As we make our way through these live results shows, I can't help but recall the good old days when "American Idol" used to burn through their results in a half hour. Now, these are bloated overdrawn reality headaches each week. And "America's Got Talent" only gives us one performance to distract us from all the excitement of people standing on stage and being told either yes or no. Nevertheless, this is the job.
Who do I think I am? you ask. Well, I spent nearly a decade of my life sweating and bleeding to the music as a dancer. From a young boy learning a shuffle-ball-change to performing with the St. Louis Ballet Company, I experienced the ups and downs of one of the most difficult physically demanding sports on the planet. During this time, I was also a member of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, as well as a gymnast, writer and cartoonist. I had a lot more energy in my younger years. And I've spent the last fifteen years analyzing and critiquing reality competition shows for various media publications. I've got this.
Season 9 of "AGT" brought Matt Franco back, the first magician to ever win this show. He did a stunt where he poured six very different drinks from the same carton, but I kind of thing I saw how he did it, which was a little disappointing. I could be wrong, though. Regardless, Matt has a very fun presence, and it was a unique trick I’ve not seen before. I would have liked to see more than one drawn out trick, but I can’t fault the quality of his performance.
Piff the Magic Dragon
The Season 10 finalist continued the theme of magicians with a comedic act where his chihuahua Mr. Piffles drew an animal based on input from the judges and then wrote its name based on a thought from Heidi Klum. I’m not sure why the giraffe couldn’t be wearing underpants based on Mel B’s suggestion; Piffles drew a scarf instead. Was this a flaw in the act or was it supposed to be funny? If the latter, it kind of wasn’t.
Once again, the sixth, seventh and eighth acts are dumped into the Dunkin' Lounge, where two of them will be saved and one will be sent packing. This time around, it was Angelina Green (who I put in last place), DaNell Daymon & Greater Works, and Colin Cloud. Only Colin made my Top 7, but as the other two acts are singing acts, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him get the boot.
As a kid singer, Green would seem to be the lock for America's vote, leaving the fate of the other two in the judges' hands, but the votes were more balanced than in any previous week and somehow Colin Cloud pulled out an unlikely victory over two singing acts.
That left the judges to decide between the two vocal acts. It came down to Howie Mandel and I totally expected him to push it to a tie, but he didn't. Maybe it's because time was out, but Danell DayMon & Greater Works got the push through.
Tyra Banks broke my heart right away by pulling the acts I thought were the best two of the night for the first elimination result. Between Diavolo and Oskar & Gaspar, the better of the two advanced, but Oskar & Gaspar were just beginning to show us the potential in their unique artistic vision. Apparently, it wasn’t exciting enough for America, though.
My tough night continued right away, as my third and fourth picks were pulled out next, with Kechi pulling out the win over Final Draft. Clearly, I wasn't on the same page as America at all. I was a little surprised to see a singing act get cut, but America made up for it by putting both Chase Goehring and Mike Yung through in the very next segment.
America redeemed itself a little in my eyes then by putting Sara & Hero through into the semifinals, sending a little variety into the next round.
Ten acts perform next week in the first of two semifinals episodes. This week four of the seven were singing acts, meaning more than half of the acts left in the competition are singers. It's totally feasible, though unlikely, to have a finals that is all singers. Let's not let that happen, okay?
"America’s Got Talent" continues twice a week, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.