America's Got Talent blessed us with a wacky bonus 'Show Stopping Sunday'. It was definitely show-stopping, but I don't think we saw the next million dollar act hidden in last night's crop. Unless ... wait, I'll get to that in a moment.
There were a few stand-out acts and two attempts at breaking world records (one succeeded, one failed but was good entertainment anyway), but mostly we saw contortionists, bug lovers, psychics and child choirs. The choir called One Voice was particularly good, but I must be tone deaf because the judges said they were off key through most of their performance. One of their two lead vocalists could have performed all on her own and given another soloist, vocalist Mara Justine, a run for her money. Truly. Do you hear that, parents of the red-headed soloist? Get that little gal an agent.
America's Got Talent last night gave us a pair of female psychics who got booed off the stage and another who channeled his 'spirit guide' to shatter a beer pitcher held by Heidi. I suspect the whole spirit guide thing is just a gimmick to sell his magic performance. That guy got passed along. There was a freakishly strong man who suspended his stunningly beautiful wife in the air to twist and rotate inside two moving metal circles. They were talented, but not a million dollars worth.
Dancers, Roller-bladers & Magic Mike Men
There was a troupe of dancers in halter tops and another in powdered white dance garb. A garishly lacquered Juan Carlos shimmied and shook his grove thing in an ankle to throat red hot candy outfit and some sparkly roller blades. Rock Hard Crew, a Magic Mike dance troupe who gave Heidi Klum's and Mel B's temperature rise was good entertainment. Now, I enjoy rock hard pecs and the shifting of biceps under healthy male skin as much as the next gal, but you gotta do more than shake your booty and hop over each other to make it to the final round. Regardless, thanks for the ... just ... thanks!
As pointed out by my esteemed colleague Bill in his recap of last night's event
, there were a number of decent acts, but I keep wondering when we are going to see something that's truly unique? We've had some death-defying acts - but nothing you can't already see at a reply good circus or Cirque Du Soleil. Contortionists freak me out. They probably have their place in the circus as well, but how far can you take that?
It's A Hard-Buzz Night for Some
Howard Stern was the bold buzzer banger last night and I have to say I was with him all the way. He catapulted several acts from the show and cajoled Mel B into letting the child choir One Voice advance for another shot at the million bucks prize. I don't know about you, folks, but I'm finding myself more and more aligned with Howard on a lot of these acts he dumps. I still question the act he used his golden buzzer opportunity to advance to the next level. Remember it? It was that crazy karate comedian. Scary.
What Does a Million Dollar Act Look Like and Have We Seen One?
Magicians and vocalists have unique presentations and have seemed to be the best of the lot this season. No one voice is like another. They can be similar, but no two are the same. Final act Frank Dmitri did a wonderful job of impersonating Frank Sinatra, but still, his was not a novel performance. Magicians, if they are really good they astound us like nothing else can especially when the props are minimal and there is seemingly no way they could possibly do what they've done right there in front of our eyes. We're looking for something that's really off the chains, something that really crushes it know what I mean?
Stage presence is a huge factor as well. We've had some fantastic backstories that have elicited belly laughs and empathetic tears. Raise your hand if you are guilty of voting for an act whose quality wasn't as good as others, but whose story moved you like witnessing the birth of a new born baby. I have to admit I have been captivated myself this season. However, from here on out I'm pulling out the stops. Everything from here on out is going to be hard core in this column.
Only Two Real Contenders
All that being said, I have only two true contenders from the crop of talent we saw on night five. The first is Dariel and Emil, the team of who make up Cellos That Rock. They were fantastic and truly entertaining. These boys have mad skills. However ... wait for it ... wait for it ... they are almost exactly like another act that's been zooming around the internet: young Croatian cellists Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, together known as 2Cellos. Cellos That Rock is good, but are they better than 2Cellos? Regardless, I give them a goose bump score of at least an 8.5.
Finally, eleven year old Mara Justine who has the pipes to bring the house down. Not only was she tiny and humble to beat all, she had wonderful stage presence. Now, if you paid attention above you'll remember that I mentioned one glorious singer from the child choir One Voice. If that little gal reentered the show this round, she could give Mara Justine some decent competition. Now, I do not favor child acts. I just think kids deserve the chance to be kids. Youth is a once in a lifetime experience and there is nothing else like it in this world. Having said that, I can't help but be reminded of a young gal names Leann Rimes.
You can watch America's Got Talent every Tuesday at 8pm on NBC.
Who is your one act to follow from Show-stopping Sunday?
(Images and video courtesy of NBC)