America's Got Talent 3: Top 20 Performances, Part 2 Recap
America's Got Talent 3: Top 20 Performances, Part 2 Recap
Last night's episode of America's Got Talent was more torturous than usual, which is an amazing accomplishment for a show that struts out no-talent hacks week after week.  Nobody lived up to expectations during Tuesday night's performances, though some acts fared better than others.  Queen Emily has pipes, even if her attempt to tackle Mariah Carey didn't prove it, and Paul Salos is charming, though his latest Sinatra interpretation was no "My Way."  Both of them were certainly better than ZOOperstars, who must have dosed me with magical sleeping powder through my television set, or Daniel Jens, who only seems to be in the top 20 because he's a former Iraqi soldier.

The remainder of the top 20 perform on tonight's episode of America's Got Talent.  Unfortunately, they might pale in comparison to former AGT winner Terry Fator, who will stop by to wow everyone with his ventriloquist act.

Tonight's episode of America's Got Talent is a little bit different.  Instead of kicking off five people at the start of the show, the entire top 10 will be revealed on a special episode tomorrow night.  If there's one thing I've been dying for, it's to have the already drawn out elimination process extended into an entire episode.  I can't wait!

Terry Fator kicks off the show with his ventriloquist act, which ends with an Elvis puppet singing "Viva Las Vegas."  Sadly, this song now makes me think of Viagra commercials.  After he runs off stage with Elvis and his talking turtle, SickStep come out and kick ass while dancing to Michael Jackson's "Blame It On the Boogie."  They earn about 80,000 points with me for using this song, which my friend and I love so much that we once made up our own dance routine to it.  The judges give them mixed reviews, but they shouldn't have trouble making it through.

Sharon Osbourne thinks that Donald Braswell's act is dated, because apparently no one sings opera in the aughts.  He takes the stage and sings "Music of the Night" from The Phantom of the Opera, and luckily he's more Michael Crawford than Gerard Butler.  I think he definitely has the talent to be a Broadway performer, so I don't know what Sharon is smoking.  She wants him to come back next week with more "zazzy personality" to sing something peppy.

Elvis impersonator Joseph Hall didn't blow my skirt up with his "Jailhouse Rock" performance, so this time he comes out in the famous white jumpsuit and belts out "Suspicious Minds."  If he had this level of singing ability and was posing as Fat Elvis he'd be off the show by now, but his attractiveness is blinding the voters.  Piers Morgan thinks he's the bee's knees, as do the other judges, so maybe they're all blinded by his looks.  I thought his performance was better than his last, but I'd still rather listen to Cartman sing "In the Ghetto."

The last time the Taubl Family appeared on the show they defecated all over Rihanna's "Umbrella."  This time they're tunelessly singing "When You Believe" from The Prince of Egypt, and somehow this performance is even worse than their last.  It's off-key, out of sync and all over the place, kind of like watching a junior high school choir if all the 12-year-olds came to class drunk.  Sharon and the Hoff love them, but Piers came to work with his sanity cap on and has the smarts to criticize them.

Sarah Lenore blew us all away with her Dixie Chicks song last time, and now she's back to sing something I'm much more familiar with, which is "Bleeding Love" by Leona Lewis.  Let's just say she's definitely no Leona Lewis, which is disappointing.  This show needs more performers who are consistently amazing week to week.  Piers tells her that her performance was passable but not brilliant, and thinks she should go back to country music next time.

Nuttin But Stringz takes the stage with their crazy violin act, and this time they have a fog machine and dancers that look like they came out of the "Thriller" video.  These guys are undeniably talented, but I still don't see how an entire Vegas show can be built around their act.  David Hasselhoff sums up their performance in four simple words: "Nuttin But The Finals!"  The other judges are equally impressed, if a little more verbose.

If Kaitlyn Maher makes it through to the top 10 the entirety of America owes me a letter of explanation.  Or at least a few comments explaining yourselves, which you can leave below.  "She's cute" isn't good enough, so give me more than that.  Anyway, Kaitlyn comes out and sings "Beauty and the Beast," and though she can barely speak intelligibly only Piers dares to criticize her.  At least someone finally did.

Tapping Dads come out and tap their way through "Sing Sing Sing," which is an awesome old-timey swing number that I used to dance to in my room when I was about 13.  It was right after Swing Kids came out, and that Robert Sean Leonard/Christian Bale movie was my teenage obsession.  That's more than enough about my nerdy teenage self.  The judges think Tapping Dads have improved a lot, even if they're not the tightest dance crew in the world.

I couldn't decide if I liked Eli Mattson last time around, so he's back to help me make up my mind one way or another.  He sits at the piano and sings Alicia Keys' "If I Ain't Got You," and he's pretty damn amazing.  I must have been lulled into a coma from the string of poor performances last time he appeared, because I'm suddenly hopping aboard the Eli Express.  Hell, I'll be the conductor.  It's nice to see someone with genuine talent on this show.

In case it slipped your mind, Jonathan Burkin gets made fun of at school for twirling flaming batons in his spare time.  The jokes really do write themselves, so I can see why the bullies can't resist.  Jonathan takes the stage and he is flaaaaming, or at least his batons are.  He once again uses Elton John music as his accompaniment, so make of that what you will.  This time it's "Pinball Wizard" from Tommy, and there are even a few pinball machines on stage.  I love the song and I love flaming sticks, so the performance works for me.  How do you think he does it?  I don't know.  What makes him so good?

Well, this episode more than made up for last night's train wreck.  Remember, the top 10 acts will be unveiled on a special America's Got Talent episode, which airs Thursday at 8:30pm.  At least it's only a half an hour, so at least the producers have a little bit of restraint.


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

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