America’s Got Talent spent about 87 years boring us with audition rounds, and now that the top 10 are finally decided the season will be over in just two weeks. I think this show has its priorities out of whack. For further proof that something is amiss in the AGT studio, nine out of the final 10 acts are singers. That’d be nice if this were American Idol, but surely America’s Got Talent should celebrate a more diverse array of performance styles. Did the likes of Kaitlyn Maher and Joseph Hall really deserve to make it to the finals over SickStep and Jonathan Burkin? I think not.
Tonight’s episode features performances from the top 10, and tomorrow night five acts will be sent packing. Now is the time to vote for your favorites, and by favorites I mean Eli Mattson. Vote for him or face my wrath!
Jerry Springer mentions that it’s heroes week, which is both a subtle way for NBC to pimp Heroes, and a chance for the performers to dedicate their acts to those who inspire them. Paul Salos is the first to take the stage tonight, and he does a rather underwhelming version of “New York, New York.” I don’t think he has what it takes to headline a Vegas show, but at least he’s decent enough to prevent Sinatra from spinning in his grave. Piers Morgan doesn’t think his act is worth a million bucks, but Sharon and Lord Hoffingpuss love him. As we all know, the word of Lord Hoffingpuss is the law.
I know it’s not nice for me to say I loathe Kaitlyn Maher, but I kind of do. She’s adorable, but the fact that she’s made it this far based on nothing but cuteness just grates my cheese in the wrong way. She comes out and sings “I’ll Be There” by the Jackson 5, though Mariah Carey’s version is probably more well-known if you grew up in the ’90s. Needless to say, Kaitlyn is not Michael Jackson or Mariah Carey. She’s not even Tito Jackson. The nicest thing I can say about her performance is that she remembers all the words.
Donald Braswell takes the stage and bores me to tears by singing a Josh Groban song called “To Where You Are.” His voice is powerful and booming, but the fact that I’m now swimming in tears of boredom is not a good thing. Seriously, Josh Groban songs need to be outlawed from the world. As usual, Piers is honest and tells him that he’s not cut out for Vegas, while Sharon Osbourne and the Hoffinator verbally fellate him.
Believe it or not, a singer is up next! This time it’s Jessica Price, who is singing “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan. This song makes me think of sad animals thanks to this supremely depressing commercial:
Thanks for making me feel bad, McLachlan! Isn’t that the biggest downer of a commercial you’ve ever seen? Anyway, though I never need to hear this song again, Jessica delivers a pretty great rendition of it. Even Piers loves it, which is a surefire sign that Jessica will make it into the top five.
“A Little Less Conversation” is a great Elvis song, and it’s also notable for showing Joseph Hall’s limitations as a performer. He doesn’t seem to have the voice, stamina or spirit to truly sell the number, and his group of backup dancers that have E-L-V-I-S spelled out on their asses don’t help much. Oh well, at least his act is more entertaining than most. Piers tells him that his singing is terrible, but that he makes up for it in entertainment value. David Hasselhoff says that he sounds terrific, which proves that he’s been drinking too much schnapps tonight. I know you love that sweet peppermint taste Mr. Hoff, but please remove your earplugs and pay attention next time.
There’s one conspiracy-loving BuddyTV reader who thinks that the competition is fixed and that Neil E. Boyd has already been chosen as the winner. If that actually happens, you heard it here first! He takes the stage and sings “All By Myself,” which is another song that was once covered by Mariah Carey. He has a big voice and it’s a big song, so Neil sells it pretty well. The judges love him, and suddenly that conspiracy theory doesn’t sound so crazy. Mr. Hoffy Bike even tells him that he’s the front-runner in the competition.
I don’t know why the children on America’s Got Talent hate the Jackson 5. First Kaitlyn Maher stumbles her way through “I’ll Be There,” and now The Wright Kids turn “ABC” into some white bread hoedown that you’d hear at the Annual Jamboree for Home-Schooled Youths. I need to go soak in a whole vat of Motown after listening to this. The judges compliment them, but that’s just because they’re not allowed to be mean to children. I have no such restrictions.
Queen Emily dares to sing “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” from Dreamgirls, which requires a voice the size of a small planet to pull off properly. The Queen actually does a great job, and I bet if she sung it in a movie she’d win an Oscar for her performance despite having little acting talent. The judges give her a standing ovation, and Mr. Baywatch Nights tells her she hit it out of the park.
Hey look, it’s an act where no one is singing! There’s a wacky concept. Nuttin But Stringz bring out their violins and start busting a move in the fog while some sort of Cirque Du Soleil act happens around them. I can’t imagine paying to see an act that combines violinists and flying women draped in sheets, but at least it’s a break from the singers. Piers disagrees with me, saying that he’d happily pay money to see their act, and the other judges feel the same way.
Eli Mattson is the final performer tonight, and because I’m biased toward him I’ll even mention that his hero is fellow piano man Elton John. Elton John was the first person I ever saw in concert when I was about 13, just FYI. Eli sings “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word,” which is a total snooze of a song (Sorry, Elton), but he sells it brilliantly. Eli is amazing, folks, and for me he makes this entire show worth watching. The judges don’t want to incur my wrath, so they admit they love him. I may even vote for him, and I never do that for anybody!
The top five will be unveiled Thursday night at 8pm on a half-hour episode of America’s Got Talent. The judges no longer have a say in who stays in the competition, so it’s up to America to decide who goes home this week.
– Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of NBC)