Tonight on America’s Got Talent we will see the second group of semi-finalists and then tomorrow there is a special 30-minute results show so that we’ll know the Top 10. I’m not sure how it works after that. Does one act go home each week? Or more than one? Enlighten me in the comments, fair readers. On to last night’s results…
Last night I predicted before the performances that The Cadence, The James Gang, Daniel Jens, Jessica Price and Xtreme Dance FX would make it through. But before we can see how I did, Terry Fator is performing. Wow, there are some GIANT letters spelling "Terry Fator" on the stage. Yikes. I’m having flashbacks to this. That scared the crap outta me as a kid. Run Terry! Run away from the giant letters!
Terry makes Winston the Turtle sing "Let’s Get it On" and I’m pretty impressed by the ventriloquism plus the singing. Nice. He then has an Elvis puppet sing "Viva Las Vegas." Very cool. I would’ve voted for this guy.
We don’t get any results. Weird. They must annouce them all tomorrow I guess. Well, my predictions are SickStep, Donald Braswell, Sarah Lenore, Nuttin’ but Stringz, Kaitlyn (c’mon, you know she will), Eli Mattson and Jonathan Burkin the Baton Twirler. Wait… that’s 7. Damn. Well, then I guess it’s between SickStep, Sarah Lenore and Kaitlyn. One of the three of them. You know, it’s almost unfair the second night is so stacked with talent and last night was so crappy. Seriously. I cannot believe how *actually* annoyed I am by this, but I really, really am.
The first act is SickStep. Cool, I like them. They creep up from the audience with flashlights, it’s all very Heist Movie. They make great use of a silhouette on a sheet, then "Blame it on the Boogie" by Jackson 5 kicks up and they rock it. SickStep and Xtreme Dance FX would make a cool Vegas show. SickStep has too many great things to mention individual parts, but I really like this act. Piers wants to see improvement with each performance and thought this one didn’t improve from last time. Hmm. Sharon liked it, but wants them to take it up a level. The Hoff says he knows they are coming back and liked the attitude they brought, but they do need to step it up next time.
Donald Braswell is up next. I’ll stop making fun of his accident this week because he did well last time, but if he relapses, I’m right back to making fun of his sob story. Tonight he sings the original stalker song before The Police took the title away, "Music of the Night." I love me some Phantom of the Opera and I like this song, so I’m a bit biased. However, Donald nails it. He’s not a Vegas show, per se, but he could certainly do Broadway. He hits the money note on "let your soul take you where you long to BEEEE" and I get goosebumps. Wow. We lose some of the low notes, but overall it was good, with a big strong last note that juuuust goes a little sharp at the end. From the diaphragm, Donald. But nice job. Piers says he is beginning to hate the sight of Donald (audience boos) because every time he comes back and does even better than last time Piers is reminded that they rejected him from the Top 40 (audience cheers). The audience is so stupid. You’re all sheep! Bahhh! Sharon looks ready to leap over the table and make-out with him. Take a number, Osbourne. She does advise him to sing something up-tempo next week. The Hoff says Donald took his breath away. Why Mr. Hasselhoff, I do declare!
The King is up next with Joseph Hall. I don’t know if I see this guy as Top 10, even taking his first audtition into consideration. Tonight he is in the sequined white jumpsuit and does "Suspicious Minds." Oh man. Stick to young, hot Elvis, not old fat peanut-butter-and-banana-sandwiches Elvis. Yikes. Vocally, this is not very strong and this song is BOR-ING. I’m afraid Elvis will leave the building tomorrow night. He just isn’t compelling me to throw my panties; even the dancing is awkward. Sorry, Joseph. Weirdly, Piers says Elvis is back in the building. Man, I disagree. He’s adorable, but that wasn’t that strong. Sharon looks like a cougar again. Between Donald and Joseph, Sharon is just a hormone ball. The Hoff says he sounded so much like Elvis that he thought it was a track. Wow, really? Maybe I just have to rewatch this one, but it didn’t float my boat tonight. Well, if he makes it through, good for him.
The Van Taubl Family Singers are up next and I keep holding out hope for "The Lonely Goat-Herder." Alas, I am thwarted once again. They are knee-deep in fog leftover from Donald’s Phantom set and perform… a song I don’t know. The boys seem to be holding violins as props again. I’m over this act. GONG! Next! They should be on one of those infomercials for Christian compilations. Michael W. Smith, DC Talk, News Boys, Steven Curtis Chapman and The Taubl Family. Piers agrees with me (he buzzed them), though does say the second half was better than the first half. Hmm, I don’t agree. Sharon liked them, probably because she secretly wishes the Osbournes were like the Taubls, instead of in rehab and snorting lines of ants and stuff. The Hoff advises them to sing together, which is true. The solo stuff is really weak.
Better Blonde Singer Sarah Lenore is up next. I hope she rocks tonight like she did last week. She performs "Keep Bleeding," which is an AWESOME song, so she better effing bring it [snap snap]. She weirdly starts on a couch surrounded by muscular men. That’s not… exactly the vibe of this song. This isn’t the Kit Kat Club. But that is neither here nor there. The actual singing is good, though maybe she should’ve picked something more up-tempo. There aren’t enough big parts of this song to really show off her voice. She does have a nice lilting high part on the bridge. She also looks SMASHING in a tight, champagne-colored dress. You know, I think this would’ve been more effective with just her on a stool, or just standing in a blue spotlight. The weird Chippendale backup dancers (was that you, Brian Cheatham?) were unnecessary and awkward. Regardless, well done. Piers calls the song choice "brave" because of difficulty. He says she did well, but not brilliant. True. He advises her to stick to country, but admires her trying something out-of-the-box. Sharon uses "brave" too and says she did well, but she thinks we haven’t seen the best of Sarah yet. I agree, I want to see more of her. The Hoff says that was the wrong song, but we HAVE to vote her back because she is so talented and charismatic. I agree! Way to criticize while still being pleasant. Kisses, Hoff.
Nuttin’ but Stringz is up next and I am pumped. These guys are awesome. They could show those Taubl boys what you DO with a violin. They jump right in and even though it’s the same stuff (classical violin plus hip-hop beats, with backup dancers) I am still captivated. These guys are amazing and so original. I really, really want to hear a hip-hopped "Devil Went Down to Georgia" some night. Pretty please? They end with a great face-off duel at center stage and I am just… wow. Piers loves that they bring two different worlds together and calls it "electrifying." Tell me about it… stud. Sharon likes how they tailored their show to a younger crowd, but it was so great anyway. The Hoff says, "4 words: Nuttin. But. The. Finals." I love The Hoff tonight. You know, a show that alternated Nuttin’ but Stringz with The James Gang and Cadence would be AWESOME. I’d buy a ticket.
Cutest Girl in the World Kaitlyn is up next. Now, just to explain myself to some commenters: I don’t think Kaitlyn should win. She cannot sustain a Vegas show. But she does a good job, she tries hard, I don’t get the impression she has a pushy stage mom, and I honestly think she’s about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. She makes me tear up. Is she Top 10? Probably not. But DAYUM… she makes me think everything is rainbows and puppies and sunshine for 3 minutes every week. I want her to tell me a story and sing me to sleep.
Anyway, tonight Kaitlyn is in another adorable little dress and sings "Beauty and the Beast" and I’m already a basketcase because I love this song. Oh my god, I want four just like her. The way her Rs haven’t dropped yet is so ridiculously cute. She knows all the words and has a good handle on the melody too. I’m sorry, but this isn’t exclusively a "talent" competition. All shows like this (coughAmericanIdolcough) are also about popularity and bankability and this girl is so freakin’ money. Also, she goes for a high note at the end and NAILS it. Well done, sweetie pie. Piers asks her if she enjoyed it and she says she had fun and practiced hard. Piers says he’s going to be honest, though. He says she’s done brilliantly so far, but at this stage she isn’t ready to go on to the Top 10. She says, "thank you" because she doesn’t quite understand. Aww. Sharon says well done and asks Kaitlyn to tell Sharon’s daughter Kelly to "cheer up." Okay, that was weird, but I’ll go with it. The Hoff loved the ending and says what is important is that she has brought America together. Awww. I want to buy the world a Coke! And hold hands! And sing "Kumbayah!" And WORLD PEACE! Seriously, though: should she go through to Top 10? Probably not. Will she? Probably. And my god, I will keep drinking the Kaitlyn Kool-Aid and follow her to the ends of the Earth as she saves us from the Cylons and throws pixie dust on me.
The next act is the Tapping Dads, who are adorable but should really be done at this stage. There are two dance acts left that are good enough and they are SickStep and Xtreme Dance FX. Sorry, dads. However, they do try to win me over by performing to "Sing Sing Sing (with a Swing)" which is my FAVORITE Big Band song EVER. If you’ve never seen Swing Kids, go rent it, if for nothing else but the dance scenes involving Christian Bale and Robert Sean Leonard. Holy crap. Anyway.
The Tapping Dads feature their very talented soloist again and put on a very likeable show. I just dont’ see them making it through to Top 10. BUT THEN. THEN they have this AMAZING, GREAT, STUPENDOUS ending. Wow. I just changed my mind. I am SO annoyed that we have to take 5 acts from each night, because tonight is KILLING last night. Whoever did the seeding should be investigated by the NCAA for fraud because about 8 acts from tonight should make it through. Piers didn’t buzz the Tapping Dads tonight! He liked how much fun they were having and their spirit and determination. Awww! Piers Morgan’s heart grew three sizes that day! Sharon loves how much they’ve improved and thinks they’d be fantastic in Vegas. The Hoff loved it too. Well done, Tapping Dads!
My new boyfriend, Eli Mattson, is up next. Seriously, we’re running off together. Don’t look at me like that. Tonight he performs "If I Ain’t Got You" by Alicia Keys. Wow, that’s a helluva song to take on. One, because Alicia Keys is tremendous and two, because this song isn’t that well-known. That could put him in trouble. However, he lights the piano on fire and sounds very soulful. This isn’t my favorite Eli performance, but he certainly is Top 10. I’m sort-of afraid for him now because he picked a more obscure song. EEK! SAVE ELI! Piers says he could sing any song and do it well, saying he’d buy Eli’s album before all others in the competition. Eli takes off his hat to Piers, which makes him look EVEN CUTER! Sharon (not in cougar mode) says he did well, but advises him to enunciate more in the lower register. The Hoff loved his emotion and calls him "the piano man." Yay Eli! Call me!
The last act of the night is Jonathan Burkin the Baton Twirler. Aw, I love this kid! Tonight he has this weird pinball set, where he sets pinball machines aflame. He is twirling to "Pinball Wizard," though, so that’s fine. There is a strobe light on overdrive tonight, which actually detracts from his twirling. I’d rather it be more stripped down, but the twirling is still great. He does the cool trick where twirlers spin a baton around on the backs of their necks, but the baton is ON FIRE so I hope Jerry is backstage with an extinguisher. STOP DROP AND ROLL, JONATHAN! But for real, this is great. I dont’ know if this by itself could be a 90-minute stage show in Vegas, but it CERTAINLY is good enough to go through to Top 10. Piers says he was brilliant but that the show was incredible tonight. Very true, Piers. Sharon says there is only one "BA-ton twirler." She is so great. I want to go out for drinks with Sharon Osbourne. The Hoff says watching Jonathan makes him nervous, but he’s too good not to be voted back.
Recap: SickStep breakdancing their little hearts out, Donald Braswell being the guy who can kidnap ME into the labyrinth under the theatre (rowr), Elvis not impressing me as much as he did the judges, the Taubls being Christian Amateur Hour in comparison to the rest of the field, Sarah Lenore going out of the box and doing pretty well, Nuttin’ but Stringz continuing to be effing bad-ass awesome, Kaitlyn making my biological clock tick, the Tapping Dads pulling out ALL the stops, Eli Mattson tickling my ivories (what?), and Jonathan Burkin lighting the stage ON FIRE.
Okay, let’s get real. If I’m picking the Top Five from tonight, it’s gotta be Donald Braswell, Nuttin’ but Stringz, Eli Mattson and Jonathan Burkin for sure. Then the last spot. Grrr. One of SickStep, Sarah Lenore and the Tapping Dads. But if we got to pick the Top 10 from BOTH nights, it would HAVE to be Donald Braswell, Nuttin’ but Stringz, Eli Mattson, Jonathan Burkin, Sarah Lenore, the Tapping Dads, SickStep, the Cadence, Xtreme Dance FX and then ONE of Queen Emily or Neal E. Boyd, Opera Singer. Seriously, those are the Top 10. If they have to pick 5 from each night, I am going to be SEVERELY disappointed.