America’s Got Talent has already been wildly unpredictable this year, in more ways than one, so of course the first live results show of Season 15 was no exception. While obvious early favorites like soul singer Archie Williams, country diva Shaquira McGrath, child prodigy Roberta Battaglia, and danger magician Brett Loudermilk advanced via the public vote, when it came time for judges to save a fifth quarterfinalist, that’s when Wednesday’s episode took a shocking turn.
It all came down to tween ukulele virtuoso Feng-E (teleconferencing from his home country of Taiwan, due to COVID-related travel restrictions) and sassy singing sisters Double Dragon. And it seemed that the former — who’d been dubbed the “Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele” by the judges the night before, after jamming on an impressive “Smoke on the Water”/“Seven Nation Army” mashup — couldn’t lose.
Or could he?
While guest judge Kelly Clarkson (filling in for the injured Simon Cowell) went with Feng-E — “I think you're so rock 'n' roll, and I want to see more of you,” she told him — the other panelists unexpectedly doubled down on Double Dragon. “I love the two of you because you have so much energy, and I want to be part of your gang,” raved Heidi Klum. “I have a little soft spot for these Latina girls,” explained Sofia Vergara. And then Howie Mandel cast the deciding vote that clinched the personality-plus twins a spot in the semifinals. (Along with Feng-E, the night’s other, less surprising eliminated contestants were TV host-turned-comedian Michael Yo, father/daughter daredevil duo Bello & Annaliese Nock, hip-hop bone-breaker FrenchieBabyy, animal act Pork Chop Revue, and child ballroom dancers Simon & Maria.)
Based on the tweets that ensued, most viewers seemed to side with dissenting voter Kelly in this instance.
— Legion Haller Nelson Goodwin 🇬🇧 (@Grabeelfan) August 13, 2020
I’m so disappointed. Feng E was the best act of last night. American chose wrong and the judges chose wrong.
— Wesley Massey (@Saiwmass) August 13, 2020
— Christy Bauer (@christyb370) August 13, 2020
Feng I was MUCH better! Can’t believe the judges!
— Phylis☮️💜 (@PettitPhylis) August 13, 2020
This show is traaaaaaaash. Feng E was sent home? A JOKE. #AGT
— Jennifer (@Jen_naaay) August 13, 2020
Mistake was made
— nikki l (@michaelsangel73) August 13, 2020
I too was sad to see Feng-E go so soon, but I do appreciate what Double Dragon — 31-year-old twins Andrea and Irene Ramos — could bring to the next round. While their manic original audition of “It’s Raining Men” made them seem like a novelty act, this week their Spanglish “Bang Bang”/“Taki Taki” performance, as they paraded through the Universal Studios Hollywood backlot in matching showgirl outfits without missing a beat or a breath, was not only thoroughly entertaining but also showcased some robust vocals and bilingual rap skills, (It turns out they’ve competed on other television talent shows: The Voice Peru, when they both separately turned four chairs, and a Peruvian series called Divas, which they jointly won.)
So, even if Double Dragon’s AGT future is short — which is probably the case, based on the Twitter reaction this week —they’re obviously good TV. Hopefully NBC executives will heed Sofia and Howie’s suggestion to give the Ramos twins get their own sitcom or reality show someday. In the meantime, tune in to America’s Got Talent next Tuesday, when 11 more quarterfinalists — including someone who makes for extremely good TV, glam-shock-rocker Bonavega — compete.
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