Wednesday, August 22, 2012

AGT: 8/21 Wildcard Round

And we’re back with twelve acts that have previously shown themselves to not be ready for the big show…but will it be as bad as last week?

Only time will tell.  Each judge was able to bring back four acts, and there are some surprises in store, though AGT fails at keeping them a secret for even half a second, so they show all the acts right away.

First up is Spencer Horsman, as returned by Howard.  He did an illusion instead of an escape on his first quarterfinal, and it bit him in the butt.  This time he went for the old ‘bury myself in wet cement while padlocked into place’ routine, and it was great.  I still don’t like the fact that he uses a lockpick, but it’s not an illusion, so he gets a pass.  And in one act, we beat all of the previous week’s acts.

All That came next thanks to Sharon, and they can bite me.  I stand by what I have said numerous times before they should NOT be eligible, they made it to the top three in season one!

We then saw Jarrett and Raja, who, in the last round, went too comical and small, and the audience saw right through their trick.  This time, they came back and did a great illusion with a bit of comedy thrown in, instead of the other way around, and rocked it.  The illusion was fun, and they seemed to be having fun as well, and their sponsor, Howie, was really obnoxious about his role in bringing them back.

Jacob Wesley Rodgers came next,as one of Sharon’s picks, and he lived up to the nickname I gave him, the gay lounge singer.  He sang ‘Edge of Glory’ poorly, he pranced around the stage poorly, and he took legitimate criticism poorly, and will (poorly) be eliminated tomorrow.

Cristin Sandu came next.  He fell last time, and was really bummed, but Howie though he put too much pressure on Cristin, and so brought him back.  Apparently, Cristin’s dad has magical balancing mojo, cause Cristin brought him along this time, in hopes of not falling.  Unfortunately for Cristin, balancing mojo is non-transferrable, and he fell again.  This time, it was almost ala Johnny Cash, but the ring of fire miraculously went out when Cristin started his fall.  Imagine that.  Bad luck for him, but I really don’t see how he could have made his act bigger anyway.

Then, we went on to something completely different:  Todd Oliver, the live dog ventriloquist, surprisingly brought back by Howard.  I am sad to say I have to retract my previous comments regarding his material.  Howard was right, more topical jokes did make it funnier.  I still stand by my assertion, however, that he does not need to make it bluer.  One thing he does need, though, is a bit of practice on the tricky consonants, like ‘v’ and ‘b’.  I was very distracted when he introduced his dog Erthing, among other slight mispronunciations.  I understand they are the tricky ones for a ventriloquist to do, but if they are good enough to be on a national stage, they really should have them down.

The Bandbaz Brothers came next.  They were the group I forgot last week.  These are the guys that didn’t even get to perform in Vegas, but for some reason, Sharon decided they needed another chance.  They did decent on the one balance trick they did perform, but it seemed really short.  They are not strong enough to move on, I don’t think.

Howie then thought that Sebastien needed to come back.  I vehemently disagreed, but seeing as I don’t actually, you know, know anyone in the AGT production team, they didn’t listen to me.  Sebastien sang an odd rendition of New York, New York, and did ok.  He is very yelly when he sings in English.  I don’t know if that is from the different style, or if Mariachi just lends itself to yelling more, but it was not terribly pleasant.  It was also too much Sinatra, not enough Mariachi, even though I don’t like Mariachi in the first place.  It was strange, for sure.

Howard. Horse. That is all.

Sharon, in her last choice, went for Lindsey Norton.  Lindsey is a great dancer, we’ve seen her move around stage with effortless ease many times before, but tonight, something seemed off.  She seemed very tight, like her limbs didn’t want to get too far away from her body for whatever reason.  Her costume also didn’t pop like it probably should have, though that may be a production issue as opposed to Lindsey’s, I’m not sure who decided a flame background would be good with a red leotard, but it made it difficult to focus on her dancing.  When you could find her though, it was a very fun show.  Her flexibility is great, and her technique is amazing.  She does need to watch to make sure her moves connect, rather than just stack up in a row.

In another move that would have been surprising if it wasn’t telegraphed months ahead of time, Howie brought back Andrew DeLeon, the soprano singer that got cut in Vegas.  I kind of assumed he was going to be here anyway, seeing as he completely vanished since Vegas.  If he hadn’t been coming back, he would have been on every talkshow imaginable, not holed away in a bunker somewhere.  Anyway, he sang ‘Unbreak My Heart’ in what I think was Latin, though I could be wrong.  His high notes were very nice, but his lower register was very wobbly, and not good to listen to, if his entire performance had been sung at that level, my ears would have been bleeding.  His presegment was kind of annoying, in how the producers were really trying to push his underdog thing, what with the whole, ‘I’m still getting nervous’ thing.  Obvious producers are obvious.

Lastly, Howard brought Ben Blaque, the crossbow guy that had the amusing balloon malfunction last time.  The danger was definetly present, but setting up his six(!) arrows took way too long, and I was bored halfway through.  I know they like to say how dangerous this is, but honestly, it doesn’t seem that dangerous.  They obviously had it set up and tested prior to the shooting of the arrows.  If he had to sight each one, it would have taken way too long, so the element of danger is missing completely.  I also really hate it when the judges are like, “Oh, we’ve never seen something like this before,” when it’s a trick that has been done to death in other venues.  Make it new, or go home.  Kind of like Ben Blaque will be doing tomorrow.

So, despite the high quality of acts in comparison to last week, my four shoulds were pretty easy to pick.  The wills, on the other hand, are a complete crapshoot on my part, I mostly stuck with my shoulds, with one adjustment.

Should go                                            Will Go
Spencer Horsman                            Spencer Horsman
Jarrett & Raja                                     Jarrett & Raja
Todd Oliver                                         Todd Oliver
Lindsey Norton                                 Andrew DeLeon
Tune in tomorrow to see how I did!

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