America's Got Talent 3: Top 20 Performances, Part 1 Recap
America's Got Talent 3: Top 20 Performances, Part 1 Recap
Last week on America's Got Talent, 20 members of the top 40 performed, and most of them were memorable for all the wrong reasons.  Let us never speak again of Flambeaux, the Taubl Family, or Bruce Block's dwarf and pony jamboree.  Tonight's unnecessarily lengthy episode will reveal the final members of the top 20, and allow 10 of them to sing, dance, and impersonate dead celebrities for our amusement.  We're almost to the point where contestants with actual talent will dominate the show.  What a crazy concept!

The first order of business is to find out which five acts from last Wednesday's show will be moving on to the top 20.  Viewers voted to keep Nuttin But Stringz, Kaitlyn Maher, Eli Mattson and Donald Braswell, while the judges decide that Tapping Dads are more entertaining than Bryan Cheatham.  Along with Bryan, Indiggo, Flambeaux, Man Tina and Dallas Desperados Dancers are also going home.  I guess America doesn't want Man Tina to be their private dancer.

The Cadence is up first, and they would love to rock you like a hurricane with their mad percussion skills.  I really liked these guys in the audition rounds, but their shtick is already wearing a little thin.  They basically come out and reenact the middle part of "Work This Out" from High School Musical 2 every week, and it's getting dull.  Now that I find them boring, Piers Morgan is suddenly impressed by their ability to evolve and listen to criticism.  Whatever.

Queen Emily takes the stage to sing Mariah Carey's "Hero," which is one of those songs I could happily go the rest of my life without hearing again.  The audience goes crazy for her, but she's pretty subpar compared to Mariah.  However, subpar is more than good enough for America's Got Talent, so of course the judges bow down to the Queen.

Oh look, it's The Wright Kids, and they're here to resemble extras from Village of the Damned while singing oldies.  This time they take us back a few decades by belting out "Rockin' Robin," which is a song that the Jackson 5 really injected some soul into.  The Wright Kids wouldn't know soul if it smacked them in their faces, but they do have a lot of energy, and that makes up for a lot.  David Hasselhoff tells them they could headline in Vegas, but I'm pretty sure they'd fit in more easily at a county fair.

The James Gang has watched the movie Idlewild one too many times, which is why they love to add a hip-hop edge to a 1920s aesthetic.  I love their old-timey vibe, but their rendition of "Hit the Road, Jack" leaves a lot to be desired.  Piers thinks they were vocally off, and Sharon Osbourne is convinced they're going downhill every week.

Wait a minute, America's Got Talent just pulled a fast one on me.  They're having two performances in a row with NO commercials in between!  The producers of this show are truly rule breakers.  Anyway, patriotic Daniel Jens comes out and tunelessly warbles Lonestar's "I'm Already There."  It's pretty terrible, but he's a flag-waving soldier type so he'll probably make it through to the next round.  It's not like people actually vote based on talent.

I hope everyone watching is as drunk as the Hoff, because that's the only way you'll find the ZOOperstars entertaining.  They come out and do what ZOOperstars do, which is sing, dance, do somersaults, and attempt to be hilarious while wearing animal costumes.  Piers continues to loathe them, and even the Hoff has sobered up enough to admit that they've lost their charm.  Let's hope America feels the same way.

Neil E. Boyd's Lite FM brand of music does absolutely nothing for me, but there's no denying that he's talented.  He sings some song that I'd hear while drifting off to sleep during Delilah's Late Night Love Song Dedication Hour, and it nearly makes me doze off.  Luckily, I've woken up long enough to hear Piers say that Neil has a shot at winning the entire competition.  I think I'm supposed to be moved, but instead I'm just sleepy.

Sharon buzzes Jessica Price before she has a chance to sing a note, which is probably a tactic to throw the notoriously shy performer off her game.  That's kind of a douche move, but it works.  Jessica starts off a little shaky in her rendition of Colbie Caillat's "Bubbly" and never recovers.  The judges tell her that she needs to have more confidence, though Sharon explains this by telling Jessica that she needs to rip her clothes off on stage.  Well, whatever works.

Extreme Dance FX always take me back to the early '90s, which isn't a good thing.  They have a certain old school vibe to them that makes me think they should be dancing in a Salt-N-Pepa video.  It's definitely a style, but not one I really need to see in 2008.  Piers thinks the leader of the group is amazing, Sharon thinks they're "a sexier version of Riverdance," which I guess is a compliment, and the Hoff wants them to stomp on his face.  Sir Hoffington only lets the best of the best stomp on his face, so that's high praise indeed.

After a quick appearance from previous America's Got Talent winner Terry Fator, Sinatra-loving Paul Salos takes to the stage to do another Frank impersonation.  His performance is weaker than his previous ones, but that could be because of a technical glitch that prevented him from hearing the music.  The judges still love the guy, but hope he connects better next week.

With Paul out of the way, that marks the end of another very underwhelming episode of AGT.  Tomorrow night's episode will feature performances from the remainder of the top 20, as well as a special act from Terry Fator.  Tune in if you dare.


- Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of NBC)

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