Last week on America’s Got Talent, we watched for four excruciatingly long hours as 20 members of the top 40 attempted to entertain us. Some of the acts were horrendous, such as George the Giant, who pretended to be a piñata, let children beat him with baseball bats, then appeared shocked when the judges booed him. Other acts were just strange, such as the group of seven-foot-tall inflatable animals known as the ZOOperstars. Amidst all the insufferable pseudo-talents that made me long for the sweet release of death, there were a few performers actually worthy of praise. I won’t be forgetting Jessica Price’s touching rendition of “Time After Time” anytime soon.
On tonight’s episode of America’s Got Talent, 10 more acts take the stage and attempt to win over the Hoff and his British comrades.
Before we can move on to tonight’s so-called talents, we have to discover which acts from last Wednesday’s show are worthy of making it to the top 20. Just like last time, four acts will go through based on America’s votes, one will be the judges’ pick, and the remaining five will head home. The acts that America voted for are Sinatra impersonator Paul Salos, creepy child warblers The Wright Kids, patriotic crooner Daniel Jens, and the one and only Queen Emily. The judges pick the ZOOperstars because the Hoff and Sharon Osbourne are on crack. That means that Slippery Kittens, Jonathan Arons, George the Giant, Kazual, and Beyond Belief Dance Company have to take their so-so acts elsewhere.
The Texas State Strutters look the same, think the same and dance the same. They come out and do a fairly lackluster routine to yet another disco medley featuring “Boogie Wonderland,” because apparently that’s one of the only disco songs America’s Got Talent can afford. Their performance is reminiscent of the end of Bring It On, but it’s acted out by a bunch of 25-year-old pageant queens doped up on Ambien instead of cheerleaders. The judges loathe them and demand that America feel the same.
Michael Strelo-Smith is a plus-sized crooner, which is a niche that’s more than filled in this year’s top 40. He comes out and sings some peppy showtune that earns him a buzz from both Sharon and Piers Morgan. Piers thinks that his performance was too karaoke, Sharon thinks he has too much of a music teacher vibe, and Michael snaps back at both of them to argue their points. I hate it when people argue with the judges on performance shows, so I’ll be rooting for Michael to get the boot tomorrow night.
Bruce Block says he put his life savings on the line to perform on the show. Is there some sort of massive entrance fee that I don’t know about? He takes to the stage with a group of dwarfs and does a magic trick that ends with a horse appearing out of nowhere. While it’s hard to go wrong with the timeless combo of dwarfs and a pony, Bruce manages to muck it up. His act is senseless and underwhelming, which means he blew his life savings for nothing.
There aren’t enough black drag queen opera singers from Jamaica in the world, which is why we should all be thankful Shequida is on the show. She comes out with a bunch of disco dancers and does an operatic version of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” which is just as weird as you’d imagine. It’s definitely the most interesting thing that’s been on the show tonight, but it’s not a great performance. Piers says it sounded like a rabbit being strangled.
Jerry Springer brings out a group who believes that the family who plays together, stays together. I’m hoping that’s a reference to their familial singing group and not a veiled incest shout out. The Taubl Family sings the most white bread version of Rihanna‘s “Umbrella” that I’ve ever heard in my life, and somehow earns a standing ovation from the audience while Rihanna spins in her grave. Oh, she’s not dead yet? Well, she will be if she sees this performance. The judges love them, proving that they’ve never actually heard “Umbrella” before.
Jonathan Burkin gets made fun of back home for twirling flaming batons in his spare time. Perhaps twirling flaming batons to Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” in front of 12 million viewers will make him more popular! Nah, just kidding. He’s totally getting beaten up and shoved in a locker when he gets home. His talent may be easy to mock, but there’s no denying that he’s damn good at it. David Hasselhoff tells him he’s the best baton twirler in the world, which would mean more if the Hoff wasn’t delusional.
It’s amazing how much you can get done during the commercials and endless filler that pad out the two-hour running time of America’s Got Talent. I’ve already eaten dinner, put some dishes away, made coffee for tomorrow, packed a lunch, and brushed my teeth this evening. Just imagine what I could accomplish if I didn’t watch this show at all.
Sarah Lenore gave up college to pursue a singing career, and luckily for her she’s actually talented. She belts out “Not Ready to Make Nice” by Dixie Chicks and totally rocks it. She’s the best performer of the night by far, at least in my opinion. Sharon tells her she tends to shout once in awhile, but other than that the judges love her.
Judging by their performance, I’m going to guess that SickStep loves watching Step Up 2 The Streets. Speaking of that Teen Choice Award-winning motion picture, was I the only one surprised that they got Channing Tatum to reprise his Step Up role in the sequel? Isn’t he too famous for that, or am I delusional? Anyway, SickStep pulls out a completely awesome hip-hop dance performance that’s worthy of America’s Best Dance Crew. That makes for two legitimately talented acts in a row, which means I must be watching the wrong show.
If you were worried that acts with actual talent would dominate the rest of the show, fear not, because celebrity impersonator Matthew Piazzi is here. I have a deep-seated loathing of celebrity impersonators, so Matthew’s Schwarzenegger shtick and “Great Balls of Fire” routine does nothing for me. The Hoff likes him though, so if you want to listen to the guy who eats cheeseburgers off the floor go ahead.
Maybe Rihanna can’t spin in her grave just yet, but I’m pretty sure Elvis can and will after seeing Joseph Hall’s rendition of “Jailhouse Rock.” It’s a big, brash number, and NBC even presents some of it in black and white just to set the mood. Unfortunately, it’s not sung or danced particularly well, which makes the number fairly underwhelming. The judges tell him he can and should do better next time.
If you managed to survive these two hours of drawn out television that contained only two great acts, tune into America’s Got Talent again tomorrow night for 10 more performances.
– Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of NBC)