Originally aired on Tuesday, 06/12/2007
Episode Rating: ** (2 stars out of 5)
Episode Overview: Two more hours of the talented, the weird and the merely mediocre on the third episode of America's Got Talent.
After a brief delay as the Hoff gets his coif coiffed, it’s time for Week Three of America’s Got Talent auditions, if you think you can stand it.
First up is Johnny Lonestar, who is a cowboy act. A cowboy act in incongruously tight trousers. He does quite a bit of lasso work, but while it is impressive, it seems a little one note. The judges, however, are apparently in a giving mood for the beginning of the evening, so despite Piers Morgan’s dislike of the act, Johnny is going to Vegas.
Next up is Cinda, a singer who gives a bit of her life story, the difficulties she has had as a mother of two trying to be a songwriter, how she had almost given up on her dreams. She sings an acapella version of the Dreamgirls’ song “One Night Only.” She does a fine job, but the unfortunate side effect of a show like American Idol is that the talented-but-undiscovered vocalist no longer wows us as she might have ten or fifteen years ago. She, too, is heading through to Vegas.
We go from a clearly talented individual to someone who is displaying something that stretches the definition of what a “talent” can be. A young woman is able to speak somewhat articulately with her mouth completely shut. The act loses some of whatever infinitesimal appeal it had when the judges can still barely understand her. She is not going to Vegas.
We are spared, thankfully, full footage of some of the more kooky contestants, like the escape artist who frees himself from handcuffs and ankle chains while spinning in a washing machine, or the gentleman who performs as half-Sonny, half-Cher.
The next remotely tolerable act is an animal one – a man and a woman who work with cats (shelter cats no less) to perform tricks. Any owner of cats will be impressed by this, but is it worth a trip to Vegas as opposed to, say, a popular YouTube video? The judges think yes, and so they are on their way.
Next is Lil C whose gender seems somewhat ambiguous to this recapper initially, but eventually it is determined he is a boy. He is a foster kid, and has a sad-upbringing-story, which, of course, is of Human Interest, one supposes. But the show is called America’s Got Talent, not “America’s Got Marginal Talent that Seems Much Better When You Know My Sob Story” so these little personal histories seem somewhat superfluous. He’s eleven years old, and dances and raps. He should, however, just stick to the dancing, as he does well enough with that. The tween-rapper-acting-thug thing is wildly unappealing and the judges tell him so. His dancing is strong enough, though, to get him to Vegas.
And now a series of three of the least entertaining drag queens in America. Seriously, this is the best they can find? If there is any single demographic slice that should be able to be able to get a higher success rate, one would think it would be the drag queens.
Finally, one man dressed as a woman has some success. Key distinction – while he is a man in drag, he’s not exactly a drag queen. He is more playing a character, a sassy large-bosomed older woman ala “Madea.” He’s got some jokes, but it’s really more of a character than a successful ninety-second comedian act. Nevertheless, he is winning enough of a character to make it to Vegas.
The next performer is a magic act, with his sister as an assistant. He eats some fire at the beginning, makes his sister disappear, then makes her reappear along with a second surprise assistant. It’s a solid magic act, and the judges appreciate the old school entertainment value of fire and magic. He’s onto Vegas.
Now we have a sort of male belly dancer. It’s almost entertaining but not quite enough. He explains to the judges that male belly dancers focus more on the upper body, hence his pec jiggling, etc. He fights valiantly for a shot, throwing out a rap, beatboxing while dancing to his own rhythm…even Jerry Springer tries to help out by randomly running out onstage with his shirt off…but it’s for naught: no Vegas for him.
A band of fifteen-year-olds called Johnny-Come-Lately play a solid version of “Hound Dog.” It’s not the best thing you’ve ever heard, but it is still a great start for a bunch of early teens. They are onto Vegas.
Two unsuccessful acts in a row next: a valley girl rapper, who takes offense to the audience’s jeers and respond with a moon. She is followed by a pair of male twins who play violins and sing. They also seem stunned that they are not greeted with enthusiasm by the crowd, which makes one wonder if they have just been transported via time machine from the early 1900’s or are otherwise unaware of the current pop culture.
After a montage of more failures, we have a surprising success: Disco Granny! She is seventy-five years old, and comes out in a glittery dress to sing (not well) a disco song. She gets through to Vegas, primarily on pity and grandma guilt, one supposes.
Another comic now takes the stage. Her name is Cocoa Brown, and she does a rapid-fire stand-up act. Piers admits he didn’t understand half of what she said, but likes her anyway. So do the other judges – she’s going to Vegas.
Two very physical acts are next. First, an extreme pogo-sticker. He gets two X’s prior to a very impressive couple of flips that do earn him back the respect of the judges. However, they all think this is more of a sport than an entertainment and he’s sent packing.
After him, a Chinese acrobat act: a very beautiful woman doing acrobatics while spinning plates. She does well, even though Piers tries to throw her off with a buzz at a crucial moment. She cries afterwards from nerves, and Hoff gives her a hug. She’s going to Vegas.
Another singer is up next; a young guy named Manuel who sings “My Cherie Amore.” Much like the other singer, it’s solid, but not exciting. Sharon criticizes his mike technique, but everyone wants to give him a shot, so he is going to Vegas.
He is followed by another singer, Hannah, from Scandinavia, who moved here in 1988 to become a singer and is just now getting around to it. Fortunately for the world, we have not been missing anything for the past two decades: she is not good. She walks off stage mid-judging when it’s clear she’s getting bad feedback.
A very acrobatic break-dancing guy is up next. It’s impressive, but a little dull, possibly because of time limitations. Although Piers once again thinks it might be more of a sport, he gets a shot to diversify his act when he goes to the next round in Vegas.
The last act of the evening is a large fellow who is a music teacher and singer. He hasn’t sung since his grandmother passed. He does have a strong voice and although he gets thrown off by being buzzed, he pulls it off. Hoff likes it, Piers doesn’t, and Sharon is torn: she thinks he’s talented but finds his style of singing boring. After a long tease, she says yes: he’s on his way.
Well, we all made it through the full two hours. Rest up and head back here next week to debrief on the next episode!
- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of NBC)