America's Got Talent skids into high gear this week when the semifinal round kicks off. Throughout the quarterfinals, there have been shoo-ins to the next round, while there were acts that were given less than unanimous tickets by the judges.
The composition of this year's America's Got Talent top 20 is as varied as ever, with singers, dancers, a comedian and a dog act or two. How would you rank this year's semifinals batch? It's important to remember what the show is looking for: an act to headline in Vegas and sustain a 90-minute show. Much of the hype surrounding some acts is oblivious to this little detail, sadly. As for me, here are my rankings.
20. Tony Hoard and Rockin' Rory
A lot say it was a mistake to let them in the top 20 in the first place. Seriously, how many ways can a dog catch a disc? Scratch that. How many amusing ways can a dog catch a disc?
19. Texas Tenors
Overrated singers who are probably the least talented in this batch's enormous pool of singers.
18. EriAm Sisters
The next Destiny's Child? I don't think so.
17. The Voices of Glory
I can't remember anything from them except a very talented child singer who out-sang her older siblings.
16. Arcadian Broad
Billy Elliott, yes, but will he be able to headline in Vegas doing the same thing every night? There's no question about the talent, but I think he's better suited to perform in other venues.
15. Jeffery Ou
One of the wonders of America's Got Talent
judging. A dancer tripped over his piano's microphone cord early in his performance so no soul was able to hear the rest of his performance. Miraculously, the judges still gave comments and he made it through.
14. Erik & Rickie
The ballroom dancing kids are surely entertaining, although I'm still not completely sold on kids performing on Sin City. Give them a few more years and they may be set on Dancing with the Stars
13. Lawrence Beamen
The talented soul and bass singer sang You Are So Beautiful and made the cut. Some people say smooth and soothing, some say it made them sleep. You be the judge.
12. Drew Stevyns
This guy isn't the best singer in the competition, that much is almost a given already. However, for some reason, he was entertaining, partly because of the song he chose last week and partly because he was really - intense.
11. Fab Five
The moms were awesome! Their performance in the quarterfinals proved that they can do more with their clogging routine, and they can keep it fresh and interesting.
As far as dance acts are concerned, I think FootworKINGz are technically one of the finest. With an added storyline to their act, their speed and accuracy can be very entertaining.
9. Hairo Torres
The guy may be entertaining and hilarious, but can he sustain a Vegas act by doing his contortions and dance moves? He probably can if he decides to learn new things and do mor exciting stuff. The body, after all, is an amazing tool.
These guys have proven that it will take a long time for them to run out of tricks, and they can surprise everyone with showing new stuff. The only problem Acrodunk has is the intense competition they have to face.
7. Paradizo Dance
Paradizo Dance is one of the acts on America's Got Talent
that is closest to a Vegas one. They showed some pretty astonishing things during their semifinals bid. However, the question remains: can they do more?
6. Recycled Percussion
There is something very fierce with Recycled Percussion (and not in the Tyra Banks kind of way). From something simple and effective, they innovated and made their routine fresh and exciting. If they can up the ante for each and every Vegas show, they will be huge.
5. Kevin Skinner
Sure, Kevin Skinner was one of the most highly anticipated acts on America's Got Talent
. Even his fans know that the former chicken catcher is by far not the most talented singer on the show, but he has something intangible - good ole Southern charm.
4. Drew Thomas Magic
Magic. Vegas. The two are a match made in heaven. We've seen how astounding the tricks of Drew Thomas Magic can be. If he can promise to bring more, I bet a lot of people will be willing to pay good money to see him perform.
3. Grandma Lee
Two words: funny, new. I'm not sure if there had been any funny grandma acts on Vegas, but with Grandma Lee, it sure sounds like a good idea. If only she can pull away from the naughty grandma jokes. Maybe work the crowd and the judges? Oh wait, she has done that.
2. Mario & Jenny
These two are so endearing. They look like they are willing to do whatever it takes to entertain fans. Yet beyond all entertainment value, they're just so sweet.
1. Barbara Padilla
The odds are against Padilla: (1) an opera singer last season, (2) a bunch of great singers on the show. However, I still think it's a toss-up between her and about four or five acts to win this season of America's Got Talent
. She is just amazing, and her singing comes at a force.
How would you rank this year's top 20?
- Glenn Diaz, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of NBC)