Love was in the air during the second installment of auditions on America's Got Talent
this week, and I'll admit I teared up more times during this episode than I probably ever have during a talent-related reality show (and it pains me to admit this).
Many of the quality acts we were treated to in San Antonio and New Orleans really tugged the heartstrings, and others were chock-full of danger. But which one has the best chance of sticking around until the end? It started out with no clear favorite, but after taking stock of the advancing acts, I settled on two. So yes, we have co-acts to watch.
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What made it so difficult to narrow down the choices was that most of the acts have a fatal flaw that is likely to curtail their respective longevity, no matter the likelihood of the person or persons having a professional career in whatever they do.
For example, there's only so many times we can watch a circus performer-type climb a pole and do stuff high in the air, or grimace in horror as a sword swallower swallows swords (the twisting of them was a horrific, well, twist). How do they possibly keep it fresh?
And there's such a thing as too much prep time. By the time Alexandra the Great actually made it out of the pool, I was bored from sitting around for five-plus minutes, sandwiched around commercial breaks!
I have a fundamental issue with escape artists as it is, because I find there's little payoff at the end. Either they escape or they die. And it's horrible to say, but you only watch in hopes of seeing the latter.
The acrobatic couple had awesome tricks but lacked showmanship, a Mariachi band will never win no matter how gimmicky it gets and I'm sorry to have to be the one to break this to you, PAIRED CHILD DANCERS ARE CREEPY NO MATTER HOW GOOD THEY ARE. What, with the tiny outfits and the facial expressions, oh God, the facial expressions. No thanks.
The first two acts that made me tear up, the black opera singer who proposed to his girlfriend and the 16-year-old magician who really, really wanted it, were touching for those two reasons and those two reasons alone.
But the singer is like last season's goth opera guy. He doesn't have the training to be consistent week after week, and he'll falter somewhere down the line, most likely in Las Vegas. And the magician needs a bit more flair, which he will likely develop with time. But he's not there yet.
I was intrigued by the ventriloquist, an art form that has proven success on AGT. The fact that chick can sing so beautifully and clearly without moving her lips is astounding. But I couldn't understand a word the puppets said when she wasn't singing, and she needs to work on the banter around the singing.
That brings me to my ones to watch, and I must admit I dislike the fact that they are both singers, especially after my one to watch in the premiere was the old country music singer. It's a talent show, after all. But with their backstories and very different voices, there's no denying these two guys could go quite far.
This guy ... this poor sweet guy. His parents kick him out of the house on his 18th birthday for being gay, and he has the confidence and self-assuredness to get up on stage and sing like a damn angel? Amazing. I literally had tears streaming down my cheeks when he was done.
I generally find non-professional opera singers to be most likely to crack under pressure as the show moves forward, but Jonathan was more polished than others have been in the past and didn't falter on a single note. He's the type of singer where you question whether or not you're listening to a pre-recorded track.
Then there's Paul Thomas Mitchell, or Tommy Mitchell, as he's apparently going by now. Win or lose, he's got American Idol written all over him. Or probably just if he loses, I guess.
He sang an original song about his alcoholic dad, who changed his life around after his alcoholic, drug-addicted mom walked out on the family. So he's basically the people Ed Sheeran is singing about in "The A-Team," which is ironic because that's what the AGT people played before he performed, he sounds just like the dude and they both live in Tennessee. Maybe Paul IS Ed Sheeran. Either way, he could have a record right now. Keep your eye on him.