Tonight on AGT, twelve more acts. We put the A-Team up last week, so let’s let the beta acts duke it out for five undeserved spots!After falling asleep during Big Brother’s POV competition (hilariously recapped here on your favorite website, as always), I was forced to log in to nbc.com and watch this week’s two-hour monstrosity online. And what’s the first thing I see? After I close the pop-up ads for screensavers and Viagra?
Needless to say, I was more annoyed than Hillary Clinton at an African press conference.
We start out with a little recap from Nick Cannon himself. Last week’s acts are summarized into oblivion, and then we’re reminded which five of these weirdos we actually decided we wanted to see again. Then we get a quick glimpse at the twelve acts that we’re going to see tonight, and everyone looks like they’ve aged five years from how we last remember them. Considering that their auditions probably pretaped in January, we should consider ourselves lucky if they remember to show up tonight at all.
Our wild cards tonight are those shirtless guys that flipped around (really, Simon?) and SQ Entertainment, one of the dance crews that didn’t even make the Vegas Dance-Off. I’m starting to get a little nervous that a Wild Card spot won’t go to Ciana or Kelly.
Lest we forget.
So, main titles. Hang on to your hats, readers, and try not to think about how after two hours tonight and another hour tomorrow, we’ll be halfway done! With this particular round. Then Simon Cowell will Wild Card like half of them back in and we’ll need to start all over. I guess it’s job security for me.
Nick comes out on the stage, and I do have to appreciate that they didn’t do the stupid fake-out opening in the middle of the crowd tonight. Nick is wearing a brown suit that may or may not be made of velvet and he gives us the standard, incredibly over-the-top judge intros. Reminder of the rules, and then we’re asking Piers if he’s getting tougher on the acts. Piers takes a solid shot at the O/H Alliance by saying that they’re not tough enough, and this week there will be more buzzer action. Loud boos. Sorry, Morgan, you’re still one of three.
Where were you guys during “Obsessed?”
Sharon asks Nick to say her name again, then denies answering his question in favor of creepily staring at him. When you’re resorting to Nick Cannon to get off, you’ve really hit the bottom, Sharon. David says all the words he knows that begin with W and then makes it known that he wants to have a “Hofftastic” time tonight. It’s all Sharon can do not to jump him right there.
So first up is the Fab Five, our sisters from Utah. Consulting my recappers’ joke guide I can quickly see that the correct stereotype here is ‘Mormon,’ so let’s hope they start marrying the same guy and finding gold plates in hills. Frustratingly, them seem like a very nice family, and Piers says that it’s time for them to prove they belong here.
This new DDR is so life-like!
They’re dressed as firefighters and they do an impressive tap dance number, but I must warn you that as a tap-dance novice I judge these things solely (ha!) on the number of clicks that I hear. The dance moves are really well-choreographed, and they’re able to move stay in unison on a really impressive level. Nick tells them that it was hot (HILARIOUS) and Piers says that they lived up to their name: they are fabulous and, uh, there’s five of them. Sharon hits on Nick some more and compliments the girls’ technique, and Hoff makes it a clean sweep by praising their energy. They might be a tough act to follow.
Tonight I plan to grade my favorite part of the show: the unspoken imperative for each contestant to hold up the number of his or her act. The Fab Five start well, good energy and coordination. B.
Coming back from break, we’re immediately blinded by the Kmart logo and those freakish blue lightbulbs. This must mean it’s time for the random Q&A segment that the producers like to spring on us, and tonight it’s singer Charles Dewayne. Some viewer got to ask him a question about his music influences, but I’m more preoccupied with the fact that I missed the chance to ask a question. I could have asked the Fab Five for some better Mormon jokes! I could have asked Kevin Skinner 5 + 4! I could have asked Elysia if it’s hard work being the spawn of Satan!
Charles begs for Whitney Houston not to forget him after his elimination in twenty-four hours, and then we get his video package. He’s sort of the Zac Efron of his time: highly overrated. I kid! He played sports in high school and then slowly shifted to band and singing. Sharon notes that she likes him because he has a great voice. And a penis.
Charles is singing “Just the Two of Us,” and he does a decent job. I don’t think he voice is as good as Thia’s (OR CIANA’S), but I don’t hate listening to it. Far more annoying is his attempt to seduce votes from me by shamelessly staring into the camera. The editors hilariously cut to Sharon. They know what’s up.
I just…can’t say no…
Sharon puts her clothes back on and OH MY GOD SHE COMPLIMENTED HIS oh wait, she said ‘pianist.’ She tells him that she loves him but it was just OK, and David (much like my ex-girlfriend) suggests that they need more intimacy. Piers says he watched very carefully (as opposed to the Fab Five’s performance, when he did some light napping) and the others are crazy, because Charles could be a star. Really, Piers? Usually he and I sync up really well, but I would never vote for this guy. You’re fighting the O/H Alliance, Piers, you can’t afford to lose an ally like me.
LAZY. Doesn’t even clear the image. D.
Show him how it’s done, Asian Thia!
Up next is Carol, who you might better remember as the fan-favorite grocer who had an epileptic fit on the stage. She’s still bagging groceries while nurturing her dream of dancing, and there’s a fun/insane montage of her dancing down the aisles. Sharon says that she loves Carol’s crazy dance style (which I’m sure means Carol will try to play the piano tonight and blow the entire act) and then praises her for being unique. Do you want to take it or should I, Accordion Lady?
“THAT’S WHAT”S MOST IMPORTANT!”
Has anyone else noticed that Nick squints his eyes really tightly when hosting? He definitely does when announcing Carol, who slowly begins to lower from the ceiling. Oh, wait, those are my expectations for this episode. The weird bucket thing that she’s in kind of restricts her movement, and even once she’s out on the stage her dancing is awkward and not unlike what you readers might do after a couple Long Island Ice Teas. Piers buzzes her, cementing her position as the lovable underdog we’ll be stuck with until finale night.
How scary is this?
After the dance, and I use that term loosely, David christens her “Hofftastic” and praises her energy and presentation. Good thing this show is called America’s Got An Energetic Act and Interesting Backstory. Piers redeems himself slightly in my eyes by truthfully reminding everyone that she doesn’t, technically, have talent. Sharon quickly brushes this minor point under the rug by reminding us that Carol did do a ridiculously good job for her age, and Carol tears up for the sympathy vote.
Uh, not at all, Carol. F.
Nick continues a campaign for Samantha Harris status by doing a stupid dance to welcome us back, then we turn to Tony and Rory, one of the two dog acts. You may recall this was the guy that cried us a river about having only one dog to call “friend” in the entire world, then appeared with a woman in his exit interview. So he’s either a liar, or guys that perform in talent shows with their dogs get more ass than I would have thought.
“Dogs are cute,” is the gist of his montage. Tony is also worried about Rory’s attention on a giant Hollywood stage, which is legitimate. But that’s the talent part, buddy. Tony and Rory do their standard running and flipping over some random extras, and it isn’t long before my boy Piers has hit his X. Tough but fair, for sure. Would you see this in Vegas? Potential disaster strikes when one of the disks goes over the side of the stage and Rory freezes, unsure of how to proceed. But Tony manages to lure him back, and the crisis is averted. That’s just the kind of high stakes drama you can find every week here on America’s Got Talent.
Piers starts us off by reminding us that again, there wasn’t actually any talent. To split hairs, Rory didn’t, you know, CATCH many frisbees, and Piers blames Tony’s throwing. But the dog is so cute! When it comes to canines, I am sort of a sucker, TVgasm readers. Sharon says that Rory did great with all the dancers and lights, which is kind of the same review she gave Carol, and David said he loved the fake beach theme. Go figure.
Look! A dog! A-.
Well, fellow AGTers, it’s that time we all knew was coming. We kidded ourselves into thinking that maybe it wouldn’t happen, and maybe Nick would get hit by a bus and the show would be canceled before it happened. Before SHE happened. That’s right, it’s time for my arch-foe Eleisha. (NOTE: I feel like AGT changes the spelling of her name every week. Or maybe it’s me, probably. Either way, I apologize. Remember: evil has many names.)
So Eleisha apparently stumbled onto a soap opera and aged like twelve years, because now she’s got her hair straightened and she’s wearing trendy hats. We get to see a vocal teacher tearing her down a little, which is nice, and Sharon even says unique again, which is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. Maybe this won’t be so bad?
It’s bad, but not for the reason I was thinking. Well, not only for the reason I was thinking. I’ve never heard of “Music in Me,” and Eleisha is here to make sure it stays dead. She butchers the song to the point that I can only assume her vocal coach reads these recaps and decided to join my campaign, because whatever she’s charging the parents, it’s too much. AND THEN! The sound of a buzz rings like music to my heart! We’re out of camera range from the Xs, but you get one guess who our mystery savior is.
She mercifully finishes and Nick asks her questions in the most condescending way possible, then it’s time for the judges. Eleisha realizes she needs to turn on the charm quick cause the majority of the audience is cradling their bleeding ears, so she starts babbling to Sharon about dancing and love and how adorable she is. Man, it’s going to be SO sweet when she cries tomorrow night.
David just comes out and says that her personality prevents him from judging her TALENT, and then Eleisha AGAIN starts to babble about something. It’s only because she’s still more intelligent-sounding than Nick Cannon that I’ll let it go. Piers starts off by reassuring her that they’re friends (you’re already losing that respect you just earned, Morgan) and then tells her to fire her vocal teacher. Piers says he likes her personality, but maybe she should just stop singing all together. The crowd boos loudly (obviously still deaf after Eleisha’s auditory assault) and then Nick ruins the actual judging that was happening for the first time ever to ask bland questions about Eleisha’s hypothetical friends. And finally, she leaves my screen. Until tomorrow.
As much as I hate her, she really does capture quiet desperation. B-.
Apparently, we are so dumb that we need a package on how to vote. If NBC was willing to trust the I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here audience, they should trust us too.
So next up is that fat guy and the girl that has to carry him around. They’re both here to talk about his rescue of the North Korean journalists. ZING! Ok, too much Hillary for one night, I feel you. It’s Paradizo Dance (David and Zoe) the adorable married dancers, fun for everyone who loves to read sophomorically into their interview about trying new and risky moves. Definitely winning the award for sappiest act, they dance in a cloud of fog (machine) with a moon-and-stars background. He lifts her up (boring!) and then she lays on her back and freaking lifts him vertically over herself! Again, fun for the sophomoric crowd.
They do that flip thing and more dancing. He lifts her up from just her ankles, which is pretty amazing, then spins her around on his shoulders. It sounds really stupid, but this might be another one to YouTube. David reveals he doesn’t have a phone (or went to the bathroom during the info package) by saying he wishes that he could vote so that he could vote for them. Piers tells them that they’re incredible and he had a hard time trying it with Sharon earlier. Please, don’t feed her libido, Piers. Sharon also loves it and it’s raves all around. Also, Sharon mispronounces “niche.”
They want me to vote 65? Huh? C-.
They’re going to be followed by The Texas Tenors, and I can tell you right now I’m uncomfortable seeing them out of their weird cowboy outfits. I’m sure Sharon is familiar with the experience. One of them has been in Hollywood too long and has an unfortunate case of blond hair and tween appeal. They say they’ve chosen a song that means a lot to all Americans. They better watch their backs, because that’s Voices of Glory’s gig, bitch.
They’re doing “Proud to Be An American,” of course, and really giving Eleisha a run for her money. I’d say they’re a little worse than that other singer that we saw, but I’ve already forgotten him. So the judges don’t buzz because of the song choice and patriotism ensues. I’m pretty sure Nick calls them brothers, which I think is just blatantly wrong.
Piers says the whole thing was cheesy (because the British are the models of understated imperialism. I mean, patriotism.) but he liked it. Sharon says she’d like to have sex with them (can’t tell if I’m kidding anymore, can you?) and David says they need to up their game with a ballad. This is perhaps the only show which would encourage that as a viable plan. Nick calls them brothers again, making me doubt my original interpretation of them as friends. Comments? Am I right or did Nick stumble blindly onto something somewhat truthful? Or did he mean in a street-tough, homeboys type way? You know that no one is more ghetto than Nick Cannon.
Here’s the part in the show where it all starts to fall apart. F.
Up next is SQ Entertainment, the first of Cowell’s Wild Cards tonight. They’re a dance group that cried a lot when they were kicked off, and apparently they’re from some shady part of Boston where they get beat up for dancing. Color me shocked on that one. So they start their dance and it’s themed like the ghetto that they’re supposedly escaping: dirty buildings in the background, hardcore rap music, and not a Nick Cannon to be found. The routine is OK, but we all know how dance crews do on this show. Halfway through the entire stage is bathed in this weird green light and the entire thing ends with an explosion. It’s like a Jerry Bruckheimer movie in ninety seconds.
Sharon describes them as “mean” and says the dance was interesting. David says he couldn’t figure out the story, which is a fair assessment, but he still praises their talent. Piers straight up tells them that he didn’t want them back and wasn’t happy with their inclusion, but now he loves them. He says he got the story (snooty Brits) and it was really good. I’m a little disappointed by Piers on this one, it’s rare that I side with the Hoff.
A little hectic, but points for trying. C+.
Number nine tonight is our Obama impersonator, who definitely follows Eleisha as #2 on my list of people I want to see crash and burn. I thought his act was random and gimmicky, and his audience support very similar to the blind encouragement that won someone else the presidency. So this impersonator (Pete) says that this is his big chance after 40 years of bad luck, and I like the idea that he’s been impersonating Obama for forty years. So Pete comes out doing his Obama bit and hits us with a little stimulus package humor, then decides to impersonate Jamie Fox. This guy is so random, and his singing is probably the best we’ve heard tonight so I don’t know why he even bothers with the Obama stuff.
Everyone loved him the first time, but a controversial new bit about health care has diminished his fan base.
So judge time. David and Piers agree with your favorite recapper and says the singing is great and he needs to cut the Obama. Piers goes so far as to say the various impersonations are confusing and he needs to simplify, proving that Piers really overthinks his AGT. Just sit back and let your eyes glaze over like the rest of us, Morgan. He buzzes Pete after the act as Sharon agrees that he needs to simplify. Coming up next are acts that “will make a grown man cry” guarantees Nick Cannon. Oh, God, Mariah Carey IS back again.
Partial credit for the dirty looks he was giving Nick. D-.
And next up are my girls Elizma! Why am I supporting them, you may ask? 1.) They make great TV with their constant bickering and 2.) They’re extremely hot triplets. Feel free to support me as your gender/orientation allows. Sure enough, the three frolic adorably and then get in a fight. They’re shown practicing with the violins, which is a little disappointing. Didn’t they say they play like a million instruments? At least it’s not another goddamn piano. Piers tells us that they better not sing, which then contrasts with David’s love for their singing and the girls’ own declaration of an intent to use their voices. Damnit, Elizma, you’re going to Manuela Horn me, aren’t you?
So we start off and we’re in trouble. The middle one is already holding a mic and opening her mouth. NO NO NO! Now, I guess their voices aren’t bad. They have these accents that make them sound a lot better than they are. Call it the ABBA effect. The problem comes when they SET DOWN the violins and they all start to sing. And only sing. Sure enough, the X comes. But, and here’s a twist, it’s from Sharon! I guess when there are no guys on the stage she gets bored.
But a quick shot to Hoff drooling reveals that the girls ain’t going anywhere. Until the one in the middle literally starts to scream in order to hit a high note, and then it’s two quick Xs. REALLY, GIRLS? I’m ok that you aren’t the most talented, but I can’t stand by as you actively destroy your chances.
So as a result of my beauties idiocy, Piers does this bit where he keeps his fingers in his ears and pretends not to hear Nick. It’s similar to what America does every Tuesday and Wednesday night. Hot Polish triplet offers to sing the high note again a capella, which Piers for some reason allows. See, America? It’s one-in-a-million second chances like this that ruin audition shows for the entire world. She does the weirdo shrieking again and the audience cheers while Piers clutches his head again. Sharon calls them on the stripping moves because they are not men and David tells them they should play more instruments and go back to basics with the act.
Our other Wild Card tonight is the Beale Street Flippers. Basically, it’s guys who don’t wear shirts, flip around, and take up valuable Wild Card room. They’re street performers from Memphis, kind of akin to fellow Wild Carders SQ Entertainment. It’s like Simon was worried someone would sue over too many Eleisha and Charles whatshisname WASPish acts and so they put in some talent show affirmative action.
I wonder which judge is supporting them.
Piers says they need to adapt it from the street and they all claim that they’ve added in some very dangerous stunts. A very nice PA points out that they’re dead if they flip wrong, so this act should be a little more exciting than the earlier frisbee mishap. So they come out of this car on the stage (wearing shirts!) and start flipping around, kind of like Acrodunk lite. They certainly flip well, but there isn’t much variety. And of course, the shirts inevitably come off. Piers buzzes them like two seconds before the act ends.
Piers says it was boring, which is true if you aren’t Sharon, and even she thinks they should diversify. Like take off their pants, also. David, as usual, loved the act. As a sidenote, why do all of these acts think that miming a phone call will increase their chances? It’s weird that everybody does that, when you think about it.
UGH with the phones. F.
The last act tonight is Voices of Glory, those “God Bless America” kids that NBC built every promo around for a month before this show started. Again the get to go last on the show. Man, does AGT want them to win! We get their sob story about caring for their mom and how much they want to make her proud. Damnit, now I want to vote for them.
So they’re all dressed in white for the symbolism or whatever, and their song is decent but not great. It’s filled with plenty of cuts to their mom for drama’s sake. I feel like I should say more about it, but it’s really just a good religious song by some talented kids.
And score! David gives us the best “you’re what this show is all about!” that we’ve ever had. Piers said it was shaky (true) and singles out the little girl as the best. OMG, what if they make them split like that other group? GREAT television. Sharon agrees, and the brothers are officially feeling excluded by now. The kids amazingly get through their interview without mentioning their mom, and then Nick officially opens the phones. Alizma!
I cut some slack at 12, but MAKE AN EFFORT. F.
So official recapper’s choices: The Fab Five, Carol, Paradizo Dance, Pete the Obama, and Voices of Glory. I don’t know, tonight is tougher to call. Last week was so tight, but this week feels more open. Who should go through? And who had damn well better get a Wild Card spot?