And the judges? Not you, too. Not like this.
50%. That's where I stand after the first America's Got Talent
quarterfinal show when it comes to predictions after both you and the panel of four judges blatantly screwed me over.
Branden James, I'll give you. I nearly had him in my top four, along with locks Collins Key and The KriStef Brothers. But Anna Christine -- over American Hitmen?
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Not only did she go first, but she wasn't even that good. And Howard Stern, how could you? The man who has been begging for a quality band for two seasons gets a chance to put one through to the semifinals and instead picks an 11-year-old girl who got swallowed up by the giant stage at Radio City Music Hall? Who lost her place and admitted her mistake to everyone? Who has almost zero chance of winning, and who has her whole life to improve? Over a group of Marines who returned home from war and formed a rock band to help their reintegration into society? For shame, Howard. For shame...
I guess I can take some solace in the fact that all four of my picks were in the top six, and I was a Stern SNAFU away from having three of four, but 50% ... 50! What am I, some sort of awesome baseball player? No, that would be too easy. I'm an average prognosticator. A coin flop, if you will, no more reliable than a groundhog.
I expect -- nay, DEMAND -- that I will do better with round two. Or maybe I'm taking this all a bit too seriously. Who knows? Here's a preview of the second group of 12 quarter-finalists set to perform tonight.
The Struck Boyz: These kid dancers should never have made it out of Las Vegas, and certainly not without having to perform a second time. There are few things worse than taking a group of cute kids and spiking their hair, dressing them in black beaters and camo pants and making them talk like Jersey Shore characters.
Brad Byers: He has swallowed swords and twisted them while we watched via X-ray, and he's inserted a hook through his nose and out his mouth and pulled a wagon with it. This type of act is always more disturbing than entertaining, and America rarely votes for the cringe-worthy.
Forte: These three tenors met online a couple weeks before the audition, then one bailed after they made it through to Vegas. So they picked up a new guy who was even better, and he almost overshadowed the two originals as the group sailed through to the live shows. They need to work on that parity, but they are still a favorite to move on to the semis.
Ciana Pelekai: This Hawaiian singer made it to Las Vegas when she was just eight years old in season 4, and now she's back at age 12 and better than ever. One of the favorites in the singing category -- it would be a travesty if Anna Christine is in the semis and Ciana is not. Her group is tougher, though, so we'll have to see how she does.
I'm not a fan of synchronized swimming in this competition, because it's an actual sport. It's in the Olympics. You'd never see someone get up on stage and jump hurdles. Unless there's some crazy new twist on it that we've never seen before, I think they're one and done.America's Got Talent Performance Rankings: Quarterfinals Part 1 >>>
Angela Hoover: She's a comedienne/celebrity impersonator who is pretty spot-on in her impressions, but her material is otherwise so-so. She could surprise with a great set, but I think she's a longshot.
Alexandr Magala: As far as sword-swallowing acrobats go, he might be the best. But I've never seen another one, which I'm sure helps him stand out. I wasn't too impressed with his audition, when he did break-dancing moves with a sword in his gullet. But he stepped it up in Las Vegas, pole-climbing with a swallowed sword. His final move was plummeting face-first toward the ground and then stopping himself just inches from the floor. A mistake surely would've killed him, and I buy that kind of danger.
Kid the Whiz: He dances while flipping a hat around, which is actually much more impressive than it sounds. But he dropped the cap in Vegas, and a mistake like that again means sure elimination.
Dave Shirley: He is a comedian who doesn't tell jokes, and he made use of a large video screen and a blowup doll during his audition. I'm not sure if that's his routine or if he'll do something different, but he remains a bit of a mystery headed into his live performance.
Innovative Force: They're a huge group of dancers/acrobats made up of about two dozen girls. They have a ton of talent, but it's a very busy routine with so many people.
Marty Brown: My first "one act to watch" to perform in the quarterfinals, he's a seasoned veteran of country music who never really saw much commercial success when his albums dropped in the early to mid 1990s. I would be shocked if he is eliminated.
Tone the Chiefrocca: "B-double-O-T-Y! That B-double-O-T-Y!" His only goal is to become a one-hit wonder, and hearing the song just one more time might accomplish that. I just hope one more time is all we have to hear it.
If I had to pick the four I think will advance, I'm going with Forte, Ciana Pelekai, Marty Brown and either Alexandr Magala or Dave Shirley. Which acts do you expect to stand out?
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Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 9pm on NBC.
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