americas-got-talent-premiere-S6.jpgAfter an underwhelming Seattle episode, let’s hope Houston and Minneapolis can bounce things back for “America’s Got Talent.”

The first audition from Houston is The Rhinestone Ropers, a Wild West skill show that may not be “Vegas” exactly but is impressive nonetheless. Dan does most of the actual tricks, with Melody acting as his victim assistant. Oops, spoke too soon as Melody shoots water balloons while spinning on a giant board. Very cool. They are through, of course.

The Ropers kick off a Good Montage: Mona Lisa, twin girls who sing “Killing Me Softly” and are decidedly better than those schmuck twins from last night; Charles Peachock, who juggles in black light, which is kinda meh for me, but he’s through; and The Perfect Angels, a Hooters-esque dance troupe that has Piers drooling on his tie.

Daniel Joseph Baker is up next. He compares himself to Xtina, Lady Gaga and Nicole Scherzinger. Hmm. We’ll see about that. It’s great that he’s proud of who he is, but that doesn’t mean he has any particular talent. He sits down at the keyboard and does “Bad Romance” in his own way, kinda lounge-y, kinda burlesque-y. It’s fun and very good, though his operatic pronunciation on “ro-mahhhhce” is annoying. He could dirty that up a bit, but overall excellent. Good for him. He is also through.

So many good acts so far! Surely we are in for a trainwreck of epic proportions now.

Yep. It’s Jay Maynard, the “Tron” guy. Sigh. Bleep bleep bleep.

Thankfully, we get back on track with the Sandou Trio Russian Bar – in case anyone is wondering, I don’t believe this is the same group that was on two years ago, but had to drop out because the girl got hurt. Her name was Christine. Anyway, this is just as impressive, though I’m not sure Cassie is quite as sure-footed as Christina was. Either way, it’s awesome, a very cool act. The judges give them a standing O.

Bad Montage
: Status B.L.A.K., an off-key R&B act; Johnny Di Domenico, an impersonator who can’t do any good voices; and Asian James Brown, which … the title should tell you all you need to know about that. Also, does he change “like sugar and spice” to “like sugar and rice”? Is that an honest-to-God misheard lyric on his part? Or is it a racial joke? I’m so confused.

Luckily, a Bieber-lookalike is here to save the day. Her name is Dani Shay and she hilariously cracks, “Justin Bieber looks like me.” She’s incredibly androgynous looking and 22 years old but could pass for like 13. She sings a “Baby” spoof song and it’s funny, plus she can actually sing. Ooh, I want to see this girl keep going. The judges love it.

LD Dance Company, some showgirls wannabes who can really shake it, get a quick clip and are through to Vegas.

The next too-adorable-for-words act is 6-year-old Tanner aka Lil T. He has the cayoootest little Texas accent. And you know, he has pretty good moves for a little kid. His worm is spectacular, his robot isn’t bad. Very cute. Of course, he is through.

I’ll say it again – “AGT” needs a kids division, where they compete for a different prize than a Vegas show.

Up now is Professor Splash, the man who dives from great heights into small pools. Hmm. This is kind of a cool circus act, but a Vegas show? Anyway, there is much pomp and circumstance adn then he does it. It’s kinda cool, I guess, but there has to be something else going on here. The black platform underneath his blow-up pool has to be a giant pad, right? You can’t just dive to 12 inches in a pool that is standing flat on the ground, right? Hmph. I’m not as impressed as the judges. 

Moving on to Minneapolis (Piers is absent due to a delayed flight, so when the cat’s away, the cuckoo mice Howie and Sharon will play) …

The first act is Echo, the singing parrot. I’m not down with the parrot acts, sorry. Bleep bleep bleep. Both Echo and the other bird act should just go away.

The bird act leads into a Good Montage: Mrs. Smith, a drag queen performance artist; the St. Lukes Bottle Band, which is actually cooler than you expect it to be; and The Halls of Magic, a funny magician from 1983.

Next up is Lys Agnes, a woman who lost her fiance in a car accident. She didn’t think she’d sing again after it happened, but here she is to sing “Ave Maria.” She certainly does not look like an opera singer – she looks like Islands Barbie with her gorgeous face, willowy body and blonde dreads. But her contralto voice is beautiful, really haunting on this song. Opera singers traditionally do very well on this show, she should be very successful.

Viva La Muerte
is a … little person stripper? Oh lord. She gets a clip intercut with an annoyed Piers finally arriving in Minneapolis. Oh dear. She gets through, for reasons passing understanding.

The first act since Piers is there are a bunch of people dressed like … elves? One is in a suit, he’s their “agent.” The act is called Those Funny Little People and they dance and lip sync. The song is “Ice Ice Baby” and it’s kinda funny, but I’m with Piers, who buzzes. Not an act I want to see every week. They get through, though.

Bad Montage: Gasmask 90 Seconds, a fat guy in camo who screams at us and get sprayed with powder, which is like pure Nightmare Fuel. Is it performance art? Hilariously, Nick Cannon puts ono a gasmask and sweeps the stage. Miss Cherries Jubalie, a burlesque performer who pierces herself on stage. Piers acts like they would never deign to have something like that on the show, but let’s not get too high-falutin’, Piers. Then finally there’s Sid Yiddish, a … I don’t even know.

We do not get back on track with Walt Winston, a folk musician who sings a song called “Truck Drivers Aren’t Supposed to Cry.” It’s … oh my god in heaven. But the audience gets into it and Nick Cannon comes out to sing with him. He doesn’t make it through, obviously, but it’s pretty cute.

Why do I love Nick Cannon so much? I do not know. But I do.

Finally, we’re back to the good stuff with the Silhouettes, a group of dancers ranging in age from 9 to 18. They dance behind a backlit screen, so that they do appear as silhouettes, it’s very cool and they’re good dancers. The routine is very moving and it’s hard to put a finger on why, but it’s just so pure and crap. God, what is wrong with me tonight? Haha. The judges just love it. It reminds me of how AscenDance made me feel last season. Sharon calls it “intoxicating” and it really was.

The last act of the night is Tim Ford aka The Kinetic King, a guy who does “chain reaction gadgets” that go “way beyond your Grandma’s domino tumbling.” Ummmm … okey dokey.He sets off his tongue depressor chain and it explodes in a suitably fun way, but … I have a few questions, much like Howie. How long did that take to set up? How does that sustain an act? How does he keep getting bigger? Hmm. Anyway, he’s through. 

So that was Minneapolis. Weird.

Next week: More adorable children, it looks like. Sweet.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."