America's Got Talent 3: Top 5 Performances Recap
America's Got Talent 3: Top 5 Performances Recap
We're finally down to the top five finalists on America's Got Talent, which means we no longer have to see four-year-olds butchering the greatest hits of the Jackson 5.  "I'll Be There" and "ABC" should be safe this week, unless Donald Braswell decides to do something crazy.  Tonight's episode features performances from all the remaining finalists, and afterwards it'll be up to America to decide who should win the competition.  Who deserves one million dollars and a show in Las Vegas?  Everyone knows I'm pulling for Eli Mattson, but I'll happily settle for anyone who's not a bombastic opera singer.

Tonight's episode of America's Got Talent should have been jam-packed with filler, but the episode is shorter than usual thanks to a speech from President Bush.  I never thought I'd be thankful for a speech from the president, but if it takes an intervention from the White House to get this show moving, I'm all for it.

Nuttin But Stringz are the first to take the stage tonight, and they're once again overly fond of the fog machine.  I expect an '80s music video to break out every time they're on stage.  Instead, a group of dancers with umbrellas descend to the floor as the violinists rock the crowd with another original composition.  Fog machine or no fog machine, Nuttin But Stringz know how to entertain an audience.  Piers Morgan thinks he's looking at the winners of the competition, and the hyperbolic Hoff screams, "Nuttin But Vegas!"  I think he used a similar phrase a few episodes ago, but we don't turn to Señor Hoffy for originality.

Oh no.  I've repeatedly instructed Donald Braswell to lay off the Josh Groban songs, but he refuses to listen to me.  He decides to recreate his performance of "You Raise Me Up," and while it's beautifully sung it's just so very boring.  I'm pretty sure Donald has the worst musical taste in America.  Sharon Osbourne describes the performance as "nice," which is similar to Paula Abdul telling a singer they're pretty.  It's the polite way of saying the performance was rather forgettable.  Sharon may be as bored as I am, but Piers and Knight Rider disagree.

Neal E. Boyd is up next, and Piers Morgan assures me that he's definitely not a ringer.  Check BuddyTV tomorrow for Piers' thoughts on that particular conspiracy theory.  He comes out and sings an opera song that I'm not cultured enough to know the name of, but he belts it wonderfully.  David Hasselhoff thinks he's destined for big things, and Piers and Sharon agree.  Neal just brought the house down, but is it enough to win the competition?

Eli Mattson is next to take the stage, and the big news is that he's not wearing a hat!  Is that a minor sartorial choice or a calculated strategy to woo more female fans?  He sings "Against All Odds" by Phil Collins, which is a song I'm not overly fond of, but Eli sells it thanks to his voice and the sweeping orchestral accompaniment.  Piers is a big fan of the way he interprets classic hits, while Sharon is obsessed with his youth and good looks.

The last person to perform tonight is Queen Emily, and the fact that she cries during her introductory segment makes me feel like I should vote for her.   What can I say, I'm easily swayed by emotional breakdowns.  The Queen sings "One Moment in Time" by Whitney Houston.  I have to applaud Emily for having the guts to tackle huge songs by big-voiced divas every week.  She belts it powerfully, but Piers thinks she'll struggle to get votes amidst the heavy competition.  Little Lord Hoffleroy tells her she looks more like a princess than a queen, and does so with a creepy gleam in his eye.  I think it's time for the Hoff to go home and lie down.

Believe it or not, that quickly moving 45-minute episode marks the end of America's Got Talent this week.  The exciting season finale airs next Wednesday at 9pm, so vote for your favorite now before it's too late!

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