America’s Got Talent‘s season 13 semifinalists have been named — and some fan favorites did not make the cut.
Courtney Hadwin, who faced online criticism recently, was among the lucky contestants who advanced from the quarterfinals during the results show on Wednesday. Though the 14-year-old England native had been up for elimination against fellow teen phenom Amanda Mena, in a surprise twist, both singers made the cut.
Hadwin broke down in tears telling host Tyra Banks, “I didn’t expect to get this far and to now move to the next round, it’s just amazing.”
Mel B, who picked 15-year-old Mena as her golden buzzer winner, echoed similar sentiments, encouraging the girls to continue to pursue their dreams. “I’m so thankful that both of you are going through the next round, I called it! I said to Howie, ‘They both have to go through,’ because both of you are equally talented.”
Howie Mandel, who named Hadwin as his golden buzzer winner, added, “Though I think [Hadwin]’s going to win.”
An extra encouraging influence on the young performers was last season’s winner, 13-year-old Darci Lynne Farmer, who returned to the AGT stage to perform with her ventriloquist puppet, Petunia the rabbit.
Sadly, Human Fountains, the synchronized spitting troupe, were defeated by comedian Vicki Barbolak.
The comedy troupe of five childhood friends, who spit objects out of their mouths, were sent home a day after they received criticism from the judges, including Simon Cowell, who called their performance the “most stupid act we’ve ever had.”
“Some people love it, some people are completely grossed out. For us, we’re happy with any reaction, because it’s a comedy act and everyone has different reactions to the different comedy acts they like. We’re just figuring out a way to get people smile, there’s enough seriousness in most Americans’ lives, so we’re giving them a little break,” member Sam Kaufman told reporters.
Mochi, the PAC Dance Team, Lord Nil and Flau’jae were also eliminated.
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Singing trio We Three, magician Shin Lim, Los Angeles-based chorus Angel City Chorale and dance team Junior New System will also head to the semifinals round.
The 12 acts performing next week are the Sacred Riana, the Savitsky Cats, Makayla Phillips, Da Republik, Noah Guthrie, Quin and Misha, Yumbo Dump, Glennis Grace, Duo Transcend, Voices of Hope, Front Pictures and Samuel J. Comroe.
America‘s Got Talent airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays (8 p.m. ET) on NBC.