Fresh off the Fourth of July holiday, the nation’s favorite variety show returns for the last auditions of the Tin Anniversary season. And that means the competition on America’s Got Talent is about to heat up hotter than that GILF who blew herself up last time.
But first, we’ve got two more hours of potential champions to get through, and luckily for us, they divide pretty evenly into a vast array of categories. And on the bright side, it also marks the final time we’ll have to see the judges get introduced differently into the same venue wearing the same clothes.
I seriously feel bad for the audience members who have to not only sit through a long day of auditions but also a number of staged entrances. If Howie arrived late in a pedicab, how come he’s wearing the same suit as when he walked in with all the other judges like four other times? Nick Cannon only has so many pairs of purple shiny spiked Koopa shoes.
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The Dancing Fools
First up is an all-dad dance group out of California called DADitude!, because once you have kids, dad puns are all the comedy you’ve got to work with. These guys were professionals at one point or another, but now they’re family men in their 40’s and 50’s, and this is their attempt at recapturing youth. But they don’t need a fountain because they’ve still got the moves. Their routine to Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” isn’t super polished and no one would ever buy a ticket to see it on a national level, but it’s fun and they’re likable enough. Three yeses minus Howard send them through.
Pretty Big is a full-figured dance company with giant poofy wigs and energy to match. The moves are more entertaining than technical, but they have the crowd on its feet, clapping and swaying. Mel B. calls it “bloody brilliant” and an inspiration to the curvy-licious.
Aaron Smyth (I wrote Aerosmith until I got the name from the video) glides around the stage like an ice dancer without the skates, complete with high-speed twirls.
Exhibition show dancers Craig and Micheline combine crazy spins and flips with firepower and strength moves.
The Move is a giant dance company that tosses ballroom dancing, acrobatics and a giant silk blanket in a cauldron, and the result is pure witch magic.
Those Who are Without Bones
A young contortionist chick (later ID’d as Jordan McKnight), who trains 10 hours a day, does horrific things with her body.
Another contortionist chick (Vita Radionova), in fishnets, does more bending and flipping. She is taller and older than the previous contortionist chick.
It culminates with Scott Churchson, a former insurance salesman who is now a facial and hand contortionist. If you were wondering, that means he wiggles his fingers and makes his ears move, but the latter trick is so far away from the judges and audience that no one can detect any movements. Then he bends his fingers sideways in a way that makes them look like they’re broken. It’s four no’s, and the son of church is no more.
The Voice Specialists
Nick and Eddie are a pair of singers who perfectly harmonize with some old-school cruise ship crooning.
Benton Blount is a stay-at-home dad/musician with a sweet southern twang. It’s a dream he’s been chasing for years, and you can Google him to hear more of his music.
A dude rocking a pseudo-Jheri curl sings about “Yesterday,” making it his own and inspiring goosebumps all around.
Selected of God Choir is a group of born-and-bred Detroitians (Detroitites?) who have been together for 15 years and have lived through the highs and lows of the Great Recession. It’s traditional Gospel with a contemporary twist, and they get a standing ovation without doing anything much to separate themselves from choirs in previous seasons. Still, it’s an emotional moment for all involved, and Howard calls it perfect, superior and extraordinary. Perhaps it was more impressive in person.
Three Shades of Blue is a pop-rock band made up of three brothers and a best friend who all have the look, but do they have the talent? They rock out with a heavy version of “Feeling Good,” and Howard is hopeful he’s finally found a band that can make a deep run, which he’s been begging for throughout his tenure.
Delighted Tobehere is a drag queen who “locks the door and turns the lights down low” in a deep country baritone.
Vox is a four-man boy band whose members met years ago in college but who have only been performing together for about a month, and NKOTB they are not. And that’s because they sing opera, and beautifully at that. Forte they are also not, but we’ll see them again.
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The Acrobatic Lovebirds
A dating pair of hand balancers does a sexy routine.
Another couple does acrobatics on silks.
Some newlyweds dance around and on top of each other on a pole.
Duo Volta is an acrobatic trapeze act whose members began training two years ago and started dating shortly thereafter. But then living together started taking its toll on the work relationship, prompting the dude to dump his Anne Hathaway-looking partner. He whizzes up the rope to the trapeze like Tarzan climbing a tree, and they proceed to wow everyone with insane strength and crazy trapeze flips. The judges all call the guy stupid for ending the relationship, and the question is if they’ll be back together the next time we see them.
The Best of the Rest
Xavier Mortimer is a magician who makes things appear from a pair of symbols he clangs together.
The Revoltingly Hungry
Pat “Deep Dish” Bertoletti is a competitive eater, which means he already has a job, and yet he’s on AGT going for a nauseating world record. He straps aprons on the judges and has them crack 120 raw eggs into four pitchers, which he then downs without hesitation. I’m not quite sure what it looks like because I have to turn my head to avoid seeing my dinner again. Heidi is the only voice of reason, so we’ll be seeing Pat again.
I’m not trying to say eating like an idiot isn’t a talent because I do watch the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on America’s birthday every year. But this guy already owns 24 world records, and I’m assuming this is the 25th. It’s like an NBA player performing dunks on the show, and this now opens the door for every professional eater to expand their fame on TV eating any variety of items. It’s even less genuine than a Grammy-winning record producer and an actress/singer using AGT to “discover” their daughter. And she might win.
The Best of the Worst
Evil Chicken raps in a skin-tight chicken suit.
Septimius the Great claims to be “the fashion,” but he’s a less endearing version of Right Said Fred, with worse music.
Dancing duo Latin Swag has neither fluid moves nor unison. There’s a decent amount of swag, though.
Miss Kyvie and Angelay are a singing group better known as the Gem City Jewels, because the men wanna date ’em and the ladies wanna hate ’em. You can see it for yourself, but suffice it to say the majority of the audience is on its collective feet with arms outstretched in the shape of an X. They keep going once the music stops, and Nick saves the day by joining them to show off his skills.
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The Kiss That Ends the Auditions
The quest to find Nick’s next ex continues, and Joanna Kennedy is a passion and intimacy expert who helps put the hot and healthy back into relationships. She needs a volunteer for her kissing lesson, and Howard is happy to nominate the recently-divorced host.
Joanna plans on having Nick kiss a doll she spent, like, 20 minutes blowing up backstage, but America’s Favorite Judge happily offers to scour the audience for a replacement. He stumbles upon a super hottie hottie hot hot hottie who is more than willing to participate.
They gaze into each other’s eyes, with the girl visibly shaking, and Howard buzzes just prior to the lip lock. Howie and Mel slam their X’s and the audience boos as Nick and his potential mate get even closer, and as the make-out session begins, Heidi joins the buzz brigade. It’s the end of the road for Joanna Kennedy, and the end of the Season 10 audition process.
Judgment (and Guest Judgment) Day Cometh
That’s a wrap, folks, and it’s on to “Judge Cuts,” which I guess is the fancy new name for Judgment Week. It comes complete with big-name guest judges Neil Patrick Harris, Michael Buble, Marlon Wayans and original panelist Piers Morgan, who will all be granted one golden buzzer to send an act directly to the live shows.
So will it be someone we’ve watched advance thus far or one we haven’t seen that emerges as a favorite? And I’m still very curious to see how they blend the extreme acts in with the mainstream, as it’s tough to compare and contrast a 5-year-old singer with a one-legged stuntman and a kid who rides a water-based hoverboard.
But those are questions to be answered as the AGT train rolls onward toward crowning yet another unlikely-to-become-a-household-name champion. Choo choo!
And now … Minions.
America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays at 8pm on NBC.
(Image and videos courtesy of NBC)