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America's Got Talent Review: Not Everything Stays In Vegas Week

There sure are a lot of hours of America’s Got Talent on each week, but I guess it takes time to widdle all of the acts down to just 48 lucky entertainers. On Tuesday’s show the judges got down to business and  told some performers “thanks for coming but you will not be staying….because you are going directly to Hollywood!” Those lucky people, who were at first greatly disappointed and then very excited were: The Silhouettes, Squawk Opera, Lys Agnes, Professor Splash, the Rhinestone Ropers, the Fearless Flores Family, Melissa Villasenor, the Captain and Maybelle, Team iLuminate, and the Miami All-Stars. For the judges their performances didn’t need a second chance to impress,  so hopefully they will be ready when they get to L.A. I can’t imagine Professor Splash sticking around much longer.

The judges reviewed the audition tapes on a bus and decided to divide the remaining contestants into two groups, the “Favorites” and the “Standbys.” If you have ever been standby for a plane you know right off the bat that most of the second group isn’t going anywhere.  The favorites performed on Tuesday and the rest performed on Wednesday and the ones the judges picked will fill out the rest of the 48. Which seems like a lot of performers to me, but I also wonder why they don’t just add two more acts to round it out to the top 50.

The “favorite” acts were split up into groupings of magicians, singers, jugglers and dancers. For the singers, Cindy Chang’s dream of being the next Susan Boyle were dashed by her very nervous and “warbly” performance, and 90′s sounding group 4Play were sent home as well. The judges did give Bieber clone Dani Shay a second chance after she completely blanked during an original song. It’s obvious she has the singing chops and the judges wanted to hear something they already knew. For her second performance she did a wonderful rendition of Ray Lamontange’s Trouble. Why they gave Dani a second chance and not Cindy, I don’t know, but I am glad they did.

Also making it through to Hollywood were: singing sister act Mona Lisa, magician Scott Alexander, comedians Geechy Guy and J. Chris Newberg, dance group Fatally Unique (worst dance group name ever), bands PopLyfe and Fiddleheads, the Yellow Designs Stunt Team, juggler and impaler Frank Miles, the on fire juggling of Charles Peachock, singers Shay and Meeks, and the crazy athletic and strangely hypnotizing pole dancer Stephen Retchless. The talking parrot Echo, who wasn’t really into performing without a crowd made it through the second audition as well. Because Howie loves them, and knows that Piers hates them, the  dancing gnomes, Funny Little People, are also moving to the next round.
Joining them in Hollywood are some of my favorite acts: the Kinetic King and his Popsicle stick kinetic sculptures, street dancer Snap Boogie (I wish he had a different name)  and the car washer who is also the reincarnated Sinatra, Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. Lady Gaga wannabe Daniel Joseph Baker made it through despite throwing his foot up on the piano and almost ruining his audition. I fully agree with the judges about letting Costa Rica’s Mauricio go to Hollywood. Despite the haircut the shiny shirts, tight pants, and lounge lizard performances, he always manages to entertain me.

On Wednesday the “standby” acts got a chance to prove their worth in front of the judges. Even though these are the performers who didn’t make the first cut or were not on the favorites list, they’re still some of the stronger acts on the show. Wednesday’s episode proves that America’s Got Talent can have a good solid show in an hour and not have to put on three hour marathons like they usually do.

First the magicians took the stage. Landon Swank  did a whimsical levitation illusion (they’re not tricks) using balloons and his fiance. Seth Grabel pulled off his illusion despite a clumsy mistake by one of his assistants. Mistakes aside I prefer these magicians over the ones who made it through already.

Then it was the kids turn. I don’t think any of these kid acts should go to Hollywood. I’m not trying to be mean, but I find a lot of their acts very affected and I wouldn’t go see some kid sing or dance just because they’re a kid. With that said, dancer Tanner (a.k.a. Lil T), age 6, was adorable as he hip-hop danced around the stage.  The youthful excitement of Avery and the Calico Hearts was contagious. Sh’Boss Boys did their thing, (w)raping. And Eleven-year-old Anna Graceman sang  an inappropriate-for-her-age Adele song. She has a great voice but I just don’t buy her singing that song. She has no connection to it (because she’s 11) so her performance goes from impressive to gimmicky. Since she is in all of the promos and seems to be a fan favorite I suspect I’m going to sit through a number of her performances. The judges know what gets them ratings so they let all of the kids through except Tanner who was told he wasn’t going to Hollywood with his mom by his side. It was the cutest rejection ever.

A few more dance groups went through, like the bondage themed female dancers that had Piers drooling by the end.  And Sam B, the bigger than life  “dancer”  did a inadvertently (belly) revealing routine which got him a ticket to Hollywood. The judges pulled a “we can’t decide, so we are going to have America decide” (did you read that in Sharon’s voice?) and sent him on to Hollywood. I’m fine with letting any weird or unorthodox or even kinda bad acts through on America’s Got Talent because that’s what the show is for, showcasing entertainers you wouldn’t see anywhere else.

For example the danger acts! Fire is a theme this year with the danger acts. They all seemed to be on fire, literally. The trilling Sandou Russian Bar Trio even incorporated fire into their balance bar routine. The Smage Brothers and their uncanny bike abilities made the judges, especially Sharon, squirm in their seats, but both acts made it through.

The novelty category featured one of my favorite acts - Meet Me at Fairfax and 3rd. The octogenarian duo of a piano-player and a handstand-er (?) revealed they rehearsed for three whole hours. As one of them played the piano the other peeled a banana, took off his shoes, and started to do a handstand on a chair when a cell phone started ringing. He, of course, stopped doing a handstand and answered it. They were obviously not moving on but it was one hell of a great way to go. Some kid with a yo-yo and a juggler did though.

Whew, that’s a lot. But I am looking forward to next week to see what these 48 great American acts show us next. 48 is still seems like a lot of acts to me.

Season 6, Episodes 10 and 11 (originally aired July 5 and 6, 2011)

America’s Got Talent airs Tues/Wednesdays at 8pm EST on NBC.

For another opinion, check out “Top 48 and Vegas, Baby!” by Kelley Lynn.

Photos courtesy of NBC and Chris Haston.

32 Comments

  1. i cry foul/ by judges on american idol foreget the words your out,but sharon ,howie and even pierse…failed to act on their own warning of singing original materal and being a big wrisk–they should have sent danny shey packing not call her back for a do over.
    there were other act more worthy of another shot or do over…the judges have weakend the rule of perfection and preperation that the performer needs to be held accountable for.
    FOUL-FOUL-FOUL.//I feel they just want danny shey because she looks like justin biber and that the producer thinks she is good for ratings.
    All the water cooler talk is don’t vote for shey.
    America the fix is in/this season is tainted by this simple act/not of courage of danny shey….one shot 2 chances.(not cool)

  2. i cry foul/ by judges on american idol foreget the words your out,but sharon ,howie and even pierse…failed to act on their own warning of singing original materal and being a big wrisk–they should have sent danny shey packing not call her back for a do over.
    there were other act more worthy of another shot or do over…the judges have weakend the rule of perfection and preperation that the performer needs to be held accountable for.
    FOUL-FOUL-FOUL.//I feel they just want danny shey because she looks like justin biber and that the producer thinks she is good for ratings.
    All the water cooler talk is don’t vote for shey.
    America the fix is in/this season is tainted by this simple act/not of courage of danny shey….one shot 2 chances.(not cool)

  3. that little 11 year old girl is a phenom! I think you should critique her vocals and not the content of the song. They get what? 90 seconds and then they maybe show 20 seconds of it? I want to see you review their talent. Singing a song to showcase your talent is Not gimmicky. Gimmicky in what sense? that the song is popular? isnt that the point of the show to win the popular vote?

    You state that NONE of the child acts should go through. Why? Because they are young. You need to give points to the child acts for having as much talent as the adults do.

    Anna Graceman has more than 12 million views on her YouTube Channel. Just on her original music. I am betting that America can’t wait to see these acts even if you don’t.

  4. that little 11 year old girl is a phenom! I think you should critique her vocals and not the content of the song. They get what? 90 seconds and then they maybe show 20 seconds of it? I want to see you review their talent. Singing a song to showcase your talent is Not gimmicky. Gimmicky in what sense? that the song is popular? isnt that the point of the show to win the popular vote?

    You state that NONE of the child acts should go through. Why? Because they are young. You need to give points to the child acts for having as much talent as the adults do.

    Anna Graceman has more than 12 million views on her YouTube Channel. Just on her original music. I am betting that America can’t wait to see these acts even if you don’t.

  5. I was deeply hurt they rejected Preston Weber for Hollywood.How could those monsters build up that beautifull little boys hopes then tell him hes going home!AGT your judges are ripoffs,stooges,and none of them have talent so where do they get off judging little Preston who does have talent,and if he doesnot make it on his talent,Hollywood needs to put him in something purely becouse he is CUTE!Preston we love you,i know your hurting now but don’t worry,you are young,adorable,sweet,and talentd,those old crones on AGT were wrong,but sweetheart someone who knows talent will put you where you should be,on top!

  6. I was deeply hurt they rejected Preston Weber for Hollywood.How could those monsters build up that beautifull little boys hopes then tell him hes going home!AGT your judges are ripoffs,stooges,and none of them have talent so where do they get off judging little Preston who does have talent,and if he doesnot make it on his talent,Hollywood needs to put him in something purely becouse he is CUTE!Preston we love you,i know your hurting now but don’t worry,you are young,adorable,sweet,and talentd,those old crones on AGT were wrong,but sweetheart someone who knows talent will put you where you should be,on top!

  7. I have seen so many children on AGT with great talent but not making it to the end because they have been judged not to have the maturity or range in their singing to have a 2 hr. show in Vegas. I have a solution. Have the children compete apart from the other adult competitors and a prize for the winner in this competition a scholarship of some kind so they can study whatever they like or a cash award. Little boys like Tanner Edwards deserve some recognition for their talent.

  8. I have seen so many children on AGT with great talent but not making it to the end because they have been judged not to have the maturity or range in their singing to have a 2 hr. show in Vegas. I have a solution. Have the children compete apart from the other adult competitors and a prize for the winner in this competition a scholarship of some kind so they can study whatever they like or a cash award. Little boys like Tanner Edwards deserve some recognition for their talent.

  9. Apparently the writer didn’t watch Youtube. If he did he knew at 5, Anna was old enough to says she wants to have a job first before she got married. XD She’s amazing. She’s very mature for her age.

  10. Apparently the writer didn’t watch Youtube. If he did he knew at 5, Anna was old enough to says she wants to have a job first before she got married. XD She’s amazing. She’s very mature for her age.

  11. I saw part of howy mandale’s stand-up,his vagina joke,PU!Sharon is where she is becouse of her husband,and piers morgan if he could act any more smug his head would explode!Hey morgan we know you want the world to think your safisticated,you don’t have to carry it to absurd levels!Which he does,and it makes him look like a $%&@.You guys cooked your goose with me when you hurt Preston Weber,you made that boy feel great in Atlanta and then tore him down in Vegas,how dare you!

  12. I saw part of howy mandale’s stand-up,his vagina joke,PU!Sharon is where she is becouse of her husband,and piers morgan if he could act any more smug his head would explode!Hey morgan we know you want the world to think your safisticated,you don’t have to carry it to absurd levels!Which he does,and it makes him look like a $%&@.You guys cooked your goose with me when you hurt Preston Weber,you made that boy feel great in Atlanta and then tore him down in Vegas,how dare you!

  13. howie sharon and piers,you’ve got to be kidding me,,,,you didn’t bring tanner edwards back,,,whats wrong with you 3,,,,he’s the only one with talent..pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeee bring him back,,or i will never watch your show again…tanner is so cuteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee~~~~

  14. howie sharon and piers,you’ve got to be kidding me,,,,you didn’t bring tanner edwards back,,,whats wrong with you 3,,,,he’s the only one with talent..pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeee bring him back,,or i will never watch your show again…tanner is so cuteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee~~~~

  15. i won’t stop,,,,posting until tanner edwards is brought back to the show

  16. i won’t stop,,,,posting until tanner edwards is brought back to the show

  17. bring tanner backor your show will cancelled,,,lol

  18. bring tanner backor your show will cancelled,,,lol

  19. bring tanner edwards to hollywood,,,he is so taalented,i heart tanner edwards

  20. bring tanner edwards to hollywood,,,he is so taalented,i heart tanner edwards

  21. tanner tanner ,tanner.tanner,tanner

  22. tanner tanner ,tanner.tanner,tanner

  23. i want them to see how much i want tanner back,,can someone help me?

  24. i want them to see how much i want tanner back,,can someone help me?

  25. i’m waiting ffs

  26. i’m waiting ffs

  27. when i saw tanner edwards on the show,,i told everyone i know,,,that america has a prince charming,,,,finally royalty,,why they didn’t see that is beyond me,,bring Prince charming back ,,piers ,sharon and howie,,you have to know he rocked americas got talent,,,i hate the show if you won’t bring him back..and i’ll tell everyone i know the show sucks,,thats a promise.

  28. when i saw tanner edwards on the show,,i told everyone i know,,,that america has a prince charming,,,,finally royalty,,why they didn’t see that is beyond me,,bring Prince charming back ,,piers ,sharon and howie,,you have to know he rocked americas got talent,,,i hate the show if you won’t bring him back..and i’ll tell everyone i know the show sucks,,thats a promise.

  29. Even though I’m glad they let older contestants compete I still think there’s a youth and looks bias. I think Cindy Chang should have gotten a second chance like Dani Shay. Chang picked the wrong song and should have stuck to opera. Anyone else agree that the older competitors are judged more harshly?

  30. Even though I’m glad they let older contestants compete I still think there’s a youth and looks bias. I think Cindy Chang should have gotten a second chance like Dani Shay. Chang picked the wrong song and should have stuck to opera. Anyone else agree that the older competitors are judged more harshly?

  31. I saw the video where they reject Preston,it tears my heart out.The tears streaming down his face,i die inside when i see it.Those judges have to live with what they did,and i don’t know how they can.Preston Weber is amazing,he learned how to do that just by watching utube footage,lets see piers or howy or ozzie’s wife twirl fire,yeah right!I was deeply hurt by them rejecting Preston,i use to kinda be a fan of the show,but never again.It was one of Television’s saddest moments,and i must admite one of the worst moments in my whole life.

  32. I saw the video where they reject Preston,it tears my heart out.The tears streaming down his face,i die inside when i see it.Those judges have to live with what they did,and i don’t know how they can.Preston Weber is amazing,he learned how to do that just by watching utube footage,lets see piers or howy or ozzie’s wife twirl fire,yeah right!I was deeply hurt by them rejecting Preston,i use to kinda be a fan of the show,but never again.It was one of Television’s saddest moments,and i must admite one of the worst moments in my whole life.

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