Am I the only one who have found the live shows to be rather lackluster thus far? Once again last night, I was left feeling kind of “meh” about some acts that had really thrilled me prior to this point. There were a few standouts, of course, but it seems like quite a few acts are just getting lost in the shuffle. Will be interesting to see how things pan out tonight…
1.) Forte – This was a little bit of a gimme, in my opinion, as I had them pegged as advancing to the next round before they even performed – and sure enough, they delivered once more…and thankfully, they seemed to reign in the problem they had in Vegas: now Sean feels more like part of the group, as opposed to a featured soloist. Love the feeling of a “wall of sound” that I get from them. I agree with Howie that these guys are top 10 material, for sure.
2.) Tone the Chiefrocca – This really seems to be a love-it-or-hate-it kind of act, but even if you can’t stand this guy, I think you have to admit that his whole schtick is kind of genius: his only ambition is to be a one-hit wonder, and he readily admits it. You can’t accuse the guy of overreaching given his level of talent, and really, his song is terribly catchy and radio-ready. On top of that, he (and his “hype guy” Colby, who is quickly stealing the show for me) is ridiculously amusing to watch, on and off-stage, and has the right personality to really carry of the “spectacle” of what he’s doing. I loved their performance last night and I don’t feel even slightly guilty admitting it – it was amusing and it made me smile. Sure, it’s not classical opera or some ridiculously skilled dance act, but at the end of the day, I was entertained…and I think America was, too
3.) Innovative Force – Was actually quite pleasantly surprised by what this group brought to the table – saw some stunts that I’d never seen before, and they handled them masterfully. My only complaint is that their act seemed to focus more on the stunting aspect and they seemed to neglect the dancing aspect a bit – this may have been a strategic choice on their part, in order to make more of an impact, but I think they’re going to run out of stunts pretty quickly if they continue at the pace they’re going – I don’t think it would hurt to add a bit more dancing to the act.
4.) Angela Hoover – Found myself a bit on-the-fence about our female impressionist last night – I think her impressions were pretty spot-on and relevant, but I think she picked some “gimmes” to imitate and the end result wasn’t as creative as what we saw from her in the audition rounds. Was it relevant and cute to impersonate Mel & Heidi, and do it well at that? Sure. But I almost feel like that’s what people were expecting her to do, as other impressionists have taken aim at the judges in past seasons. I also thought the Christina Aguilera impersonation was a bit of a freebie – almost every female impressionist seems to do Christina, since her voice is so distinct. I think Angela will probably make it through tonight, but I’d like to see her challenge herself a bit more in the future – either by trying a few male impressions, or by picking female celebs that are a bit harder to imitate…I’d like to see a good Kardashian impression, or maybe a Kate Middleton.
5.) Marty Brown – Marty blew it last night – period. He was out-of-tune, lost his stage presence, and overall, he didn’t deliver. That said – I would not be surprised if he made it through tonight by some miracle, as so many people just seem to love this “good ol’ boy” and are willing to give him another chance. That song was terrible, but I think the fact that he dedicated it to his dear ol’ dad and was singing to his wife will probably tug on enough heartstrings to get him a decent amount of votes. If it comes down to him in the judges’ choice? I think the judges pick the other act – but I get the feeling that we’ll be seeing him again in the wild card.
6.) Alexander Magala – I will say this: the levels of danger this guy goes to never cease to amaze me. He does do a great job of upping his game each week. That said – he was a little off his game this week, and his injury may have had something to do with it. I saw a few trips and slips, and I think the fire element just made it hard to see and appreciate what he was doing. I worry that tonight may be the end of the road for him, just because there were acts that didn’t struggle as much. If nothing else – he’s far more fun to watch than Brad Byers.
7.) Ciana Pelekai – Ugh, I just cringe when a talented singer just picks the wrong song and ends up falling kind of flat as a result. Ciana’s got a great voice – unfortunately, the arrangement of this song (and the distracting dancers/backup singers in the background) seemed to serve more to drown out her vocals rather than showcasing them. It started off well – I thought she sounded great by herself at the beginning – but once the song hit the chorus? Nah. Another act I could see being asked back for the wild card.
8.) Kid the Wiz – Kid is great at what he does, no doubt. But I think we’ve seen just about all we’re going to get out of him – I don’t know that I see him being able to do a whole lot more with his act that we haven’t already seen…and he’s still making mistakes. I don’t know that he’s got the steam to go any further in this competition.
9.) Aquanuts – This went from being cool to being cheesy awfully fast for me – I realize that it takes a tremendous amount of skill to do what they do, but at the same time…I found myself bored with it. Not sure how America’s gonna feel, but if they were as unamused as I was…yikes.
10.) Brad Byers – Zzzzzzzz. That’s all I really find myself saying after watching his performances – I mean, what he does is no doubt dangerous, but I find myself just not caring a whole lot because his delivery is so deadpan. On top of that, I feel like the tricks are getting a little repetitive – it was the tongue on the blowtorch in Vegas, and now the tongue in the fan on the live show. What’s next, licking a cactus?
11.) Struck Boyz – I just don’t find this group terribly talented – I feel like we’ve got much stronger dancers that aren’t as gimmicky. It’s as if they saw Bieber and the guys from Jersey Shore doing their thing, and decided they would be a good group of guys to emulate in order to make little girls shriek. Too bad they don’t have the same effect on grown women…yuck.
12.) Dave Shirley – Not terribly funny or creative…not a whole lot much more I can say.
So who do you think will make it through tonight? And who let you down?