Henning Fog
August 06, 2009 AT 03:39 PM EDT

How does it feel, guys/America? With a simple text or toll-free call following Tuesday’s performance show, you finally played a role in the America’s Got Talent saga. No more sitting back and idly watching as your favorites face rejection and mediocre acts advance to the next round; no, this time YOU (…well, mostly) got to decide who stays and who goes. The power is in your hands!

And like Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade, you (…well, mostly) “chose wisely.” Acrodunk, Drew Thomas Magic, Kevin Skinner, Grandma Lee, and Arcadian Broad all push on to the semifinals thanks to your votes. Over the next three weeks, those five contestants will be joined by fifteen more and the Top 20 will finally take shape. But that’s then! Today we have the chance to discuss our first results show: who advanced, how it went down, and why — seriously, why? — we had to sit through a seven minute Mariah Carey performance. Hold onto your butts.

Much like the “showdown” format of last week’s Vegas episodes, tonight’s decisions were rendered with two or more acts taking center stage. Up first were Acrodunk and Breaksk8, both very physical acts, who waited with bated breath as Nick Cannon ran through the judges’ critiques from the night before. Would it be?…who could?… In the first of four DUH moments, high-flying dunkers Acrodunk got the nod. To their credit — and this was very pleasantly the pattern for each of the night’s rejected acts — Breaksk8 was gracious in defeat, forgoing any sort of “y’all don’t know!” rhetoric for a nice shout-out to those fans who voted for them. [Being able to keep things in perspective] is what this show is all about!

After some rambling filler from ventriloquist (and season two winner) Terry Fator and a brief glimpse into the K-Mart MySpace Orville Redenbacher “Pop it Like it’s Hot!” party room, we got back to the stage and our second decision: Lake Houston Dance, Drew Thomas Magic, or Manuela Horn? In what we’ll call “DUH Moment #2,” Drew Thomas Magic emerged victorious. Against some of the Top 40 who have yet to perform (I’m thinking Voices of Glory, the dancing toddlers, or other kid acts), Lake Houston might have advanced, but this week’s was a heavy-hitting bracket. Sorry, girls. Manuela Horn never stood a chance.

DUH Moment #3: Kevin Skinner tops Mosaic. David Hasselhoff offers his lukewarm “good ‘ol boy” impression. You know the drill.

Good thing that one was so so short, because AGT needed nearly seven minutes — 1/6 of the broadcast — to shoehorn in Mrs. Nick Cannon and her “Obsessed” dancers. Yup, Mariah Carey made her second appearance (first in-person) on the show, performing her latest single and showing the contestants that anything is possible? That pre-recorded vocals make singing much easier? Or something. To be fair, she seemed like a good sport and was clearly in love with her husband (the ass grab a smidge unnecessary), but this performance didn’t need to happen. Save it for the spin-off, Mariah’s Got Talent. Or something.

The Platt Brothers, Grandma Lee, and the Diva League all stepped forward next. One of these things is not like the other! After the Platt Brothers were eliminated (a real shame, considering their clear — if unfocused — physical and creative potential), it was to no one’s surprise that the drag queen vampires were sent home next — making Grandma Lee, struggling through Grandma tears, the night’s fourth winner. Now go work on some new material, Seinfeld.

And on to the night’s most contentious pairing: teenagers Thia Megia and Arcadian Broad. Both more deserving than Grandma Lee, in my opinion, but your votes (I say “you” like everyone reading this recap voted) had them in 5th and 6th place after performance night. In what order? We’ll never know. But it might say everything that producers decided to put the decision to the judges…

Think about everything we’ve learned about the two contestants. Arcadian Broad has been promoted as an American Billy Elliot, bullied by his classmates but able to take refuge in dance and “be himself.” Thia Megia? Well, we don’t know much about her. She’s cute; she can sing. But does she have a story, or a “type”? Hmm…

Piers votes for Thia. Sharon votes for Arcadian. The weight of the world is on The Hoff’s shoulders just like it was in the Cold War! He loves pressure! With 20 SECONDS LEFT (maybe they wouldn’t have run out of time if they hadn’t devoted a quarter of the show to non-contestants?), The Hoff makes his decision: Arcadian. But no time to wallow in this one, guys — the credits are up, and we’ve all been itching to watch The Philanthopist!

What do you think? Does the conspiracy theory hold? DO OUR VOTES REALLY MATTER? …And in less paranoid news, is Nick Cannon slightly more endearing now that we don’t have to watch his backstage reactions? Write away, guys!

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