Michael Phelps is old news.  The guy may have won eight gold medals and broken all kinds of records during the Olympics, but his accomplishments seem unimpressive now that America’s Got Talent is back.  Sure, Phelps has abs of steel and a face like butter, but how can he compare to the cheerleading squad known as the Dallas Desperados Dancers?  Or famed sideshow performer George the Giant?  The AGT top 40 truly showcases the most amazing talent America has to offer.

With that sarcasm out of the way, let’s move on to tonight’s big return of America’s Got Talent, which features performances from 10 of the top 40 acts.

I think the announcer for tonight’s episode drank too much caffeine.  He’s practically screaming at me as he reminds me that 10 acts will be performing tonight “FOR YOUR VOTES!!!!!!”  At least someone besides Jerry Springer is excited for this show to be back.

After about seven minutes of filler, the clog dancing group known as Extreme Dance FX takes the stage for the first performance of the evening.  They basically do an America’s Best Dance Crew performance with clogs on, which is fairly impressive.  They also get bonus points for spelling “extreme” correctly, which no one bothers to do anymore.  That word does not start with an X people!  After they’re done busting their booties to Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It,” Piers Morgan tells them that they need to make it faster and tighter next time.  Aside from that they get raves.

David Hasselhoff claims that The James Gang is so impressive because he’s never seen anyone mix hip-hop with the music of the 1920s.  Wasn’t that the entire plot of Idlewild?  Not that anyone saw that movie, but still.  Springer promises me that The James Gang will blow my mind, but my brain remains intact after their lackluster performance.  My brain can easily handle magic tricks involving pigeons and a cane that shoots glitter, which are the distracting highlights of their act.  Sharon Osbourne thinks they crammed too much in, and I definitely agree.

Boy Britney, aka Derrick Barry, is up next.  He disappointed me last time by leaving the immortal line, “It’s Britney, bitch” out of his “Gimme More” performance.  That’s like leaving the bread out of a ham sandwich! However, he totally redeems himself tonight by reenacting the “Baby One More Time” video with tons of backup dancers.  It is a glory to behold, but Piers is unimpressed.  “I don’t think grown men should be wearing schoolgirl outfits,” he says.  He’s going to get jumped by a gang of drag queens after the show.  Hasselhoff states that the performance made him question his sexuality.  So that’s. . .good?

Alex “Elite” Pyles is the 10-year-old who put on a creepy performance in the audition rounds where she pretended to kick her dad’s ass.  Tonight she’s dressed as a pirate and beating up people who look like extras from Pirates of the Caribbean.  It’s very elaborately staged and involves plenty of flips and a battle cry, but I still find it unsettling to see grown men trying to attack a little girl.  I’m disturbed, but the judges love her.  Maybe I’m too sensitive.

Ronny B. doesn’t appear to have any talent, yet somehow he made it into the top 40 anyway.  He comes out and performs “She Bangs,” and the only nice thing I can say about it is that it’s better than William Hung’s version.  Piers says that he’ll leave the country if Ronny wins the competition, Sharon calls him an “absurd little man,” and the Hoff compares him to a singing ant.  Believe it or not, these are all compliments.

The Cadence is back to wow us with their rocked out Blue Man Group routine.  They slam out the notes to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” on about a thousand different drums and a few giant blocks of ice.  It’s an energetic and fun performance, and Piers is happy that they added backing music like the judges advised them to.  Sharon and the Hoff want them to be more animalistic and wild next time around.

Jessica Price sang “I Can’t Make You Love Me” during the audition round, and she comes packaged with a sob story about reconnecting with her father after appearing on the show.  She takes the stage and does an acoustic, slightly country-fied version of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time,” which is actually quite good.  I normally can’t stand anything with even a hint of country twang to it, but Jessica won me over.  The judges adore her and remind her to have more confidence in herself.

I swear that Jerry Springer just said that “three more missable acts” are coming up next.  Maybe he’s starting to lose his enthusiasm tonight.

Shimshi may sound like the name of a cartoon character, but he’s actually a real live magician.  He comes out on stage, yanks a volunteer out of the audience, and does a wacky card trick that involves flipping and kicking a specific card in mid-air.  Piers tells him that a card trick isn’t good enough for the America’s Got Talent semi-finals, and the Hoff agrees.  AGT requires ridiculous theatrics, I guess.

There are only two acts remaining and 30 minutes to go, which means we’re about to experience more filler than anyone could possibly imagine.  The DC Cowboys take the stage to do their Chippendale’s routine to the blaring sounds of “Footloose,” and the lame part is that it’s a Chippendale’s act that doesn’t even involve any stripping.  Yes, they rip their shirts open at the end, but that doesn’t make up for their shoddy dance moves.  Sharon thinks they have “great bums,” but Piers basically tells them to take their Brokeback Mountain: The Musical routine elsewhere.

Neil E. Boyd obviously wants to be the next Paul Potts, who won Britain’s Got Talent by belting out opera.  He takes the stage and sings “Somewhere” from West Side Story, which Michael Smith sang just a couple episodes ago.  Piers says that “only in America” could a man go from selling insurance to singing opera, even though Paul Potts kind of did the same thing.  The only difference is that he managed a mobile phone store, which may be even more boring than selling insurance.  The judges fawn all over Neil while Springer screams, “This is the best show in the world!”  I kindly disagree, Jerry.

Just in time for me to apply for Social Security, America’s Got Talent finally comes to an end.  Before wrapping up, Springer reveals the final act in the top 40, which America voted for after Russian Bar Trio dropped out of the competition.  The last spot in the top 40 belongs to. . .singer Donald Braswell.  Stay away from the Josh Groban songs, Donald.

America’s Got Talent returns tomorrow night for another two-hour episode featuring 10 more performances.  Be sure to tune in, but if you can’t handle the torture at least swing by to read my recap!

– Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of NBC)


Staff Writer, BuddyTV