Well, if nothing else, tonight saw the greatest amount of dissent amongst the judges as we’ve seen all season – seems like we had a lot of 3-against-1 situations when it came down to the vote, and Howie was often the lone dissenter. He also showed up late to the L.A. auditions, and spent an awful lot of time wandering around the venue, pretending to be lost. He’s special
Gonna go ahead and do the L.A. auditions tonight; look for the New Orleans and New York ones tomorrow.
Olivia Rox – age 14
The act: Sang and played an acoustic cover of Justin Bieber’s “As Long as You Love Me”.
The verdict: All three judges (minus Howie, who was still MIA at that point) said yes, but Mel cautioned her to be careful not to get too crazy when covering a song.
Court’s thoughts: Wow…she had the coolest-sounding, gravelly voice. It’s what I might have imagined Florence Welch from Florence + The Machine might have sounded like as a teenager. Loved the fact that she took a pretty lame song and turned it into a cool, edgy one. But I do agree with Mel a bit – she did seem to really vacillate a lot between barely whispering the song and then belting it out full force. Maybe tone it down just a bit. I get the feeling we’re going to see her pitted against Anna Christine for a spot in the live shows.
Ronald Farnham – age 44
The act: He threw toilet plungers at a line of men with no shirts off, hoping to make them stick.
The verdict: Only one plunger actually stuck to its intended target, and Howard, Heidi, & Mel all said no…but they did remark that, had Howie been there, he probably would have said yes.
Court’s thoughts: I think this was nothing more than a case of “Hmmm, I want to be on tv. What’s the quickest and easiest way to accomplish that goal? I KNOW! I just need to come up with some stupid act for AGT.” It’s acts like these that leave me a bit chagrined to the fact that AGT’s format is a bit of a double-edged sword: it leaves the door open for cool, unique acts to get some exposure, but it also tends to inadvertently invite bozos like this guy to come and just waste time and say they’ve been on national television.
Harry Kurtz – age 62
The act: He was rapping…about something. Lord knows what.
The verdict: 3 no’s.
Court’s thoughts: Just another time-killer.
The act: A guy telling corny puns behind a tv screen.
The verdict: No X 3.
Court’s thoughts: Was tonight the night of the bad pun? They seemed to be everywhere I turned. Ack.
Tummy Talk – ages 26-31
The act: Three guys rhythmically slapping a shirtless sumo wrestler as if he were a drum.
The verdict: Howard wasn’t feeling it and said no, but the other 3 said yes.
Court’s thoughts: As ridiculous as this act sounds on paper, I actually found it pretty entertaining. I get the feeling the guys doing the slapping probably have some sort of drumming experience, because they were actually creating some pretty complex patterns and rhythms – it sounded cool, even if it was the sound of hands slapping against jiggly flesh. I guess I just kind of feel sorry for the guy being slapped, although he didn’t look too much worse for the wear after it was all over. A little red, maybe, but not upset. I doubt these guys will make it to the live shows, but I don’t mid watching them one more time in Vegas.
The act: 5 adolescent girls doing a dance/gymnastics routine to “Die Young” by Ke$ha.
The verdict: Judges loved it and said yes to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: I was actually really impressed with how in sync these girls were – add to that the fact that they were doing some pretty tough shows of flexibility, and I wouldn’t mind seeing them perform again in Vegas. Very cute girls, very cute act, very AGT-friendly.
The act: He’s an impressionist that imitated Robert DeNiro, Robin Williams, and Ricky Gervais.
The verdict: Judges praised how spot-on the impressions were and said yes to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: I think Angela Hoover just met her biggest competition this season – and unfortunately for her, I think this guy is better. I think what put him ahead for me was that he really seemed to embrace the mannerisms of the celebs he was imitating – he was pulling faces like DeNiro and flailing around like Robin Williams. Angela’s good, but I think this guy is GREAT. I could totally see him in the live shows.
“Sword-Swallowing Breakdancer”Alex Magala
The act: A guy swallowed a sword, then proceeded to breakdance while it was still down his throat.
The verdict: Judges loved the danger factor – he’s through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: It was a bit odd for me – I don’t know that the sword swallowing part was significantly improved by the dancing, and vice-versa. It just seemed like a “I’m gonna swallow a sword before I dance just so I can say I was thinking out of the box and being creative”. That said, this guy actually seemed like a pretty good dancer – except that he was maybe moving a bit too cautiously due to the sword in his throat. Not sure if I really think this one is live show-worthy…
“Aerial/Skating act”Aerial Ice
The act: Two couples performing pairs figure skating lifts & tricks, while a third couple did aerial work suspended above the “ice rink”.
The verdict: Judges were blown away, especially by the fact that AGT has never had an ice skating act before. They’re through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: My favorite audition of the night – this really was a genius act. Sure, we’ve had aerialists and acrobats and couples doing lifts – but none of them were doing it while wearing skates. Loved the combination of artistry and technique, and I really want them to make it to the live shows.
The act: They’re another “lights out” dance act that incorporates dancing with images projected onto blocks.
The verdict: Heidi said it made her bored and said no. Howard wanted more dance, but along with Mel & Howie, ended up saying yes to put them through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: *sigh* Ok, the whole “let’s dance in the dark with lasers!” act is getting a bit tired for me. It was cool when Fighting Gravity did it in season 5; it was still kind of neat when Team iLuminate did it in season 6; it was getting a little old when Lightwire Theater did it last season; and now? I’m not sure America really wants another dance/optics act. It was cool and fun to watch, no doubt – but I do agree with Howard that there could have been more dancing, and that they really need to work on their act a bit more. They have a good idea; they just need to really flesh it out more. Unless they blow the judges out of the water in Vegas, I don’t see them moving onto the live rounds.
Yasha & Daniela – ages 9 & 8
The act: They’re ballroom dancing kids that performed a samba/jive medley to “Shake Senora” by Pitbull and “Proud Mary” by Tina Turner.
The verdict: Judges thought they were adorable and put them through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: Ok, here’s another opinion of mine that probably won’t be popular: I actually thought these two were kind of sloppy compared to D’Angelo & Amanda and Jonas & Ruby. Very cute, and good stage presence, but I don’t think their skill level is up to snuff with what the Castros are doing this season. And I still think that only one ballroom act is going to make it through to the live shows this season – and my money’s on D’Angelo & Amanda.
The act:A girl in an aerial balloon floated over the audience, do all sorts of twists & turns.
The verdict: Judges praised her uniqueness and said yes to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: We only got to see a brief clip, so I’m not sure if she did more than what was shown, but it just seemed to me like she’s another aerialist…just doing the same stuff while hanging from a balloon. It was cool, but I don’t know that the balloon made it particularly special.
Jimmy Rose – age 32, from Pikeville, KY
The act: Jimmy played the guitar and sang an original song called “Coal Keeps the Lights On”.
The verdict: Judges were amazed at his talent and said yes to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: What a beautiful, vulnerable performance. This year is quickly becoming the year of the original song, and I thought this one was fantastic – loved how he incorporated his coal mining background into his music. I also loved his voice – it was a little shaky at times, but it’s the kind of country vocal that is sought after by so many and I feel like this guy is a natural. At this point, I’d actually pick Jimmy over Marty Brown for the live shows – I feel like Jimmy’s a bit more organic and has more of a natural talent.
Abel Marillo – age 50
The act: Yet another “homemade instrument” act.
The verdict: No’s across the board.
Court’s thoughts: Not only am I kind of over the whole “hey, let’s make instruments out of household items!” act, but it seemed like half this guy’s instruments didn’t even really work.
Captain Explosion – age 65
The act: He exploded a box…while he was inside of it.
The verdict: Judges were split – Howie & Mel said yes, Howard & Heidi said no. No Vegas for him.
Court’s thoughts: Was it kind of cool that he managed to survive an explosion? Sure. But I’m not really sure that there was any way this could have been parlayed into an entire Vegas show – what would he do? Just sit in random objects and explode them and then wave at the audience? Cool that he does this, but I think this is better as a one-time thing.
Chloe Chanel – age 11, from Pensacola, FL
The act: Chloe sang “All American Girl” by Carrie Underwood.
The verdict: Judges praised her voice and put her through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: I think this girl’s got a very natural, god-given singing voice. Definitely nice to listen to. But I feel like she really has no stage presence whatsoever – she just seemed to stand there, eerily staring at the audience, as she sang. If she wants to get past Vegas, I think she’s going to have to learn to move a bit more naturally onstage – she’s got a great personality offstage, so why not use it when she’s performing?
Megan Amigo – age 21
The act: She’s a self-described contortionist/belly dancer…and she’s a tad kooky.
The verdict: Judges liked her contortions, but found the belly dancing “corny”. Howie was a yes, the rest were a no.
Court’s thoughts: I admire her optimistic attitude and some of the creative contorting she was doing – but the kooky vibe and equally kooky music were lost on me.
The act: A puppeteering act where a little boy puppet got swallowed by a giant squirrel puppet.
The verdict: Do you even need to ask?
Court’s thoughts: If I had seen a puppet show like this when I was a kid, I would have been scarred for life.
The act: A “human puppet” and contortion act.
The verdict: I think the judges were having a hard time taking this one seriously, and it was an obvious no.
Court’s thoughts: Again…how do people dream this stuff up???
“Speed ice sculpting group”
The act: Ice sculptors with chain saws that carved ice really, really fast.
The verdict: No.
Court’s thoughts: I actually thought this was kind of cool (no pun intended), and may have fared better if they had put a twist on it like David Garabaldi & His CMYK’s last season.
“Girl Making Animal Noises”
The act: An attractive blonde that was making some alarmingly spot-on animal noises – pigs, donkeys, dogs, etc.
The verdict: No, no, no, no.
Court’s thoughts: Does she get a lot of dates with this act?
212 Green – ages 14-22, from Harlem, NY
The act: A band that performed a rock/soul cover of Adele’s “Rumour Has It”.
The verdict: Judges (especially Mel B, who saw some of herself in the kids) loved them and put them through to Vegas.
Court’s thoughts: What a talented, gorgeous group of kids. I know the lead singer was talking about how tough it was growing up biracial and looking different than everyone else, but both she and her sister and brother? STUNNING. And they’ve got this very bohemian, artsy vibe about them – they seem to be a group that fuses different styles together well. Loved the rap section the brother did in the middle, loved the fact that the girls were evoking a sort of Motown girl group-vibe with the choreography they were doing at the mics. One group I’m excited to see in the live show
Al Harris – age 64, from Long Island, NY
The act: The second “corny pun” comedy act of the evening.
The verdict: No’s across the board – but the judges did seem to get a good chuckle out of it.
Court’s thoughts: I was irritated with this guy at first – the puns were corny, and it got old fast. But then, as I watched the judges try in vain to get this guy off the stage, and he just kept going…then I started to laugh. Gotta admire his persistence Normally I have no use for bad acts, but this one did make me grin a bit.
So who were your favorite acts from last night’s episode? Tune in tonight for the last audition show of the season before Vegas!!!