This week America’s Got Talent is back in Atlanta, and things get very, very disturbing. I kind of hate the dull acts we’ve seen a million times before, like dance troupes or cute kids, but tonight we get something totally different. There’s something weird, something disgusting and a version of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” that is so astonishingly awful that it will make you envy those who were fortunate enough to die when the Titanic hit an iceberg, because at least they never had to witness this performance.
If you don’t like the grotesque and strange acts, tonight we also meet 11-year-old Anna Graceman, who is positively fantastic, which isn’t easy for me to admit since I really hate kids.
Your regularly scheduled America’s Got Talent writer, Carla Patton, is indisposed this week, so me and my grumpy, kid-hating attitude will be here tonight and tomorrow, praying that the number of obnoxiously cute but relatively talentless children is kept to a minimum. Not that it matters, because we all know that some blandly attractive guy with a guitar is gonna win anyway, because that’s what happens on every competition show.
The show opens with Nick Cannon in a giant aquarium tank being eaten by a shark. I think this might be a metaphor for his wedding night with Mariah Carey, but I can’t be sure. Then it’s on to the crapfest of mediocrity that NBC has the audacity to call America’s “talent.”
This awful drag queen (who should be on RuPaul’s Drag Race) with a big afro starts with a painful Macy Gray impression, then busts into a lively disco dance number. Much like Piers Morgan, I must be missing something, because this is, at best, a sideshow act. But Howie Mandel and Sharon Osbourne are dumb enough to put him/her through.
That’s a whole choco-lotta hair!
He/she is followed by some jump ropers and a fiddle band that plays Cee Lo’s “Forget You” (a song I’ve heard so many times in so many different ways that I’d like to forget it) and a six-year-old DJ whose entire act, as I see it, consists of pushing a few buttons and scratching a record. That’s one talentless kid tonight who is put through on cuteness alone, because if a guy in his 20s or 30s did that, he’d have been laughed off the stage.
Attack Dance Crew
Do these guys know that there’s a show called America’s Best Dance Crew? This illustrates my problem with America’s Got Talent, because a lot of the acts could easily just compete on different shows, making AGT superfluous. Also, there’s nothing particularly special or innovative with their dance, especially because Howie is 100 percent right that these guys are glorified cheerleaders. However, as often happens with this show, mediocrity rises to the top and they move on.
Weird Orifice Man
Next, for a change of pace, is the single greatest moment of the night, because I have no idea what the hell it is. A man named Joseph Ravens is covered head to toe in a stretchy fabric with a giant red orifice, and he rides a stationary bike seat and pushes giant bags of something out of the hole. When he’s given birth to all of his comedic genius, he leaves without saying a word or getting judged. I’m clueless, but in the best possible way, because it is certainly the most memorable act of the episode.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?????????
Captain and Maybelle
Weird Orifice Man officially turned this show around, because next is a husband and wife pair and he is like a sword swallower, except he swallows coat hangers and a massive pole that he then uses to life cement blocks while it’s swallowed. This is definitely unlike anything I’ve ever soon, and luckily they’re put through to Las Vegas, because I’m unnaturally curious about what other things he swallows. But to borrow and completely diminish a classic movie line, please, no more wire hangers.
I want to look away like Maybelle does, but I can’t.
Armand and Angelina
This engaged couple wants to make love with music to everyone, and boy do they. They perform a rock opera version of “My Heart Will Go On,” and it’s the single worst thing to ever happen in the history of the world. She has crazy eyes and sings bad opera in Italian, and he’s even worse. It defies any conceivable sense of badness and transcends into greatness, a sentiment Howie shares with me, because he loves how craptastic it is and convinces Sharon to go along with him and put them through over the boos of the audience.
You know how I said earlier that I hate kids on America’s Got Talent? Well, Anna Graceman is the exception. This 11-year-old from Juneau, Alaska plays the piano and sings Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You,” and it’s actually, genuinely good. This is why I hate annoying kids like that 6-year-old DJ, because Ann really has talent and proves that kids don’t need to be held to a separate standard. Anna Graceman is, without a doubt, this year’s Jackie Evancho.
Congratulations, Anna Graceman, you’re gonna be in the finals!
(Images courtesy of NBC)