Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY
Published 10:57 p.m. ET Sept. 8, 2020
Comedian Usama Siddiquee also joked about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, feminism and women’s voting rights in his controversial stand-up routine.
The first “America’s Got Talent” semifinals round is here.
The first group of 11 acts hit the stage Tuesday – all vying for the chance to be crowned the best of the best. As if the competition were not already stacked with two Golden Buzzer winners, the judges brought back two wild cards who were given another opportunity to battle for the title.
Singer Thomas Day did not waste his second chance. After advancing through Judge Cuts, Day said he dropped out of the quarterfinals after contracting COVID-19. The high school football star, 17, was able to safely return to the competition after quarantining and testing negative, according to “AGT.”
Some fans, however, questioned Day’s reason for withdrawing from the competition after a Cameo video of the teen surfaced online. In the clip, Day said he left the show “because I couldn’t make it because of football,” adding, “That’s the truth, I wish there was something more to it.”
Some thought it was “unfair” to fellow acts.
“I STILL don’t think it’s right that Thomas Day can just avoid a whole week of voting. Unfair advantage,” one fan tweeted. Another user added, “So Thomas Day made a Cameo just to lie to people about the reason he couldn’t perform on #AGT? Not sure why he couldn’t just tell people that he had the virus.”
Day is ranked as one of the top football prospects in the country, according to his “AGT” bio.
Despite the departure discrepancy, one thing is for sure: Day’s back. The California singer flawlessly sang Billie Eilish’s hit single “When the Party’s Over.” He received a standing ovation from Sofía Vergara and Howie Mandel, who said the singer “paved a path” to the finals.
The field was dominated by singers, including Double Dragon, Broken Roots, Shaquira McGrath and Roberta Battaglia. But one of the most memorable singing performances came from Archie Williams.
Williams dedicated an emotional performance of Westlife’s “Flying Without Wings” to his adult daughter, whom he didn’t know about until he was released from prison. Williams served 37 years behind bars after being wrongfully convicted in 1983.
“I’m always on my feet for you, Archie. And you do it to me every time,” Heidi Klum said. Mandel added that Williams’ “imperfection is perfection.”
‘America’s Got Talent’: Singer Archie Williams gets second chance after wrongful conviction
Tuesday’s performers include singers Day (wildcard act), Double Dragon, Broken Roots, McGrath, Battaglia (Vergara’s Golden Buzzer winner) and Williams; dance group Dance Town Family (wild card act); diabolo duo Spyros Brothers; aerialist Alan Silva; drummer Malik Dope; and spoken-word poet Brandon Leake (Mandel’s Golden Buzzer winner).
Mandel called Tuesday “one of the greatest semifinals I’ve ever seen.”
However, the fate of the contestants is no longer in the judges’ hands. It’s up to America. Only five of these acts will advance to the finals.
Fans can vote up to 10 times for each act on NBC.com/AGTvote, the “America’s Got Talent” app and through Xfinity Voice Remote. The first finalists will be revealed during Wednesday’s results show (NBC, 8 EDT/PDT).
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