The first third of the three-hour “America’s Got Talent”-palooza had the show finally wrapping up the audition phase, which, frankly, is our least favorite part of the process, so thank God in the last two hours we could move on to the Las Vegas rounds.
The judges kick off Vegas by being just a teensy bit mean to a group of 10 acts that are actually automatically through to the live Hollywood rounds without having to perform in Vegas. The acts through automatically are Silhouettes, Squawk Opera, Lys Agnes, Professor Splash, The Rhinestone Ropers, Fearless Flores Family, Melissa Villasenor, Captain Stab Tuggo and Mabel, Team iLuminate and Miami All-Stars.
With the rest of the acts, they are either a Judges’ Favorite or a Stand-By. Faves get to perform Day 1, the Stand-Bys are for the second day. They are also grouped according to being similar acts.
The Danger Category includes Charles Peachock (fire juggler), Kevin Shelly (samurai-type whose finale doesn’t quite work), Yellow Design Stunt Team (stunt bicycle-riders) and Frank Miles (stun-gun juggler whose new act is falling on styrofoam coolers where one has a bowie knife inside). Now, the cool thing about Frank is that he appears to let the judges pick the boxes, when in fact he totally knows which cooler has the knife and just makes their predictions fit, like when Sharon said right, he could’ve used it to be his right OR her right. Very cleverly done. He also has a decoy bloody knife tip where he pretends like he fell on the knife, which was pretty funny and cool. Well done Frank.Out of this group, Charles and Frank should advance. Kevin screwed up and the bike riders are not “amazing” like the judges say. They were doing pretty basic stuff.
The Vocal Group category includes Remedy, 4Play and Mona Lisa. Remedy and Mona Lisa are very strong. 4Play, in addition to having a gross name, is not that good. Their soloists on “Natural Woman” are pretty weak and then the KEY CHANGE goes completely and utterly off the rails. And blondie head Mean Girl looks like she is ready to stab her fellow singers with her high heel. Thankfully 4Play is sent packing immediately.
The Acrobat category includes Steve Retchless and Soleil. They’re both pole dancers and they’re both great. They should really combine forces, they would be outta sight. It is super annoying they don’t put the names on the screen because there were three other acts before the pole dancers where they didn’t say the names and didn’t put them on screen and I don’t remember what they’re called. Sorry.
The Magician category includes Fantastic Fig and Newton the cat, which is too small-time for a Vegas stage but I do love the kitty; Scott Alexander, who does a good twist on the disappearing woman illusion; and Michael Turco, who does the cut-a-woman-in-pieces illusion. It’s OK, but he kinda stumbles with the prep. He then does another quick illusion that makes some women appear. It’s not as professional as Scott.
The Animal category includes a cute little dog act and the two stupid bird acts. Sorry, I hate these. They are slow, kinda stupid and lame. They also both kinda tank on stage. Yikes. Put the dog through if any.
The Classical Singers category includes Necessary Diva, the opera singing body builder, which is terrifying; Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., who I’d argue is not “classical” but is so uncannily Sinatra, which is unusual because he’s black, as Piers doesn’t say in so many words; and adorable Cindy Chang, who makes me cry just looking at her. Unfortunately, her Vegas song isn’t as good as her audition and she is sent home. Aww, Cindy.
The Band category includes a Proud Mary group (no name, argh), the Lost Boys, the BGP, the Fiddleheads and Pop Life, the kids group with that awesome girl singer. Man, I just love them. Pop Life and the Fiddleheads have my vote.
The Dance category includes Fatally Unique, who has a very scary accident during rehearsals and loses one of its dancers; LD Dance, who also loses a dancer to a twisted ankle but they go on anyway and you can’t even tell she’s hurt; Snap Boogie the street performer who is very, very good; and many other groups that go unnamed. The hurt dancer from Fatally Unique is back, though she’s out of the stunt that hurt her, and they do very well when they perform.
The Female Singers category includes Siobhan, Kelsie (apologies if those are misspelled) and the Bieber girl Dani Shay, who performs an original song called “Superheroes.” She’s doing well and then she biffs it. Piers says she took a massive risk doing an original song and then not doing well? Yikes. The judges give her a second chance to perform a cover, so Dani comes back with “Trouble,” which she learned in a couple of hours. Uh, she didn’t have a single cover she could whip out? That’s weird. Anyway, she does well on “Trouble” and gets through.
The Comedians include J. Chris Newburg, who I found funny the first time, but not quite as funny this time around; an unnamed man who does a decent Obama; a chubby Daria girl; and the weirdo Gichi Guy. It’s super-hard for them because there is no audience to respond to their jokes, so they all just sound terrible.
The Novelty category includes the weird little gnomes act, who does “Lola” from “Damn Yankees” and it’s kinda dumb; a drag queen who slaughters Tina Turner, the ping pong guy who is kinda boring; and The Kinectic King. The Kinectic King is cool, but how is he an act? His set-up time is way too long.
The Male Singers include a cute acoustic Mayer-type; a piano/singer; Ryan Andreas, who does an interesting job on “Iris”; and then Desmond, the Little-Richard-meets-Prince guy who rocks “I Was Made to Love Her.” Desmond has my vote.
When elimination time comes, Necessary Diva is cut; comedians Gichi Guy and J. Chris Newburg are through; Daria girl and Obama guy are cut; magician Scott Alexander is through; Fig and Newton and Turco are cut; Frank Miles, Yellow Design Bike Team and Charles Peachock are through; Proud Mary and Lost Boys are cut, Pop Life and Fiddleheads are through (yay!); the weird gnomes (seriously?!) and Kinectic King are through; Kevin Shelly, ping pong guy are cut; Echo the bird is through (seriously?!), the Jonas band is cut; Mona Lisa is through; Fatally Unique is through, LD Dance is cut; Desmond is through, the rest of the male singers are cut; Snap Boogie is through; Steve Retchless is through, while Soleil is cut; Landau Eugene is through; three acrobatic acts are in; Siobhan and Kelsie are cut; Dani Shay is through.
So by my count, there are 27 acts through to the Hollywood rounds, which leaves 21 spots for the Stand-By acts to get to Hollywood tomorrow night. Be there or be square.
Photo/Video credit: NBC