America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 5

The New York auditions had me largely shrugging during America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 4. Tonight the auditions move to Chicago.

David Ferman is a juggler. This rarely goes well. They usually drop, if not now during the live shows. After a little warm up with normal juggling, his stunt for the night is to balance a molotov cocktail on a balloon on a stick in his mouth. If he drops this, it will cause a fireball. He concludes this by popping the balloon. This doesn’t really qualify as a juggling act, but it doesn’t lack for entertainment value, originality, or danger.

Chicago Boyz Acrobatic Team combines tumbling and rope jumping. Their coach’s goal is to keep them away from gangs and give them a better life. The audience loves their performance, and they feel the same about their story.

2Unique are a 10 year old DJ and rapper, who have performed together for about three months after meeting online. Impressive stage presence for age 10, though the performance runs out of steam at the end.

Sully Dunn is a singer/songwriter who admits to being a weirdo who lacks proper technique. He decided this morning he’s not going back to college so he can be in a rock band instead, and his song is about college bringing you nothing but debt. If nothing else, he’s entertaining and likeable, much to Howard’s chagrin.

Branden James’ parents pray every day that he will stop being gay, but that hasn’t worked so far. He’s an opera singer who performs Nessun Dorma, a song that never ceases to impress.

Trevor Stone is a… cat trainer. A professional cat trainer. Even worse than I expected. His trainee is a guy wearing a cat suit who poops on stage. It’s here that the judges realize they have lost control, eventually culminating in them all sambaing away from their podiums.

Next stop, San Antonio.

David Fenley says music is the only thing he’s ever been good at. Now that he’s married, he wants to take the next step and stop playing at bars. His performance is what Mel B wants, what she really, really wants.

Dylan Wilson comes from Huntington, Indiana, which has corn, farmers, and him. He taught himself how to dance on the Internet, and he did a pretty good job at that.

Heidi asks for guys without clothes, and she gets gladiators, Hunk O Mania’s International Men of Steel. They dance while wielding swords and shields. Though Mel and Heidi say yes to guys who aren’t even terribly appealing, Howie and Howard are unimpressed by the fact that there’s really no act here.

Lil Mike and Funny Bone are brothers who say their real names are both Jesus because that’s what happens when Indians name their kids. At 52 inches, they are the smallest act of the night, but they want to make sure people remember their song Do the Rain Dance, so they come wearing T-shirts that say it. The judges are pleasantly surprised.

The American Hitman is a rock band who served in the Marines together. Howard thinks he’s finally found a band that can go all the way to the top.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 6, which airs Tuesday at 9/8c on NBC.

America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 4

The Asian invasion in America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 3 brought us dancer(ish) Kenichi Ebina from Japan and acrobat Rong Niu from China. Tonight auditions continue in New York City.

Struck Boyz are hip hop dancers ages 8-11. Cute kids with just enough attitude, do we even need to see a vote?

KriStef (Kris and Stefan) Brothers aren’t wearing any shoes. Is that really a smart idea in the streets of New York? They say they will change our minds about hand balancing, like there are a lot of preexisting opinions about the subject. The main appeal of their act actually seems to be stripping, as the little woman lifting her husband (Paradizo Dance) a few years back was more impressive when it came to a balancing act.

The last time she performed her singing mime (what?) routine, Aneya Marie was booed by 4500 people. Yeah, that’ll be happening again. Heidi was trying to listen to the performance (when’s the last time anyone needed to hear a mime?), but she couldn’t hear it over the chorus of boos behind her.

Hammerstep is a dance group that combines Irish dance with hip hop. Certainly not a combination you see any day, but it’s interesting enough.

Aaralyn and Izzy are 6 and 9 year old time wasters. He drums while somebody goes to get an exorcist for his seemingly sweet little sister whose talent is screaming. With the judges unwilling to be honest, only Mel says no.

Virginia State University Gospel Choir promise an experience like no other. I’m not sure they necessarily delivered on that, but they do put on quite a show.

Chris Antes makes art in his mouth with chewing gum. So he tells us. The audience immediately gets hostile, not that they can even see what’s going on.

Howie and Howard got into a debate earlier in the day about whether singing an original song is a mistake. Brandon & Savannah want to prove Howie wrong, and they pretty much do, though it’s ultimately their performance that stands out more than the song.

Before going on stage, Taylor Williamson tells a joke about what you get when you combine an elephant and a rhino. At this pace, I’m not sure he’s going to be getting out of performing gigs at laundromats. But his actual act turns out to be reasonably funny.

Jacob Calle is a party stuntman, whatever that is. He pulls string he swallowed out of his stomach then puts a scorpion in his mouth and blows bubbles until he gets bitten.

So begins a bad magician montage, which leads us to Naathan Phan. His escape act splits the audience and the judges, but his on the spot card trick where he pulls the chosen card out his mouth wins them over.

Forte is a singing group that met online within the last few weeks. Each very talented in his own right, they put together an act that has a lot of people saying wow.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 5, which airs Tuesday at 9/8c on NBC.

America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 3

The Miami All Stars returned yet again in America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 2, and they were followed by magician Collins Key, escape artist Alexandria the Great, and singer Paul Thomas Mitchell. Tonight the auditions return in a special time for a one hour abridged episode ahead of The Voice finale.

Omega Force is a group of strongpeople. Their oldest member is 75, and they claim he’s the world’s strongest senior citizen. Their feats of strength include breaking blocks and lifting Nick Cannon. Howie didn’t really get it, but the other three judges say yes.

Kenichi Ebina is a dancer(ish) from Japan, who mixes robot, dance, and martial arts. I’m not sure this really qualifies as dance, but whatever it may be is very impressive.

Deanna DellaCioppa is a singer who lacks confidence. I’m not sure where the singing ends and the screaming begins, but she’s definitely got a powerful voice.

Steve Price (Sprice) builds goldberg machines, a process where knocking down one domino causes a chain reaction that knocks down everything else. He may seemingly lack enthusiasm, but he gets points for how long it must have taken him to set that up.

Rong Niu brings with her from China a traditional Chinese acrobatic act. Her act for tonight is juggling bowls (using her hands, head, and feet) while riding a unicycle. Having already tossed several bowls on her head, she concludes by tossing four bowls balanced on top of each other on to her head in one movement. Howard says she’s the best thing he’s seen all day.

The American Military Spouses Choir is, well, what it sounds like. Their goal is to help treat PTSD through music. With a story like that, they really don’t even need to sing, but they manage to entertain by singing Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 4, which airs Tuesday at 9/8c on NBC.

America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 2

A new judging panel got started in Amercia’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 1. It’s still early, but Mel and Heidi seem like they’ll fit right in, even if Howie still doesn’t. Among the first acts they judged were Catapult Entertainment, Anna Christine, and Special Head.

Travis Pratt sings a song that his girlfriend apparently loves. He sounds like a very good female opera singer. But the real news of this performance is that he wants to propose to his girlfriend of 5 years.

Ruby and Jonas are a pre-teen ballroom dancing duo. She was a member of The Untouchables from last year (who were children of the Miami All Stars from the prior year). They consider their biggest competition to be Ruby’s slightly older brother D’Angelo and his partner Amanda, who used to date way back when they were 9.

Taking a page out of American Idol’s book, the judges have voted for both of these acts with four yes votes at the same time. I wonder if Nigel is telling them how to vote, too.

Howie gives Mariachi Nuevo Estillo AVM a standing ovation right when they walk on stage because he believes they will annoy Howard. Their version of I’m Sexy and I Know It wins Howard over, though.

The next act runs out on stage shooting guns, but they’re in Texas, so nobody seems to notice. Pistol Packin Paula fires several more times before the female judges buzz her. Then she whips a candle in a shaking Nick’s mouth. Howard’s the only judge who gets this act.

Brad Byers is going to marry someone with a medical background, which comes as no surprise considering he’s about to swallow 9 swords, which the audience can see in an X-ray. As if swallowing them is not enough, he then twists them in circles a couple times. Mel says no because she can’t watch that again, but the other three judges say yes. Nick’s not looking forward to seeing him again either.

Collins Key is a 16 year old magician. First he steals Nick’s food and Howie’s money. He burns the money, which then ends up inside the sealed bag of popcorn. He’s surprised and overwhelmed to find the audience loving his act.

From San Antonio, the auditions now move to New Orleans.

Megan Piphus goes on stage with a couple dummies. She’s a better singer than she is a ventriloquist, but either way she’s going to Vegas.

Jonathan Allen was kicked out by his parents on his 18th birthday because he’s gay. Regardless, he still hopes to make them proud, rather than just writing them off like I’d suggest. He’s already got the audience pulling for him with that story, and his singing backs it up.

Alexandria the Great had a hobby 30 years ago before she had kids. You wouldn’t think it by looking at her, but she’s a female escape artist. She dives in a pool with 30 feet of chains around her. After a minute and a half under water, she comes to the surface unchained. This is compelling television.

Mel says that’s a difficult act to follow. So who’s next? JC Starbright, a computer programmer who views himself as the next Lady Gaga. Howard buzzes within the first sentence. Then Mel. Eventually, he forgets the words to his own song. It takes some time before the other judges finally axe him. Then Nick insists on continuing the foolishness.

Sam Johnson is going to do a handstand. On a sway pole. 80 feet in the air.

The final act of the night is Paul Thomas Mitchell, a singer/songwriter from Memphis. His song, My Life, is a tribute to his father, the one parent he has that recovered from alcoholism. Great voice, great song.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 3, which airs Tuesday at 8/7c on NBC.

America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 1

After Sharon Osbourne had a tantrum and quit the show, she was replaced by not one but two new judges. Melanie Brown, apparently a Spice Girl (Scary Spice), joins the panel along with Heidi Klum, who at one point was super and a model. Not sure either of them will add anything to the show. They are joined by returning judges Howie Mandel (comic relief but not much else) and Howard Stern (a surprisingly competent judge in his first appearance last year). The four judge panel has actually worked out well the past couple years on Britain’s Got Talent, but it’s a hit or miss prospect, typically more miss than hit.

Nick Cannon remains the host, which means we will see him foolishly extend the worst acts by joining them and pretending they don’t suck. He is generally a decent host, though.

Hopefully we can have a repeat of last year. No singers in the finals, especially lame ones who nobody’s ever going to actually listen to again. Let the other shows suffer from singing show fatigue. I want to see some variety.

With four judges, the contestants will need to receive at least three yes votes in order to advance to the next round.

David “The Cobra Kid” Weathers has been working with venemous snakes for 25 years, but he’s not dead yet. He blows up a balloon and gets a diamondback rattlesnake to strike it out of his mouth. Glad they survived, the judges vote for him.

Marty Brown talks about how the colonel was about 65 years old before his dreams came true, and now KFC is all over the world. The judges who clearly don’t think much of him before he starts singing have to change their minds after hearing him sing To Make You Feel My Love. It turns out his wife tricked him into coming on the show.

Clearly the first waste of time act of the night is Miu, who thinks she might be from Japan. Howie insists on watching this nonsense dancing of a woman possessed through to the end. Mel informs her that was not dancing.

Catapult Entertainment incorporate illusion and body magic into their dance routines. We’ve seen similar acts to this in the past (the much better Attraction is one of the front runners on this season’s Britain’s Got Talent), but their take on shadow dance is likely to propel them into the live shows.

Hype made their dance routine overnight, but they promise it is entertaining. Howie will be blown away if they put two days into their next routine.

Chuck from the Bronx eats three raw eggs, does a tequila suicide shot, then sits in a bathtub full of ice while eating the hottest pepper in the world. Despite the pointlessness of this, Howie does not buzz, but at least we get to watch him take a little tiny bite of pepper and learn that milk is the only way to get rid of the burn.

Anna Christine is a 10 year old singer and piano player. She’s 10? This is like when we first saw Jackie Evancho, whose vocal talent far exceeded her years.

3Penny Chorus and Orchestra is what you would expect. I don’t really get it and barely recognize their version of the overplayed song, but Howard, who hates orchestras, gives them a standing ovation.

Pacific Boys Choir kicks off the visit to LA with their rendition of California Dreamin. Howard, who interviewed the writer of that song, said he would enjoy that.

Special Head disappears and forces the audience to wait for him while he aligns his shockras. After obnoxiously meditating and getting buzzed by Howard, he begins floating in the air. Howard even takes his X back.

Angela Hoover does stand up comedy and impressions. She wants to be more than just a stay at home mom. She’s funny, but I’m going to have to take Howie’s word for her being a perfect impressionist.

Tone the Chiefrocca has a simple goal. He wants to be a one hit wonder. B double O TY is the song he’s going to use to do that. The crowd appreciates stupidity when they hear it. He promises to do the exact same song if he comes back. Then, of course, Nick joins him and encourages him to continue.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of America’s Got Talent Season 8 Episode 2, which airs Tuesday at 9/8c on NBC.

America’s Got Talent Season 7 Winner

The remaining six finalists performed in America’s Got Talent Season 7 Episode 30. Tonight one of them will be crowned the America’s Got Talent Season 7 winner. Too bad NBC, the network that no longer has any use for The Biggest Loser, has managed to find 2 hours in its schedule to drag us through the standard painful 2 hour revealing process.

1 hour in, and still nothing has happened. The side by side comparison at least lets us know Tom Cotter’s a lot more entertaining than Joan Rivers, though.

Now that 75 minutes have passed, it’s time for the first result to finally be revealed. In sixth place is The Untouchables. In fifth place is Joe Castillo. In fourth place is David Garibaldi & His CMYK’s.

This leaves us with the scenario Howard proposed last night. The winner will be the comedian, the earth harpist, or the dogs.

In third place is William Close. Hard to split the two who remain, as for a change the right two acts are left standing in the final two. A lame singer will not beat a much more talented variety act. I think this is a first for the American version of this show.

The America’s Got Talent season 7 winner is Olate Dogs. I’d rather watch the comedian for 90 minutes than the dogs, but this is easily the most talented animal act we’ve seen.

America’s Gol Talent will be back again next year for season 8, but the game of judging musical chairs continues. Sharon Osbourne has already thrown a fit and quit the show. It would hardly be a surprise to see one or both of the other judges follow her exit.

America’s Got Talent Season 7 Episode 30

The second set of finalists was chosen in America’s Got Talent Season 7 Episode 29, setting the stage for tonight’s final performances.

David Garibaldi & His CMYK’s never were an act I fully understood, though the end product they finish with is always impressive. It’s just a matter of getting there. Their painting for the night is Al Einstein.

Tom Cotter’s made it further than any comedian before, and he’s got a chance to make it to the top. Like last time, he has prepared multiple acts, and he has Nick roll the dice to determine what he’s going to do, jokes about the bad examples adults set for children. He again gets the judges to their feet.

The Untouchables have made it one step beyond Miami All Stars. A bunch of kids dancing like Tina Turner? I did not see that coming.

Sand artist Joe Castillo does a tribute to America’s Got Talent for his final performance, creating portraits of the judges. Still good, but not as emtional as his earlier efforts.

William Close’s initial simplicity impressed me. The trick is adding additional elements to the show without the earth harp getting lost. As before, he gets a standing ovation from the judges, but I still feel some of it’s lost in translation.

The final performance of the season is the most talented animal act I’ve seen (a lot better than either anything on this show or Britain’s Got Talent winners Ashley & Pudsey), Olate Dogs. They start with some two legged walking and hurdle jumping, add in some barrel rolls, and as expected some backflips. Howard says it’s between the comedian, the earth harp, and them, which I’d call a fair assessment.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of America’s Got Talent Season 7 Episode 31, where we will find out who the America’s Got Talent Season 7 winner is, which airs Thursday at 8/7c on NBC.

America’s Got Talent Season 7 Episode 29

The second and final group of semifinalists performed in America’s Got Talent Season 7 Episode 28. Tonight three more will advance to the finals.

The first three acts are Shanice & Maurice Hayes, All That, and Lightwire Theater. Time to put All That out of their misery and hope they don’t come back in season 13. Lightwire Theater is the obvious group to advance from this trio.

Jacob Williams, David Giribaldi & His CMYK’s, and Sebastien “El Charro de Oro” are next. I thought Jacob had a chance, but his material let him down. David’s the clear favorite of this group.

Clint Carvalho, Olate Dogs, and All Wheel Sports are the third set of acts. Olate Dogs was perhaps the best animal act ever, and they become the third group in the top 4.

Tim Hockenberry, The Magic of Puck, and The Untouchables are the last group. This is the hardest one to call. I don’t see Puck advancing, but either of the other two could make it. Hard for Tim to beat a crying 8 year old, though, and The Untouchables advance.

Regardless of who goes to the finals, we’re guaranteed a rarity in this show. There is not a single singer in the finals. The closest thing to a singer is William Close, whose main part of the act overshadows his moderately okay singers.

The Untouchables are the first group to advance to the finals. The second spot in the finals goes to Olate Dogs. David Garibaldi & His CMYK’s and Lightwire Theater must now await the judges’ decision. Sharon votes for Lightwire Theater. Howie votes for David. Howard breaks the tie by voting for David.

Next week’s show is on Wednesday. Pick a time already.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of America’s Got Talent Season 7 Episode 30, which airs Wednesday at 9/8c on NBC.