Piers, Sharon, and the Hoff are back criss-crossing the
country in search of million-dollar talent.
Chico Alexander, Jason Block, Don Harpwood & Gordon Pepper, GSNN
Scott St. John
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10 More acts go up to perform for your
pleasure. 5, 4, or whatever number of acts that the judges feel like
putting in get through to the Finals. Haterade was a perfect 5 for 5
last week. Let's see if he can repeat the feat this week.
Welcome again to another performance show
of AGT. Just as a reminder of what I (and most of America) is looking
for in an act...:
1. Do something different. The audience wants to see what else you
2. Make it bigger and better. The stakes are raised. Your game must be
3. Remind us what brought you here. You have 105 seconds. No second
chances. Go hard or go home..
4. There better be music involved. 90% of the acts that advance in
this round are music-based.
Let's start the show.
Recycled Percussion begins the evening with some rock, and they
promise something crazy. Crazier than using a power drill to play a
guitar? Apparently so, as they play on a van that vertically splits
open in 2, with the top half levitating upwards.
The Good: The band's performance is very creative and catchy.
The group played another high voltage rock song, featuring people
using a sledgehammer to nail a bus. The fact that the top of the van
was elevated was a very nice touch.
The Bad: I don't know if it was an audio issue or intentional,
but the music was in the background while the drumming was in the
foreground. If it was intentional, the very sloppy finish of the
performance may have shown them that it was a tactical error.
The Verdict: This was a fun effort. I agree that if they
compare themselves to Stomp, they'll get into trouble, but if they
stay as a
rock band, they can be a dark horse to win the whole
Lawrence Beamon wants to follow up his act with something more
contemporary. His version of contemporary is 'Fallen' by Alicia Keys.
The Good: If you want to win this competition, you have to be
special and take risks. He did, and unlike Sharon, I liked the vocal
acrobatics. The trills and vocal stretches are hard to pull off, and
he did so very well. He also stayed in tune for the last 90% of the
The Bad: The first 10% of the song, however, was trouble. He
was shaky to start. I also hated the song choice - the voice makes him
Barry White, and there's plenty of Barry White material that he could
have selected that would have made him fit the mold more commercially,
instead of trying to make us imagine him as Alicia Keys. If you're a
guy, never sing a song made famous by a woman. Barry White's 'Let The
Music Play' (Yes, Barry made a song called that, not the song made
popular by Shannon - that's a different song) would have been a
The Verdict: Despite the song choice, the 'vocal acrobatics'
are going to be a hit with the voters. If they vote like the audience
popped when he hit the acrobatics, Lawrence should have no problems
But will Erik & Rickie have problems? They want to take their
act to the next level. In this case, the next level features them as
toys in a global shop. Can they dance to the finals?
The Good: I liked the moonwalk segment of the performance. I
also liked the dancing to the current music and I'll disagree with him
on the buzz for that reason. This was an act that DID work with the
The Bad: However, I would have buzzed them for a completely
different reason. There was not enough going on with the act - there
were too many slow spots and not enough dancing. And when they were
doing their individual technical spots, they were not in synch at all,
which makes me think that by the end of the act, a pair of garbagemen
will come to take the dolls to the land of misfit toys.
The Verdict: No group that has been saved by the judges ever
advanced past the next episode. Erik and Rickie will not be breaking
When we last saw Jeffrey Ou, he had microphone issues. America
voted him through anyways, though I would not have due to other
things, like song choice. Can Jeffrey redeem himself this week with
Liszt's 'Hungarian Rhapsody' and make a believer out of me?
The Good: There's no doubt that he is a very technical
performer. He can hit the notes, and for an 18 year old, he is an
amazing instrumentalist. I also loved the idea of a spinning piano and
the lights reacting to how he was playing the music.
The Bad: It's a great idea in theory, but in reality, it didn't
come off as well as it should have. Once again, I have an issue with
the song choice - it would have worked if he picked a more emotional
piece of music that the audience could relate to. This would have been
a perfect spot for some 'Christmas Eve in Sarajevo' by the
Trans-Siberian Orchestra, with the lights alternating in green and
red, signifying Christmas. That would have worked. And for the first
time since we've seen him, he wasn't technically perfect; he had a few
clunky notes that would have resulted in the star falling off the
The Verdict: Jeffrey may want to hope that the sympathetic
audience shows some love once again, because if they don't, Jeffrey
could have some massive problems advancing tonight.
Hairo Torres is talking to us about him idolizing his mom when
he grew up. His dance scene this week: The Prom. I don't think he was
idolizing his mom as the Homecoming Queen though - that would be
The Good: This is the first person to actually raise his game
from the week before. Sure, we get some contortion, but we also get a
small group synchronized dancing, B-Boy moves and an ensemble dance
maneuver. A vast improvement over the Round 1 performance.
The Bad: Not really much bad for him - more for the supporting
players, who lost costumed apparel during the routine and had to kick
it out of the way so Hairo's next performance doesn't take place in a
hospital, with him stuck in traction.
The Verdict: Before the night started, I was thinking Hairo had
an outside shot to get in with a save from the judges. However, based
on what I've seen so far, Hairo could get in via the audience. He
still needs some help from some of the later acts to falter.
One of those acts would be The Eriam Sisters, who wowed the
crowd with Beyonce last week. So what else can they do? What about
'When you Believe?', which was made famous by Mariah Carey and later
remade by David Archuleta. Can they make America believe?
The Good: The judges (and myself) wanted them to stop dancing
and start staying in place and singing. So from that standpoint, they
listened. And at the end, it paid off with a nice harmonization to
finish it off.
The Bad: The song was from the movie 'The Prince of Egypt'. And
at the end, it did feel like Moses did lead his people out of Egypt,
but the beginning and middle of the song sounded like Moses and his
people got detained by a tar pit or a herd of angry camels on the way.
The vocal harmonization was flat, and they suffered from Archuleta-itis
with a case of the lyrical dropsies.
The Verdict: Not nearly as strong as the first round. If the
sisters are going to make it to the next round, they better not finish
in 5th or 6th. The judges have already sent through a shaky group of
young siblings. I'm not sure they are going to allow a second set in.
Mario and Jenny's last act featured burning guitars and a fire
arc. That was good enough to advance last week, and with some of the
favorites faltering, a good act would be good enough to get them
through this week. Can they accomplish this?
The Good: We get Mario bouncing some balls, Jenny balancing on
a pole, Mario doing some dancing, Mario playing drums, and Mario
balancing a pole containing a flaming drum with his face. It's a fun
enough time to spend 90 or so seconds.
The Bad: None of that screamed 'Danger' or 'Excitement'. It
didn't feel at all like a dangerous, maddening act. With Mario and
Jenny wearing those light green spandex outfits, it felt like 'Mario
and Jenny's Workout', and I'm getting ready to aerobicize.
The Verdict: If you're a 'Vaudeville' act, you need to bring
something new, exciting and fresh to the table. Mario and Jenny did
none of that, and hence they can do their next act on the streets in
front of where the audience will be buying tickets to watch the acts
perform in the finals.
Nobody knew who Drew Stevyns was before the show. There's a
chance that no one may remember who he is 5 months after the show, but
he's looking to extend his fame with 'Careless Whisper'. Yes, the
George Michael (a la Wham) song. Can he whisper his way into the
The Good: VERY smart choice of song by Mr. Stevyns. If you're a
girlie magnet, you do a song that the girlies will love. The 16 year
old girls, while polishing their toe nails and chatting about hitting
the sauna, will scream at Drew and flood the phone lines once he
starts singing the song.
The Bad: Yes, I know that it's been remade into a rock song,
but George Michael had a panache that included making love to the
low-pitched passages and nailing the high notes - neither of which
Drew did. And a special boo to the judges who say that he made the
song his own and didn't credit Seether for rocking out the song first.
The Verdict: I hated this performance. Hated it. That being
said, it's a perfect song to get the kiddie bop singers to vote in -
especially with a song they know. I think it does pay off in the form
of a trip to the finals.
The FootworKKINGZ just barely got here thanks to the judges.
Now their next act to get them to the finals features...The Mighty
Morphin Power Rangers? Wha?
The Good: Obviously the group got spooked by what happened last
week and got younger. In that respect, by dressing up as pseudo Power
Rangers, they succeeded.
The Bad: However, it's their act that's old. They did the same
back and forth foot sweep motion move, which is cute, but they need
something else to go with it. They don't, which violates rule #1, and
in a competition where you need newness to get votes, that spells
The Verdict: Power Rangers, this past year, got canceled.
Expect the FootWorkkingz show to similarly go off the air on Wednesday
Barbara Padilla ends the evening. The opera-singing powerhouse
gives us 'Ave Maria', but will we be praising it just as highly
The Good: What a great, great voice Barbara has. Amazing tone,
and it was solidly in tune. It was an incredibly powerful performance.
The Bad: That ridiculously long yellow dress combined with the
goofy 3 tiered platform looked like she was either 1. A butterfly
melting in a frying pan or 2. A poor woman trapped on an Emmy
statuette platform. Either way, it looked el bizarro.
The Verdict: Based on the pop from the crowd when they
announced her and the standing ovation when she was finished with the
performance, you can stick her in one of the Top spots.
Overall: I thought this round was going to be tougher to
predict, just by the quality of the acts that got in for the past 2
weeks. It looks like I'm going to be proven wrong here. I only saw 5
good acts, and those are the ones I think are getting in.
Judges Choice: Hairo Torres Vs. ERIam Sisters: Hairo Torres Advances.
Join us tonight to see if I can get them all right again.
To see tonight's episode in its entirety,
or to apply to be a contestant on the next season, go to