Chioma and the Atlanta Drum Academy just fell shy of making the finals on NBC”s “America’s Got Talent” Wednesday night.
The group of children won the Golden Buzzer from host Terry Crews in June, jumping them directly into the semifinals.
Their high-voltage second performance on Tuesday was given plaudits by the judges.
“They did everything you could ask of them,” said Howie Mandel. “They said they wanted to step it up. Not only better drumming, better showmanship, what you were doing with the wheelies.”
“The energy was just unbelievable,” said Simon Cowell. “It was brilliantly messy. ... I could see you with someone on the Super Bowl doing something like this.”
On results night Wednesday, America gave Atlanta Drum Academy enough votes to come in third out of 11 acts. Unfortunately, only the top two were able to make it through (mute comic Ahren Belisle and 64-member dance crew Murmuration).
Atlanta Drum Academy is the brainchild of James W. Riles III, a Morris Brown College graduate who appeared in the “Drumline” movie 21 years ago. He debuted the academy in 2011.
Ries, in a Facebook post Thursday morning after the group’s elimination, posted a picture of him and Cowell and said the judge and executive producer told him: “It wasn’t over and that he’s the boss.” Ries added, “He also encouraged the kids to keep practicing and to stay ready.”
Each week over five weeks, America is voting for the top 2 out of 11 semifinalists. So far, four acts are in the finals. By Sept. 20, there will be 10 finalists.
But there will be a single 11th wild-card slot so Atlanta Drum Academy still might make the finals that is set to air Sept. 26. and Sept. 27. On Sept. 20, each judge will pick an act that had been previously eliminated and the public will pick one to send to the finals as the 11th finalist.
Rodney Ho writes about entertainment for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution including TV, radio, film, comedy and all things in between. A native New Yorker, he has covered education at The Virginian-Pilot, small business for The Wall Street Journal and a host of beats at the AJC over 20-plus years. He loves tennis, pop culture & seeing live events.