The America's Got Talent
live season is officially under way, with a rather lackluster group kicking things off at Radio City Music Hall in New York City Tuesday night. But that's just fine for me, since none of my "one acts to watch" were among the first 12 quarter-finalists to perform. Just get to wait a little longer to be proven completely wrong, ya know?
The biggest surprise of the night had to be the KriStef Brothers, who ramped up the comedy portion of their strongman routine with hilarious and very uncomfortable results. Still, I think they were easily the best act in the show.
Conversely, Special Head has to be considered the biggest flop. Not that our expectations were necessarily sky-high, but the fact that he showed too much of his actual head and then supposedly teleported somewhere outside the building left a lot of people shaking their heads and wondering what the heck was going on.
So which four acts are likely moving on to the semifinals, and which eight are headed home?
I think some of the choices are pretty clear-cut. The KriStef Brothers and affable teen magician Collins Key are near-locks to advance, while Special Head, young singer Anna Christine, tot dancers Fresh Faces and escape artist Alexandria the Great are probably out.
That leaves six acts for just two spots, and here's where the debate begins.
I think comedian Kevin Downey, Jr. and adorable heavy metal death rockers Aaralyn and Izzy have no place in the next round. But Howard praised Downey's interesting persona and not-so-funny act, and he has the most fans and influence of any judge. Also, with no clear-cut favorites emerging for those final spots, the youngsters' 15 million-plus YouTube views could translate into a narrow victory.
That being said, I can't, in good conscience, predict either of them advancing. Which leaves the American Hitmen rock band, gay opera man Branden James, dance trio Hype and gimmicky TV dancers tellAvision.
I really like the guys from Hype, but their big-stage routine came up a bit short on story and climax and also wasted a great opportunity to make proper use of a water fountain.
And while Branden James is certainly talented enough to move on, he picked arguably the biggest and most well-known song imaginable for his genre and then didn't live up to the original. Plus, I think a lot of people realize he now has the acceptance of his parents, which is more important than a career as an opera star. Or is it? Do you think he'd trade his parents' love for a shot at stardom? It has to at least be a consideration, right?
Still, it might be time to focus on Jonathan Allen, who is more polished and whose parents haven't spoke to him in years, even after he proved he can sing like a damn angel.
Meanwhile, I think every military-loving Republican in the land will vote for the southern rock-blasting Hitmen, who sample the likes of Skynyrd, The Animals and Joe Cocker. Plus, the show hasn't seen a good rock band like this in awhile, if ever.
Finally, tellAvision improved greatly since their audition, shifting the focus from lackluster dancing to the innovative use of the televisions to tell a story. Along with shadow dancers Catapult, this is one of the few original acts to advance this far, and these types tend to do well early until they fizzle.
So I'm predicting that the KriStef Brothers, Collins Key, the American Hitmen and tellAvision will be our first four semifinalists, but I wouldn't be shocked if Hype or Branden James take the place of the latter two acts. Those are the choices if America gets it right.
So we should all expect to hear from Aaralyn and Izzy at least one more time...