Well folks, America’s Got Talent‘s second night of auditions was filled with singing, acrobatting, card-tossing, motor cross stunting, praying, jumping, tapping and baby rapping. Some of the best entertainment involved our judges Heidi Klum who let a magician swipe her bra, Howie Mandel who got a cranial lobotomy via magical massage, and both Howie and Howard Stern who demonstrate their dancing prowess after mere moments of tutelage by an amazing male salsa team, David Leeman. It was good entertainment, folks, and we learned that Howie dances like Martin Short. That was a gas.
As my esteemed colleague Bill pointed out in his recap, there was considerable talent in this AGT auditi-sode. While I’m with Bill on the quality of last nights performances, I didn’t think even its best selections topped the premiere’s soul sister operatic singers Acte II, sympathetic singer Jaycob Curlee, and dynamic digital dancers Blue Journey. That being said, night two’s winners will give their predecessors a run for their money no doubt.
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Honorable Mention goes to this episodes opening act, the Willis Clan, twelve siblings who performed an updated country version of the apropos “These are a Few of My Favorite Things” from Sound of Music’. Well done, but not one of my top picks.
The Top Contestants
The top acts which commanded attention (and won it) last night begin with Aerial Animation, the clever aerial ballerina whose dance incorporates an animated bear chase projected onto a screen behind her. Her imagery was cruder than last week’s Blue Journey, but this school teacher has a great deal more heart in both her personal story and the one she tells with her performance. Though I agree with Bill that her aerial show is not the most daring or eloquent ever seen, though I may have been spoiled by Cirque du Soleil, I’d like to see what else Abigail Baird has to show us. She gets a 5 for creativity.
Next on my list is the teenage One Direction-y tap-dancing duo of Sean and Luke. And, yeah, Bill, their name lacks originality especially since name options for them were quite obvious to the rest of us. How about ‘Brothers From A Different Mother’, which is how they referred to themselves, or ‘White Boyz’, as was printed on their tee shirts and Magic-Mike’d for us at the last minute? Regardless, their dancing is superb and provocative. The boys themselves are cute as hell. The female fans in the audience almost threw their own bras up on stage the moment the boys walked onto the stage. On the goose bump scale, I’d give these guys a 6.
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The next act, which was the first one to actually give me any REAL goose bumps, was the sultry stylings of one Julia Goodwin, a little gal with an engaging personality and a subtly twinkly smile. Possessed of a Billie Holiday sound and presence, this gal killed a rendition of Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind” and wowed audience and judges alike. It’s a tough call between Miss Goodwin and my top pick for this episode, really tough, because they are equal in all ways except two. My concern with Julia is her range. Despite her whispery final phrase she didn’t go high or particularly low on the music scale. I do get the sense she’s got a lot more to give and I’d like to be there to see that happen. The other concern is no fault of her own: she’s not a hot boy with big brown eyes. Julia gets an 8.
The One Must-Watch Act of the Night
Finally, we have the heart-melter, Miguel Dakota. Oh, Miguel, Miguel, Miguel. This is another guy who walked onto the stage and all the girls nearly fainted. He is beautiful with his fresh wide open smile, his sparkling bedroom eyes, his black widow’s peak … I could go on, but you get the picture. And then he started to strum his guitar and sing. and he was good. Really good. He reminds me of Enrique Iglesias, but much, much more humble. This guy did show some diversity in his range and emoted lots of passion. So, Miguel wins my top vote for last night, folks.
What did y’all think? Put your vote in below.
America’s Got Talent season 9 airs Tuesdays at 8pm on NBC.
(Image and video courtesy of NBC)