After the cry-fest that was America's Got Talent
last week, the Chicago auditions treated us to a much less emotional yet still extremely talented group of acts. In fact, with the episode being only an hour long (many thanks to The Voice
!), we didn't have to sit through a single rejected performance. Eight acts up, eight acts through. No filler, no mess.
But which act is the one to watch as the live shows approach? That is both easy and extraordinarily difficult to guess. The one thing I'm happy about is that after three singers, this week's one to watch is anything but.AGT Recap: Military Wives, Amazing Feats and a Rube Goldberg Machine in Chicago >>>
Don't get me wrong, the held-back-by-her-weight singer was great (I thought people might be offended if I called her the fat chick singer, but really, wasn't that the point of her story?), but her huge voice wasn't meant for that kind of consistent power. She'll crack.
And the military wives choir was the inspiring teary-eyed moment of the episode, but there's just too much going on there to have nothing really going on. There's, like, 100 of them, and then only four or five do the real singing, while no one moves any body part but her vocal cords? C'mon, dance or something. For America.
Next, there's only so many times you can watch someone tear a phone book in half. That number is, like, 100, but what happens after that?
The karate kids were fun to watch, particularly that three board-breaking triple kick, but they just won't match up against the cream of the crop.
And that tiny adorable cheerleader girl who was getting tossed around like a rag doll fits into my previously mentioned extremely-talented-but-way-too-young-to-not-be-creepy supergroup, along with all the kids from the Miami dance troupe whose parents keep bringing back to try and live vicariously through.
Now here is where it gets interesting. First up for consideration is The Amazing Red Panda, who kicks upwards of four stacked bowls onto her head while riding a unicycle that is way too tall.
She honestly might be the pick, if not for the fact that she is destined to drop a bowl along the way. If she can not only keep it fresh, but also make it through the entire competition without dropping anything, she might win it all. But the stats are just not in her favor. Doesn't make it any less impressive, though.
My gut reaction (but still not my choice) for the Chicago act to watch is Kenichi Ebina, the dance-ish performer with moves I've never seen before. And not only does he pack the goods, he also tells a story with perfectly synced sound effects.
When he was first introduced, I legitimately thought he was going to be the one bad act we saw. I was even ready to fast forward through it, but decided to see how quickly it would go south. Instead, it was equal parts astounding and entertaining.
But no, I've decided to go with my heart and not my head on this one, even though he falls into roughly the same category as the unicycle lady. My one act to watch from the Chicago auditions is Sprice and his Rube Goldberg machine.AGT Texas/New Orleans Auditions: The One Act to Watch >>>
First of all, the fact that a guy with not a shred of personality can come up with the idea of combining his name (Steven Price) into a semi-brilliant and very suitable stage name is almost impressive enough. And he has some sort of team helping him out because he's introduced while talking to some girls also wearing Sprice T-shirts. Sure, they could be his (adopted?) sisters. But I prefer to think he has groupies. Let's call them ... The Sprice Girls.
Secondly, who doesn't love Rube Goldberg machines? How many people even knew they were called Rube Goldberg machines? How many people are reading this right now wondering what the heck Rube Goldberg machines are? Watch and enjoy, folks, and meet me on the other side!
I'm sure you're wondering the same thing I am. How geeky and awesome must the original Rube Goldberg have been to have these contraptions named after him? And how many times can I say Rube Goldberg in one article? Rube Goldberg!
Seriously, this type of trick is wildly captivating and has endless and ever-complex possibilities. All Sprice basically has to do is not screw up and his ticket is punched. But therein lies the problem. There are factors other than talent that can play into the success of his act, and one mistake means he's done.
There's nothing more anticlimactic than this type of thing when it doesn't pan out. It's like watching a guy in the NBA dunk contest finally pull on his trick on try number 37. (Looking at you, Nate Robinson. AI got robbed!) You only get one shot, or you go home. And when a slight shift in the air conditioning current of a huge auditorium can completely derail your act, well, the statistics are also not in your favor.
But still ... Rube Goldberg!
You can watch America's Got Talent every Tuesday at 9pm on NBC.