Most of the acts – which included an extreme jump-rope team, a yo-yo act, and a couple who hooked wires to themselves and swung household objects from them – seemed to give their all this week. But it was the musical performances that won the judges over most.
Among the standouts: Poplyfe's rendition of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep." Howie Mandel called the six-member group the "best act" of the night "so far." Sharon Osbourne called the performance "fantastic," and said, "You've got everything going for you." Even Piers Morgan complimented the group.
But just when the judges thought they'd seen the best, Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. hit the stage in a sleek black suit and belted out a Frank Sinatra-esque jazz tune. He wowed all three judges, with Morgan saying he "loved it all," Mandel saying Murphy has "what it takes" to make it to the finale, and Osbourne telling him, "America does have talent and it's standing in front of me now."
Murphy, who used to wash cars for a living, couldn't hide his excitement. "I'm feeling very overwhelmed right now," he said at the show's live taping. "I'm the happiest man on the planet."
Meanwhile, Lys Agnes, the second-to-last act of the night, put her vocal chops to use with an opera performance that earned her a standing ovation.
"It moved me," Osbourne said. Mandel agreed, calling the performance "gorgeous, sexy, and stunning." Morgan was the lone dissenter.