America's Got Talent” turned the reins of power over to the voting public on the August 15 results show, so the X’s from the panel didn’t have the final say regarding the August 14 live performances. There's no doubt that the lives of these performers will be transformed by the exposure and experience on “America's Got Talent,” and doors of opportunity will open from now on to give them new options. For one of the acts that left Tuesday night feeling discouraged by Simon Cowell, the night brought vindication that their talent was worthy. The feeling of falling short, even in a vote tally, is always painful, but should never mean failure.

Sublime joy and tense surprise came to the seven performers moving to the semifinals.

Saving numbers from the start

Tyra Banks almost had to scream to get her announcements heard over the excitement of the crowd at the Dolby Theatre, and the first order of business was to call up the acts in fifth, seventh, and eighth place who would be vying for a saving vote from fans, and another from the judges, for two of the three. Angel City Chorale was likely a surprise to be up for a save vote considering their strong support from all the judges and the audience. Japanese diabolo artist Mochi was named next for the bubble, and Junior New System, the spirited Filipino dancers known for their heels, rounded out the three awaiting their fate.

It didn't take long for sibling band We Three, the PAC Dance Team, and teen rapper Flau’jae to learn their fate. Tyra called them forward to hear the news, and it was We Three who got the good word that they would be moving on to the semifinals. Simon Cowell had strongly disagreed with his fellow judges and the audience following their performance, feeling that it had “gone wrong.” The judge urged the family band to rework their next performance, and clearly, the public thinks they are doing just fine, no matter the judge’s negative feedback.

He was shown giving them some individual advice on stage, indicating that he still appreciates their talent. Tyra Banks reminded Flau’jae to never change when the talented artist’s face fell with the news.

Tears of joy

Comedienne Vicki Barbolak couldn't hold back the tears when she got word that her career in comedy was moving along to the semifinals, leaving Human Fountains all wet and out of contention.

The lady who always has a comeback waiting was clearly considering everything that this experience has meant to her and her family, and she could hardly crack a smile until Simon reminded her that he was free for an evening of “Trailer Nasty” fun. She opted for a glass of champagne on her own.

Last year’s “America's Got Talent” winner, ventriloquist Darci Lynne, came back to the stage that transformed her life, bringing along her rabbit, Petunia, for a Broadway-caliber knockout of “Show Off.” The 13-year-old Oklahoma native has now toured across the nation's biggest stages with her gift for not just throwing voices, but making her puppet characters into real beings. She thanked “America's Got Talent” for being her springboard.

The engagement period on the Las Vegas strip for the eventual winner of this year's competition will be November 2-4 at Paris resort and casino, and Courtney Hadwin and Amanda Mena are both in contention for that performance run, as both teenagers embraced one another after the announcement that they will both be going forward, and both Mel B and Howie Mandel had nothing but love for their golden buzzer girls.

Close-up card magician Shin Lim and daredevil escape artist Lord Nil awaited the last tally before the revelation of the save votes, and Shin Lim was the one voted to the semifinals, where he promised Simon Cowell that there will be plenty of show in that performance.

Director Sue Fink rejoiced with the members of Angel City Chorale upon hearing the divine news that the inspiring assembly of voices had earned America's vote to the semifinals.

Amidst the joyful tears and hugs, Fink assured Tyra Banks that “we will keep teaching a message of uniting and not dividing.” The unity that pulses through every note from this choir is desperately needed in these tense times.

It was left to Howie Mandel, Mel B, Heidi Klum, and Simon Cowell to deliberate the fate of Junior New System and Mochi. Mel B has been an ardent fan of the dancers in heels from their first audition, but now, she confessed that she had flipped, and she voted for Mochi. Howie Mandel also sided with Mochi, while Heidi Klum voted for Junior New System. Simon Cowell really took a pause before casting his lot with the earnest dance troupe. That left the vote in a tie, and the vote count had to be revealed to decide the winner.

Junior New System melted in total joy as their name was called while the credits rolled.

Next Tuesday and Wednesday the second group of quarterfinalist performers will contend for spots in the semifinals. Stay tuned.