America's Got Talent - 2.11 Recap
America's Got Talent - 2.11 Recap

Episode Overview: Tonight on America's Got Talent, the Top Ten get trimmed to the Top Eight.  And as though that wasn't enough to deal with in one night, each act has to perform immediately after learning their fate.  Will the high-stakes cause some performers to falter?  Also, the judges' critique have had an impact on more than one act, as they make adjustments in hopes of winning America's vote once again.

Last week, I expressed my appreciation for America's Got Talent's way of getting right to things by not dragging out the results.  I guess I jinxed things.  Tonight, we learn the top eight, but only one at a time.  The results are announced one by one, with each selected act's performance, a small video blurb about the act's heroes (tonight's theme) and about fourteen commercial breaks in-between.   The selections are announced in no particular order.

First up is the Singer from the Sewer with the infectious smile, Robert Hatcher.  His hero is Al Green, and it's one of Green's songs that he's singing tonight: "Let's Stay Together."  It's a solid performance, although some of his amateur status shows in a little bit of seeming trepidation.  But he warms up and the audience seems to like the up-tempo number.  David likes it, but Sharon, while thinking his vocal performance was better, wants "more oomph" from him.  Piers disagrees, thinking it's a "very very good performance."

Another singer is the next to be passed through: 14-year-old Julienne Irwin.  She's singing "Crazy," written by Willie Nelson and made famous by Patsy Cline.  She's dedicating her performance to the friends who first encouraged her to sing.  Once again, her performance is amazing for her age and lack of experience, but she does appear to be struggling in some parts.  David doesn't mind, thinking it was solid.  Sharon wants to hear her do a more upbeat song, but feels confident she will be back next week to do one.  Piers, again, disagrees.  He thinks her voice isn't developed and doesn't think she'll be voted back.

Next to make it through to the next level is the act that probably most surprised the judges in his initial audition: ventriloquist Terry Fator.  His act is dedicated to and inspired by his sister, who has always supported his act.  The two siblings love the Rat Pack, and so his act combines Dean Martin and Tony Bennett, starting with "That's Amore" and ending with "I Left My Heart in San Francisco."  I found it slightly less interesting than his previous performances in that his act didn't include more interaction between Terry and the puppet - the puppet carried the whole performance this time.  But the judges didn't miss it, and think he's fantastic.  Piers thinks he even sang the song better than Tony Bennett.

Another singer makes it through next: Cas Haley.  Cas admits that he was shaken by last week's comments from Piers, his first negative feedback yet.  Piers didn't like his choice of a blues song, and so Cas really focused to find the best song for this week.  He selected Lionel Richie's "Easy."  It's dedicated to his musician mom and dad.  He's arranged the song to be an uptempo reggae number and it seems to really be a crowd pleaser.   The judges all love it, and when Sharon tells him he picked the perfect song, his entire face brightens.  Piers really likes that Cas listened and adapted based on the feedback.

Who else did America vote through?  Another singer: Jason Pritchett.  He's dedicating his performance to his grandfather, who also loved country music.  He sings a Garth Brooks song.  It seemed a little flat here at home, but none of the judges comment on it, so maybe it sounded fine live.  David and Sharon like his performance, but Piers thinks this answer his question from last week: is Jason more than a cruise ship singer?  Piers thinks the answer tonight was no.

Piers hasn't been a fan of Jason's yet, but the next group that America voted through is one that Piers has been quite vocal about his appreciation for: The Glamazons.  They perform "It's Raining Men," dedicated to the mom of the founding member.  The performance seems a little flat at first, but when they are joined by four shirtless hunky dudes, the act seems to come together.  The judges like it, and Piers notes that if it were just based on singing, they'd never make it, but for their "cheekiness" and "entertainment value," they should go to the finals.

The second to last act to make it through is beatboxer Butterscotch.  She's dedicating her performance to her jazz music-loving grandfather, and is incorporating more jazz elements.  And...she's also bringing out a talent we haven't seen before!  She plays the piano, and does a mellow hip-hopped-up version of "My Funny Valentine."  The judges love it, and she is overwhelmed with emotion by being at this point.

So now for the very last act to make it through on America's Got Talent.  Will it be martial arts group Sideswipe?  Acrobatic act Calypso Tumblers?  Or the giant family band The Duttons...

It's Sideswipe.  Bah.  They are clearly good at what they do, but if it had to be a shirtless acrobatic act, I personally would have preferred the Calypso Tumblers...but this is what America wanted, so this is what we get.  They have stepped up their performance again, doing a pirate theme and incorporating other performers.  The judges like it, think it was a good improvement.

So those are your Top Eight, America.  Now your votes will decide who goes on to the Final Four, to be announced (we assume slowly) next week!

- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist

(Image courtesy of NBC)