Finally, after what seemed like eons of auditions episodes, we are down to the top 70 most talented people in America. Going into this episode I thought, “Now what? Everybody’s good? What’s there to make fun of?” Ohohoho, don’t you worry, dear readers, this episode was fraught with the shittiness we’ve come to expect from The Hoff ‘N’ Gang. By the end I was agog (as I’m sure you will be too) with the prospect: THESE are our talented masses?
After a typical epic-style slow-motionfest of a recap of the season so far, here we are in lovely Las Vegas. Sin City: I wonder what the glitz and glamour will do to a nice little Midwestern family like the Duttons? All 70 acts stroll in, yep, slow motion down a hallway in the Planet Hollywood theater, and it’s like I’m watching the last five weeks of my life flash before my eyes. Oh, the horror! The judges greet the acts on stage and give them a little pep talk. “The talent here is SOOOOO much better than last year!” squeals the Hoff. Really? In that case, I can’t imagine the nightmare that last year must have brought. I mean, if an 11-year-old girl whom anybody has yet to hear of was the winner, you KNOW it musta been bad. Before the callbacks begin, they all get to run wild in Vegas, to, as Jerry puts it, “see what makes Las Vegas the entertainment capital of the world!!” Yeah, of the world. That’s probably why both Celine Dion and Siegfield have settled down there. I imagine it must be a trip for all of those small-towners who’ve never really been to a big city before. Just think of all the topless showgirls they’ll see!
Especially on that fun tour bus!
They must be getting CRUNK. Unfortunately, they have to do it all in their performance costumes (trannie or not) and “practice” their acts while integrating shameless promotions for NBC, the show, and Springer himself.
No, that’s okay, Jerry. You can just stay in there.
He SPRANG outta the box! Ha ha!! Get it? Spring outta the box? ‘Cause his name is SPRINGER! Ha ha! Ha…
Congratulations, you won a QUARTER!
It’s funny that the look-alikes are all hanging out together. For example, these two were a match made in sweetie-pie heaven. I imagine this is how friendships are made during the Miss America Pageant.
“So, what kind of conditioner do YOU use?”
So here’s the deal. They each get 3 minutes to wow the judges, and by the end of tonight there will be only 35 of them left. Golly gee, a whole three minutes?!?! Thanks producers! Well, I suppose that’s better for all of us. I mean, if I have to hear that awful teenage girl sing for more than three minutes I’m pretty sure I’ll slit my wrists. Let’s get down to it. Thank God they’re doing the musical acts first. Let’s get those fuckers out of the way right here and now. The judges will have to view each act in its entirety, which means no buzzers. Dammit! How will Piers scare everyone out of their minds while they’re already nervous as hell?? Speaking of nervous, that’s what everyone is. In fact, the first act to perform, The Glamazons, are already crying.
“I’m BEAUTIFUL dammit! And I may or may not have Type-2 diabetes!”
They sing “Big Spender” and I wonder whether they’re just gonna go through the entire soundtrack of “Moulin Rouge” during the course of their time here. I vote for tomorrow’s song to be a wacky cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Nothing says respect for the dead like a Broadway-style remix.
Giving Piers a hard-on as we speak.
The judges like them, but think their harmonies may be a bit off. One of the Glamazons sobs that if it were last year she wouldn’t have been able to be here, because her mother was dying. Oh damn, girl. That’s some sad shit for sure. That makes O. Snapp’s heart break a little. (just a little.) Well, I suppose for her the tears are warranted, then. While the other acts are diligently preparing for their turn, the teen rockabilly group Johnny Come Lately spends their idle hours goofing off. Here in Vegas they are having the time of their lives – just as Green Day would have wanted it. They’re not taking themselves too seriously and just figure whatever happens happens. Unfortunately, they don’t live up to their previously displayed potential. Actually, they kind of suck. It’s hard for me to say that, since I have such a big girlie crush on the drummer and I really want them to do well, but it’s true – they scream mediocre. Perhaps it was the lack of upright-bass acrobatics, but they just didn’t do it for me this time.
Next is Stupid Headband Girl. Remember her? As sweet and white as the bread at a Texas barbecue? She’s still wearing that fucking headband.
“It’s all about ME”
I seriously want to rip that ratty old thing straight out of her hair and force her to eat it. That mid- to late-90s style just ISN’T CUTE ANYMORE, SWEETIE. Give it up! She may have a wrecked guitar, which satisfies me a little. Ha. Your lucky headgear isn’t coming in so handy now, IS IT?!
Nor does it distract from your five-head.
To my surprise, she actually sounds good. Like Jewel, circa 1995, but with more makeup and a STUPID HEADBAND. Okay, I’m over it. She sounds much better than I remember her being, despite the fucked guitar, so I actually think she should go through to the next round. America would gobble her right up. They love that shit.
After a short break we return to a sappy intro to Cinda Ramseur, the weepy, overly melodramatic, over-enunciating singer from the second episode. She constantly looks like she’s fighting for her life, and maybe, just maybe, if she can gather the strength, serenity and faith in herself, she can pull it off.
If you don’t quit it, I’ll give you something to cry about, missy!
I just wanna punch her in the face every time I hear her voice tremble. For her performance, I still think she sucks, but she does put it all out there.
Including her cleavage.
After a disgusting montage filled with the likes of Douchebag Country Boy, Mini-Hanson and Talentless 14-Year-Old Who Needs A Makeover, I’m about ready to barf up my burrito bites. Literally, all I wrote in my notes for that solid 2.5 minutes was “uggghhhh.” Space space space.
Get out of my life!! Seriously!
Cass Haley, as you may recall, is the stay-at-home dad who wants desperately to provide for his family, so he has chosen to pursue the lucrative career of singing-songwriting, which we all know involves little to no competition and affords plenty of job opportunities as well as a stable life for the performer and his family. Last time, as he was exiting the stage Sharon advised him to clean up his wardrobe and come back with something really snappy and professional to wear, not just his button-down shirt and tennis shoes. So he went out and bought a new button-down shirt, JEANS, and some new CHUCK TAYLORS. Good move, Cass.
“Every girl’s crazy ’bout a sharp-dressed man…”
However, I’ve gotta admit, his performance is pretty good. He’s kind of a little Dave Matthews, a little blues, and I like it. Sharon still hates his clothes though. Next we’ve got Elfin Jurnee Smollett, who reiterates that she is NOT weak, just quiet. She comes up onstage and starts playing the piano and singing. Quoi? This ain’t what she sold us in Chi-Town. She’s supposed to break down some beats! I have to say, though, that she IS still really good, even if it’s just doing something as typical as playing pian- WAIT. Now she’s beatboxing! WHILE playing piano! Break it down, girl! That’s what I’m talking about! What a versatile li’l fucker.
I, for one, welcome our new elfin overlords.
After her is Byron, who apparently is WAY older than I previously thought, but is still quite weepy. You know, he should really hook up with Cinda Ramseur. They’d have depressed little babies. He sings the most completely miserable version of “Don’t You Remember You Told Me You Loved Me,” but I think he could be the next Luther Vandross. Not my style, but he’s not bad. Michael, our rotund old-fashioned style singer who fought his way through to this round, has come down with the flu. He combats it with a shot of Robotussin and O.J.
He pulls it together in time to sing his heart out and still sounds like the nun from “The Sound Of Music.” However, you can TOTALLY tell he’s a choir director, just from the way he holds himself onstage. He reminds me of my 7th grade choir teacher, Mrs. Scholz, with his perfect facial expressions and vocal intonations.
“LIFT the eyebrows, OPEN the jaw, RAISE the sternum…”
Finally the musical acts are over with. As the contestants wait for the judges to make their decision, we hear a chorus of faded voices from the weepiest contestants expressing their delicate hopes. I say, let’s get to the dream crushing, shall we? First of all, each of the youngest contestants get through. That means Johnny Come Lately, Li’l Grandpa, as well as Talentless 14-Year-Old (BLAST!). With many of the other acts, they do that whole fake-out thang where they make ‘em think they’re going home, then at the last minute say something like, “unfortunately………… we have to keep you in Vegas for another week” or some bullshit. It gets pretty tired after about, oh, ONCE. Luckily for us, they’re playing an awful Mariah Carey song to help illustrate the drama of the situation. What I want to know is, who does NBC have to blow to get the rights to all of these Top-40 shitsteaks anyway??? YES! Weepy goes HOME! Victory is mine!
Boo Freakin’ Hoo.
Piers says to the last group, “I’m sorry, but… you’re going through.” Bad one, Piersy Boy! You fucked up that joke! You’re supposed to make it seem like staying is a BAD thing, otherwise that sorry doesn’t make any sense… aw forget it. Now that that’s out of the way, we can move on to the interesting bit… the variety show. First up is Grandma Pearl, and I just wonder why does every goddamn intro have to be sad and in slow motion? This guy’s a comedian for God’s sake! Give him some circus music at least! And I swear to Christ, if they use that fucking “All Or Nothing At All” one more time, I’m coming after you, Rickey Minor! Anyway, Grandma Pearl doesn’t do so well, which leads into a montage of people who are sucking ass and fucking up in various ways, including the knife thrower. Gasp!
Does Reality TV God love me this much??
I get all excited but then the knife just bounces off of the corkboard flaccidly. Dammit – that definitely didn’t lead into the ambulance shot we’ve been promised for the last two weeks. That would have been awesome. Everybody is wearing the same outfits and using the same material and shtick as before, and that’s very disappointing. I mean, if I wanted that, I could have just read my own damn recap from two weeks ago. Piers even says, “You’d think they’d come out like a hurricane and grab our hearts……… grab our minds………”
“Grab our nuts…”
But that’s the last thing that anyone here is doing. So, Jerry narrates that David is coming out to give everyone a pep talk. I go, “David who??” Oh yeah, The Hoff. He tries to talk some sense into these folks, and during his speech he gets very passionate until he starts to shout, and then he gets all intimidating and quiet at the end and holds everyone’s attention. I think he’d make a great used-car salesman.
I never thought that the act to live up to the Hoff’s expectations would be a baton-twirler, but perhaps that’s only because my childhood dreams of becoming one never came to fruition (mainly because I was too lazy to practice for more than a minute before my attention was diverted to something shiny). However, a baton twirler it is, and as his music starts I think it’s the song from the end of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” (You know, “Chicka…. chicka-chickaaaahhh DEW Bope bope. Chicka…. chicka-chickahhh.” You know. The Twix song.) But it’s not, it’s just a funky beat and I like it anyway. I boogie in my seat while watching this kid twirl and I wonder what kind of twisted mother he must have had to make him take twirling lessons as a kid. Then, as I really get into the groove, I begin to think that perhaps he stumbled into a twirling class as a little 7-year-old boy and got hooked, but had to hide it from his overly masculine single father and brothers. Damn, that would make a great movie! Someone get me a contract!
Too bad it was already made.
Next are the dueling magicians. It’s kind of interesting because the young guy gushes over the fact that he’s here in direct competition with Kevin James (no, not THAT Kevin James) because he is one of the greatest magicians of all time, and even took this kid under his wing years ago as a mentor. It is now sensei versus student. Anthony Reed, the kid, goes first and at first I think he’s going to do the classic Houdini: escape some serious metal chains while underwater.
I think we all held our breath during this moment.
But then, BAM! A busty girl draws the curtains over the aquarium and suddenly drops down, and in a split second Anthony is out and she is locked in. Bwaahh???
I’ve GOT to find out what kind of waterproof mascara she uses.
If you think that’s impressive, you should see Kevin James.
His comedic stylings are truly astounding.
And the other magician is pretty amazing too. I’m not sure how, but with the help of Li’l Charlie Chaplin and a drag queen naughty nurse, he seems to slice this dude in half.
“Perfectly normal, perfectly healthy!”
It really freaks my shit out when he does this though.
Now THAT is what I call bringing it. Give him a show on the strip right now. He’s got my vote. I hope you never forgot about Boy Shakira! I know I sure didn’t. He’s back and better than ever! No, I’m pretty sure he’s just going to do the same crap as before. But maybe, hopefully, he has studied hours upon hours of Shakira videos and performances so as to really nail down her technique.
Her hips be truthful.
Naw, he/she’s pretty much the same. Uh-oh, next is Freaky Dolls.
Still makes me shudder whenever I see them. Anyway, she thinks she can step up her game this time around by adding even more to her talent bonanza: she’s going to sing, “Broadway-style.” Great. Well, at least she’s changing it up a little. Oh JESUS is she terrible. I actually winced during her performance to karaoke accompaniment. But apparently the judges love it, which makes me scream “WHAT?!?!?” at my TV and nearly knock it over with a thrown beer bottle Dammit, the only thing worse than a bad performer are THREE bad judges. Sigh. Then the Scary-Ass Dancers come back, as well as Gimpy. To complete the trio, we’ve got Kashif, the ever-charming Bollywood dancer who charmed his way into American hearts everywhere and made me say, “Who the hell are these judges, anyway? Are they fuckin’ blind??”
The Middle-Eastern Moonwalk!
Sure enough, he still looks like he’s dancing alone in his bedroom. And still the judges adore him. Sharon says he’s a sexy little thing.
SHARON YOU ARE SMOKING CRACK!!!
Whatev’s. Next is Ivan the Urban Action Figure (he made up the nickname, not me). As he’s preparing, Hasselhoff mutters to the others, “I don’t know what’s more nerve-wracking, being a judge or being up there.” Um, I’m pretty sure it’s worse for those performing for millions of people for only the second time in their lives. So Ivan’s set to amaze us all, but doesn’t quite clear the chairs he’s supposed to jump over. I know it would have been cool to see him accomplish that, but as it happens he actually just crashes all over them, and I’m pretty sure he spins on his head on the way down.
Gives “do or die” a whole new meaning.
Baby, we’ve got an action figure DOWN! Although that head spin made me think it might all be part of the act, he doesn’t get up for a good few seconds and everyone looks at each other like, “Uh, are we supposed to help him or something?” Hope you made him sign that waiver, producers! Jerry Springer gets all concerned and they call the on-set medic and an ambulance (who answer the phone after TWO whole rings, by the way. That’s comforting). Now THIS is what I call entertainment! It actually looked pretty bad, especially when his body went all limp there at the end and he’s just laying there like an abandoned ventriloquism doll. After a tension-filled break, we return to see that Ivan has woken up to see Jerry and Hasselhoff standing over, peering at him worriedly and calling him “bro.” He must have thought, “I’ve died and gone to Reality Television Hell!”
Turns out he’ll be okay but, with the kind and comforting words of The Hoff to send him on his way, they take him to the hospital and it’s now safe to say he won’t be going through to the next round. When Jerry comes out to the audience to give them the diagnosis, he nearly breaks down into sobs. It always astounds me how this guy can be so sensitive on this show when he encouraged such outrageously terrible things on his own show. But that’s neither here nor there. All of a sudden the judges are down to the deciding phase. Come on, where’s Leonid the Magnificent?? I was really looking forward to seeing what he was going to do (and wear). Down to the eliminations. And….. they play “All Or Nothing At All.” Okay, you fuckers, that’s the SECOND time this episode and about the 800th time this season. Your ass is mine, Minor! I’m sending you a new music library TOMORROW! Well, even if we didn’t get to see him this episode, Leonid the Magnificent gets through to the top 35. I personally am happy about that one. I’m not sure where all this affection for the freak show came from, because I know he’s crazy and, without the makeup, probably not talented, but I love the guy! I want to marry Leonid the Magnificent! Think of all the psychotic, bitchy children we could have. We would probably breed a little army of evil-doers. Well, that or maybe an army of flamboyantly cross-dressing writers. Either way.
So, all of the most outrageous acts got through: Leonid, Boy Shakira, Kashif, all the greats. Yeah, I don’t get it either. However, Freaky Dolls finally gets her ass SERVED! Well, it wasn’t nearly as boring of an episode as I thought it would be, and although the destruction of hopes and dreams was not evenly spread throughout the episode, I did quite like watching the hearts be broken en masse. That’s cool. Switchin’ it up. There were plenty of tears to satisfy me, but… just not quite enough Leonid. What did you think about this episode? See you on the boards!