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Thursday, August 18, 2011

America's Got Talent - Wild Card Auditions - Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Nick Cannon congratulates the Kinetic King on AGT.
One of the best parts of America's Got Talent is that it gives great acts a second chance. Close voting that eliminated serious contenders has been wiped away as the fallen get a chance to redeem themselves and take another shot at wowing America on America's Got Talent - Wild Card Auditions - Tuesday, August 16, 2011.

Each judge was able to select four acts that they felt deserved one more turn in the spotlight and before a national television audience. Again, only four will survive, but just getting that second chance sure beats knowing that your last performance was your last. Here's how they did and how the judges reacted to their performances:
  1. Kinetic King - Novelty Act - St. Paul, MN - Last time the King performed, nothing worked. This time, he assembled 2,000 cans and 1,000 sticks into another of his domino-like contraptions. Everything worked perfectly and all three judges gave him a standing ovation. Piers brought back the Kinetic King and said, "Kinetic King, tonight you proved you're the king, you're the man." Sharon, "I bow to you." Howie, " There is no man in America that you can hand soda cans, balls, oranges and sticks and he could do something entertaining with it."
  2. Those Funny Little People - Giant Gnomes - Chicago, IL - Howie brought them back just to piss off Piers. They sang, they hopped around. I still think they belong on the midway at an amusement park. I couldn't watch them for more than five minutes. Piers buzzed them right after they started. Howie, "I didn't see that much of the act because I was staring at Piers Morgan's face. Piers blasted, "This is a million dollar talent competition and I'm looking at a bunch of total idiots, led by the chief idiot, Howie Mandel." Sharon, "You definitely brought in the big guns." (Referring to the camel they had on stage.)
  3. Avery and The Calico Hearts - Young girl singing trio - Lubbock, TX - They were full of their usual energy and their squeaky voices. Piers buzzed them halfway through their show. Sharon was so glad she brought them back, "You made me smile. You made me happy." Piers, "I think you're too early. If you keep practicing, we'll see you again and you'll be terrific." Howie at Piers, "They didn't deserve a buzz.
  4. Seth Grabel - Magician - Los Angeles, CA - One of Howie's picks. Seth put on a good show, making a replica of the Back To The Future car appear. Out of the car came three kids dressed like Piers, Sharon and Howie. It was pretty funny. Howie commenting on Grabel's performance, "You had all the facets that make a headline act." Piers wasn't so complimentary, "When you examine the content it was a bit lacking." Piers felt it was more of a show than magic and that upset him. Sharon, "You've got my vote." 
  5. Shevonne - Female Singer - Tampa, FL - She was originally eliminated in the Vegas auditions, but Sharon brought her back for a second look. She gave a strong performance and Sharon remarked, "You took my breath away." Howie, "I think we made a mistake in letting you go in Las Vegas." Piers, "I find myself in a very unusual position, in agreement with Howie Mandel." 
  6. West Springfield Dance Team - Springfield, VA - This horror theme dance team was eliminated during the YouTube Auditions when the judges voted, but Sharon jumped in and said they were coming back as one of her picks for the Wild Card show. Sharon said, "I think young kids at home will enjoy it." Howie was a bit disappointed, "I don't know that you ramped it up to the next level." Piers was on the same path, "I like you, but it wasn't as good as the last performance." 
  7. J Chris Newberg - Comedian - Birmingham, MI - Howie has liked this guy all along. Why? Not sure. Newberg decided to roast Piers as his routine. Before he got to his first punchline, Piers buzzed him. Newberg shot one stab at Piers after another. Everyone got a big kick out of it. Howie beamed, "I am so proud I brought you back." Piers surprisingly said, "I found your material deeply offensive, woefully inaccurate, and funny." Sharon, "You've got balls of steel." 
  8. Yellow Designs Stunt Team - Trick Cycle Riding - Denver, CO - Picked by Sharon, these guys have added a lot to their act. However, when you take away the costumes and the music, it's four guys doing the same five tricks and flips over and over and over. Sharon was impressed, "It worked superbly." Howie, "I love the fact that you've taken BMXing and added a story to it, a theme and music and dancing." Piers, "This is the only act when you make a mistake it almost makes the act more entertaining."
  9. Charles Peachock - Juggler - Kent, OH - Charles went back to doing dangerous tricks - flaming chainsaw, knives with a sword on another sword balanced above his head. But he broke the #1 rule of jugglers that I mentioned in an earlier post, "Don't drop shit" - and he did. Piers was blunt, "I think you blew it." Sharon, "I felt bad for you that you did blow it."
  10. Fiddleheads - Bluegrass band - Dahlonega, GA - A Howie selection that was buzzed by Piers. Howie, "I thought you brought it." Piers, "This group doesn't work as a group." Sharon, "I felt tonight you were back in your comfort zone."
  11. Summerwind Skippers - Jump Rope Team - Boise, ID - These two girls and four boys brought back by Piers added fire to their act and even had a big flub at one point, but recovered quickly and kept moving. Piers, "Great recovery. Great job." Sharon, "How can you make a show out of skipping? And you just did." Howie, "You are a headlining show."
  12. Landon Swank - Magician - Wasilla, AK - Piers has always liked this guy and brought him back for a second chance. His last performance was not very dynamic, although, he's done extremely well in earlier performances. Swank was handcuffed behind his back, with his neck bolted to the floor of a box filled with water. He escaped and a curtain went up as a woman stood on the box and Swank was on top of the box and the girl was in the box when the curtain dropped. Great trick. All three judges gave him a standing ovation. Piers, "That isn't a show (referring to Seth Grabel). That's magic. That's a proper trick." Sharon, "Now, that's sexy." Howie, "It was fabulous."
As I look through my notes for the show, it is really hard for me to pick four acts that should go on to the semi-finals. Landon Swank, definitely. And possibly Seth Grabel. Two others out of this group, I'm not so sure. When the criteria is headlining act in Vegas, they all seem to fall just a little short.

Kinetic King is a cool trick for two minutes, but his contraptions take hours and hours of setup. He'll never be able to build an hour show, even if he worked on it for a month. Those Funny Little People belong at Disneyland on the midway. Avery and the Calico Hearts are a Saturday morning TV show. Shevonne, talented, but not impressive enough to command big bucks. West Springfield Dance Team - I wasn't that impressed with them the first time. Less impressed this time. I don't think their dancing is anywhere close to what Zuma Zuma or Miama All-Stars do. J Chris Newberg - open mic material. Yellow Designs Stunt Team - too repetitive. They're still guys jumping around on bikes. Charles Peachock - too many mistakes. Fiddleheads - a lounge act. Summerwind Skippers - fire, barbed wire, electric cables - nothing could make them an act you'd want to watch for an hour.

So, I'll put my votes on two magicians and leave the rest up to America.

Only one real standout on America's Got Talent - Wild Card Auditions - Tuesday, August 16, 2011.

Photo by NBC-AGT

Related links:
AGT Website
AGT on Twitter
Nick Cannon on Twitter
Piers Morgan on Twitter
Howie Mandel on Twitter
Sharon Osbourne on Twitter

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