Howard Stern is killing me.
How can the America's Got Talent
judge who easily gives the most honest, direct and correct
feedback during the performances keep screwing up the decision part of the show? For the second straight week, my predictions were only half right, in no small part due to the self-proclaimed America's Judge.
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First, the guy who has been desperate for a quality band passes up a group of Marines with a great backstory and a rocking sound in favor of a 12-year-old girl who got swallowed up by the huge Radio City Music Hall stage.
Then he helps put through an impressionist with zero material over the rap duo that brought the house down? Look, I'm not trying to say Tone the Chiefrocca is going anywhere with B-Double-O-T-Y. He got as close to one-hit wonder status as I imagine he'll ever get, which is fine, because that was his goal.
But Howard Stern picked Angela Hoover based on what she could be? Right after he railed against voters for picking Marty Brown, who bombed but clearly has more ability than Angela? Is it America's Got Talent, Howard? Or America's Got Potential? You can't have it both ways.
For my tastes, I'd have much rather seen Tone offer another fun performance than watch Angela say nothing funny in a famous person's voice. I'd also rather listen to a mature southern rock band than an overwhelmed child, but I don't get to make those decisions. Although, I guess I could vote...
Mitsi School of Dancing: It's a bunch of cute girls who do Chinese folk dancing, and they're mostly notable for their choreographed hand movements. They're talented, but I think Innovative Force set the standard for this type of large-scale group dancing. I think they'd need a weak field to advance.
Kenichi Ebina: He wowed us in his audition with his unique dance moves, particularly with his Matrix impersonation and when he made it appear his head wasn't attached. Plus, he started out as a guy you had zero expectation of being good. If he keeps it fresh and innovative, he could move on. But it's tough for a one-man dance act to stand out on such a large stage.
Chicago Boyz: This group of acrobats jumped rope with a child (as the rope), and I thought they won their audition show. I guess their chances depend on what they do with the kid this time, and provided no on steps on him.
David "The Cobra Kid" Weathers: I wasn't that impressed with his audition, where he had a rattler bite the balloon he was holding in his mouth. In all honesty, I didn't even realize he got through to Las Vegas until I saw him in the quarterfinals. I don't know what he's got up his sleeve this time (presumably another snake), but he's not on my list of favorites at this point.
Aerosphere Aerial Balloon Show: This was just a chick flying through the air on a balloon, doing flips and throwing glitter on the audience. It didn't seem all that impressive to me, yet the judges appeared wowed. So I don't really know what to expect. But I hate glitter.
The American Military Spouse Choir: Good story and a couple really good voices, but they only featured two or three singers and everyone else was just background. The majority of the women just stood on risers like they were a high school choir and swayed back and forth. They need to up the ante to have a shot.
Brandon and Savannah: With American Hitmen out, I guess this is Howard's last chance for a rocking band in the semifinals. I've enjoyed both their performances so far, and they have added appeal since they're just kids. I expect them to advance.
Deanna DellaCioppa: Not a fan. I thought she was straining her voice during both performances, and she needs to learn that screaming, by default, does not equal power. She needs to exhibit some control.
Jonathan Allen: So we had two gay-with-unaccepting-parents opera singers this year. The other one made amends with his mom and dad and sailed through with a song above his head. This kid was kicked out of his house on his 18th birthday and hasn't spoken to his parents in two years. And he's better. Check.
Kelsey and Bailey: I don't care how much America loves dogs. There's no way a girl and her dog doing tricks is going to advance very far when the act that won last season was a whole bunch of dogs doing a whole bunch of better tricks.
Illusionist Leon Ettiene and Romy Low: Their floating woman magic act in Vegas was one of the better performances, though I still feel like the trick isn't all that complicated for those in the know. So they could use some more showmanship. They're also the team that threw another magic act under the bus over a slip-up when Howard asked if there was anyone he should send home. I'm sure they'll touch on that in the intro, and I'm not sure how that type of move will sit with voters.
To be honest, Jonathan Allen and Brandon & Savannah are really the only acts I'm looking forward to seeing again, and I expect they'll do well. The Chicago Boyz were also one of my "one acts to watch," and if I had to pick a fourth, it'd probably be the illusionists or Kenichi. But as always, that will all change with the performances. Which four acts do you expect will shine?
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