dreamt this far,” to Tyra. Howie Mandel reminded her “you are the light,” after calling her “a beacon” after her song.

It was time for some levity mixed in with magic as last season’s “America's Got Talent” favorite, Jon Dorenbos, had some fun in the sun with fans. The Saints’ long-snapper and magician managed to hide a playing card inside a factory-sealed football. Topping it off, Mat Franco, the AGT title taker in 2009, came out and prepared six different drinks, served to the judges, from a single carton, made of cardboard, which he tore apart. It made for very refreshing entertainment, except that Mel B wished for alcohol. Franco now has his own theater at the LINQ in Las Vegas, and he’s just 29, more proof of how life can change because of a few moments on stage.

The minute that Chase Goehring and Mike Yung came forward together in the next vote, calls of “both” could be heard from the audience. Both these artists have been huge favorites all season, despite being from completely different eras and genres, their passion is undeniable, as are their gifts. “Both of you!’ yelled out Tyra as they locked instantly in an embrace. Heidi Klum said that no advice was needed because they already had all they needed. She would prefer a little faster rap interlude from Chase’s next song

The next vote brought a very diverse talent threesome forward in the dancer, Oscar Hernandez, speed salsa dancer siblings, Junior and Emily, and Sara and Hero. All of these artists have talent, and they all have stories of shedding past hurt to reach for brighter horizons.

Sara and Hero did not just win over Simon Cowell with their performance in the quarterfinals. At last, all of the judges and all of the panel felt the power of love between this young woman and her dogs. Their lives are indeed changed, and Sara and Hero (and Loki, and maybe more) are moving into the semifinals. Simon teased that it was the vote he enlisted from all the dogs and cats that made the difference, but it was truly something much deeper

The irreverent and original magician, Piff the Magic Dragon, who didn't win “America's Got Talent” two years ago, but certainly won thousands of admirers, was welcomed like a hero, along with his Chihuahua, Mr. Piffles. He and his tiny pooch performed a hilarious routine that involved the dog drawing a portrait of the judges’ ridiculous creation.

Anyone wanting to see more can catch Piff at the Flamingo in Vegas, or on the road at many venues across the country.

Finally, the save vote was totaled and revealed, and Colin Cloud took America's vote to the semifinals. His routine had been long and a little hard to follow this week, but the public still admires his “forensic examining” talents. Tyra Banks affirmed this vote as the closest of the season.

The judges’ had the final choice between Angelina Green and DaNell Daymon and Greater Works. Simon Cowell was unusually talkative in his deliberation, but cast his vote to the uplifting choral singers, as did Mel B. Heidi Klum naturally stood with Angelina, who earned her golden buzzer. Howie Mandel had the deciding vote and yelled out his support for DaNell Daymon and Greater Works.

No tiebreaker was needed this week, but tensions go even higher next week with the start of the semifinals!