‘America’s Got Talent’ Recap: Fire and Ice
After a stunning round of performances last week on America’s Got Talent expectations were high. The first half of the night was uninspiring, but the second gave viewers a number of acts to respect. The quarter-finals are speeding by, let’s try and make sure all the quality performers are the ones that make it to the other side. Of course having Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howie Mandel to throw their opinion into things always helps. Nick Cannon always moves things along, and his dark burgundy suit was so pleasing his rhinestone encrusted shoes barely registered.
3Penny Chorus and Orchestra
Classical music just got a contemporary gut punch. 3Penny Chorus and Orchestra sang and played Taylor Swift’s popular tune “We Are Never Ever Ever Getting back Together.” The musicians and singers performed beautifully, adding humor and excitement to an otherwise timeworn musical genre. The judges varied in their opinions; the women were entertained and amused while the men folk wondered if the group could bring anything new to their routine. Whether voters were satisfied with their act will depend on how good the rest of the competition performs.
This 11 year old powerhouse is more than just a songstress: she’s a hunting, fishing tomboy. Chloe Channell sang The Band Perry’s “Done.” She owned her moment with all the command and range of someone twice her age. She faltered briefly—though her accidental swallow could have been passed off as a dance move—something only Howard took issue with. The rest of the judges praised the little songbird. Chloe was good, but we don’t see the merit in her advancing.
This self-proclaimed “ordinary family doing extraordinary things” came to impress. The husband and wife duo and their 12 children covered the stage with unicycles for Champions Forever’s first live performance. As adorable as it was too see that many people riding around on sky high contraptions, the whole performance was very dull. Howard and Mel B agreed, noting that if you take away the family aspect, the performance losses all its draw. Howie and Heidi were taken by the family, but we hope America sides with Howard and Mel B. A cute family isn’t enough, we need more.
Another group, another day, another attempt to bring something new to illuminating technology. This trio of dancers used video imaging in an interactive way during their dances. Much like Kenichi Eniba before them, SensEtion battled with elements like water and used their technology as the basis for their performance. We found their routine more compelling that Kenichi’s, but Heidi was nonplussed and Howard was distracted by the performance’s lack of story. Mel B and Howie rightfully enjoyed the act, but we’ll have to see if voters did as well.
This youthful band performed Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” with mixed results. On the one hand The Robotix band members rocked with a stunning guitar solo and a drummer with enough energy and talent to rule the stage solo. When it came to the vocals, their performance was a little lacking. The young girl filling the lead singer spot has a powerful voice but she seemed to be holding back a great deal. All of the judges agreed; losing this amazing band because of lackluster vocals is going to be rough.
Breaking away from his usual pole acrobatics, Timber Brown introduced a new element of his wheelhouse: a spinning metal planet. This contraption spun, shook, and dangled up and down in the air quite quickly, while Timber moved through the bars, dangling and moving with ease. His performance embodied what the judges are always looking for; taking your talent up a notch. All of the judges were rightfully impressed; we just hope the rest of you were as well. Mr. Brown deserves to move on.
This motorcycle riding introvert may be unaware of the power her voice holds, but now America knows. Accompanying herself on the piano, Cami Bradley sang Cher’s “Believe” as a beautiful ballad, a shocking arrangement that worked perfectly for her sweet sounding voice. The romanticism of the rendition still gave her a chance to belt out a few notes. Cami not gaining entry to the semi-finals would be a travesty—all the judges paid homage to her brilliance. Hopefully her fate is a happy one tonight.
We’re shocked this group made it to the quarter-finals; slapping a big man’s bare belly wasn’t the most deserving talent we saw during auditions. Still, Tummy Talk performed, alternating between slapping the tummy and slapping drums. The added element of hitting their human musical instrument in the face did the group no favors. Howard admonished the other three judges for pushing the group through in the first place because the addition of a boxing backdrop and a bigger routine did nothing to improve their act. Though the rest of the judges weren’t ready to accept the blame, they all were bored and put off by the routine. Hopefully their journey will end here; sorry guys, some things were not made for the big stage.
Taylor Williamson is probably the first comedian whose prepackaged video was just as funny as his performance. His routine touched on the dirty streets of New York City, homeless people, and a list of women who don’t find him attractive. Even his bit where he pulled a list of jokes out of his pocket was funny, calling for a standing ovation from the audience and the judges before the audience made good on his proclamation. Howie and Howard loved his jokes while Mel B felt he was a dash too nervous for perfection. Heidi took issue with his chosen subject matter, complaining that she would have to explain too much if her children saw his act. Firstly, his jokes weren’t anywhere near crass enough to warrant that criticism, but hey, not everything is for children anyway. Maybe put the young kids to bed and stop inventing reasons to not give a brilliant comedian his due.
Combining aerial silks with ice skating Aerial Ice is bringing something very different to the stage. Twirling high in the rafters while skaters glided beautifully long the synthetic ice covered stage was the transcendent moment it should have been. They performed tricks without a hitch, garnering support from all the judges except for Mel B. She wanted the group to up the ante and incorporate the more difficult tricks they performed near the end of the routine into their entire performance.
Juggling isn’t a joke when David Ferman is involved. Hanging upside down from the rafter he juggled three flaming metal wire balls for 50 seconds. Had he dropped even one, the metal trash can hanging just below his head would have exploded in flames and burned his face. Somehow Mel B still complained about a lack of showmanship, and of course danger scares Heidi so much that she can’t find room in her brain to like it. Hopefully America knows a quality danger act when they see it. At this point David has successfully juggled a Molotov cocktail, powerful Tasers on a unicycle, and flaming balls upside down. If he doesn’t deserve to move on no one does.
As a small town veteran, Jimmy Rose knows his worth in his hometown. Singing Bryan Adams “Heaven,” he sat and poured his heart into the tune. While his performance was full of emotion his voice wasn’t as strong as it’s been in the past.
Who Should Advance: Timber Brown, Cami Bradley, Taylor Williamson, David Ferman
Wildcards: Jimmy Rose, Aerial Ice. Country music tends to reign supreme, so Jimmy has a great chance, regardless of if it’s deserved. Aerial Ice deserves to move on, but they may not have outshined all of their competitors.
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