It was the final day of auditions in New York on America's Got Talent and it's clear that the judges have a very different idea about what kind of acts would make it in Vegas. Bad singers and boring balancing acts made it into the next round when in reality there was only one shining star.
The standout moment of the night belonged to Alice Tan Ridley. She came on stage looking a bit road weary and then she announced that she makes her "living" singing in the subway, so I was worried. Then she opened her mouth and out came the most amazing powerful, warm, exciting note. The tune was "At Last," and she not only did it well, she filled that performance with humor, charm and panache. I'm not big on singers in this competition, but I think we'll be seeing her right up to the end.
The other good performers of the night were excellent at what they do, but I wasn't wowed by their stage presence or performance. For example, Eric Koloski. He's a personable young guy who does yo-yo tricks. Nice, but there's no way he'll be able to command the stage in Vegas. Same for Anna and Patrick, a young ballroom duo. They should have given them a ticket to Dancing with the Stars, not Vegas.
Early on in the show we met Rudi Macaggi, a guy who can stand on his head, on a basketball, on a precarious set up of glass objects. Cool, but not cool enough to go through. The judges put him through anyway. But wait, according to his bio online, he's already won a prize on the first season of America's Got Talent. So he gets to come back? That sounds wrong to me.
The judges also liked the Spangles Dance Company, a random group of girls who look like they escaped from a Jane Fonda workout video. Why encourage them? They're not going to win.
Yikes. First we get Mary Ellen. She looks like Bette Davis from What Ever Happened to Baby Jane and her act was scarier than the movie. Ironically, or appropriately, she sang "Crazy," and it was. She said she could play the keyboard but mostly she just banged around on the keys and changed the tempo. Then suddenly she started to yodel and she was pretty good, as yodelers go. Howie and Sharon put her through. Why?
And why not put through Just the Two of Us? They were just as bad. This pair came armed with a flute and a lute, unfortunately she chose to sing instead of play and she was awful. They might have made it had they chose to play a lovely piece of renaissance music but they didn't so it was bye bye.
After putting through two marginal to awful acts, I was very surprised when they pulled the plug on ten-year old Nina Morales. This girl had stage presence, charisma and a good voice for a kid her age. She worked with a group of backup dancers that looked like relatives and I liked them. It makes no sense that she was sent away when the yodeler made it through. If they do wild card picks this year, this girl would be my choice.
What did you think of the acts from New York? Did was see the one who will take home the prize money? I don't think so.
(Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)