It’s the 10th week of AGT (that’s all? Feels like it’s been slightly shorter than the Pleistocene Epoch), when another dozen acts will vie for the next four available spots to move ahead in the competition. Tonight we can look forward to appearances by a snake and a dog–dear God, keep them apart backstage!–an illusionist, a gay singer, a dog-rescuing singer, two teen sibling singers, an impressionist, a choir of military wives, acrobats, Chinese dancers, and people flying on balloons.
So far, the snake has the highest number of followers on Twitter, and all he ever tweets is “Sssssss.” Of course, that makes him the most interesting of the contestants.
On with the show! Tonight, Nick has on a turquoise suit, purple shirt, and red tie, because cataracts are a treacherous affliction.
Up first is one of the most “enchanting and beautiful” acts ever on the show, Aerosphere Aerial Balloon Show. Kind of a repetitive name, since a balloon on the ground would be pretty uneventful. They won’t have safety wires tonight. After the balloon is raised to the theater ceiling, they do that thing where they twirl while being connected by the teeth with some S-M-looking contraption. Howie thinks it didn’t look that difficult. But since he also thinks common household bacteria will kill him, we can presume that perspective is not this strong suit.
Chicago Boyz are next. They’re from the projects, where they see a lot of crime and the hardscrabble life. But their coach guides them, showing them that things can be better with hard work and discipline. It’s a Sandra Bullock movie with dancing. The only concern is that when the littlest kid reaches puberty, they’ll be short a jump rope.
More dancing follows, this time from China. The Mitsi School of Dancing is run by a woman and the daughter she left behind to come to the U.S. to make her troupe successful. That movie is Not With My Daughter. The dancers lead off with a clever illusion using all their arms as they stand behind each other, like the Indian goddess Kali only without the severed heads. Then they bring out some giant ribbons and strut around, and that’s when the dance gets kind of boring, if pretty to watch. But as a guy I used to date always said, how much do you expect in 90 seconds?
Kelsey and Bailey live on the farm and do everything together. I just wish I could remember which one is the girl and which one is the dog. Especially since they both have fluffy hairdos. They arrive on stage in a little rocket ship, then launch (ha!) into their country dance complete with complementary gingham outfits. If you’ve ever seen that merengue-dancing Golden Retriever, you know this poodle has quite a ways to go to achieve true dog-dancing professionalism.
Now brother and sister singers Brandon and Savannah are up now. They were among the cool, artistic kids in school. Little do they know, that’s all over now. It’s going to end up like that episode of the Brady Bunch where the record producers lure Greg away from the kids’ singing group to become a star by himself. Mel thinks they need to put on more clothes, while I think they just need to put on different clothes. I suggest boarding school uniforms.
Illusionist Leon Ettiene and Romy Low are next. How surprising that they experienced lean times over the years as they built their reputation. Tonight they’re going to give us a backstage view of their act. They stick some canes through a box while Leon is in another box with a curtain over it, Romy dances a lot, then he ends up in the cane box and Nick in the other box. I don’t know what was going on, it was distracting and Leon’s hair is stupid. Howard has buzzed them. Leon is defensive. And yes, Nick’s pants are too short. All in all, the only illusion is the one these guys have that they are entertaining.
Following is the singer Deanna DellaCioppa, who still has Bozo-colored hair, yet wonders why everyone tells her she doesn’t have the look to make it in the business. Standing in a field of lights, she sings I Want To Know What Love Is, but what she should want to know is what good singing is. She also needs to shorten her name to Deanna Dell. Or Della Cio. Or Mud.
Here’s a new one: David “The Cobra Kid” Weathers’ passion has always been for venomous snakes. He doesn’t need AGT, he needs an MD. He opens a box with a king cobra in it, drags out the poor creature, and essentially taunts it for a minute and a half. Its skin is probably being irritated by the Astroturf, ruining it for future purses. Then he just stuffs the cobra back in the box. Big deal. I do basically the same thing every time I go to the DMV. Howard points out that the snake is the star of this show. And you know, he’s actually more talented than Howie.
Jonathan Allen‘s singing took him on a personal journey of self-discovery. Do you get frequent flyer miles for that? Standing in a cloud of blue smoke, he sings The Impossible Dream. It was that or I Gotta Be Me, and that’s too hard to give an operatic arrangement. The good news is they gave the kid a make-over, so he looks less like a depressed member of Peter and Gordon. Howard points out that Jonathan has tough competition in Branden James, the other rejected-for-being-gay opera singer, and Forte, the opera trio who seem to have no friends despite not being gay. So if it’s true that AGT is Jonathan’s family now, as Howie assures him, he can expect to be thrown out by them, too.
Robot dancer Kenichi Ebina is next. He came to America to provide for his family in Japan, and instead of getting a regular job, he dances like a robot. As you do. This time he uses a background screen showing a video story that he participates in, which makes it pretty compelling. We then learn he created the whole production, and that everyone in it–including the sexy lady–is played by him. So the upshot is, Japan’s Got Talent.
Comedian impressionist Jim Meskiman is the son of Marion Ross, the mom on Happy Days. You’d think he’d have more of an “in” in Hollywood by now. In a new interactive twist, the audience got to Tweet who they wanted him to do impressions of tonight (of whom they wanted him to do impressions?). Uh oh, his mike isn’t working. He’s doing an impression of Marcel Marceau. Okay, now it’s working. He will do Ben Franklin as portrayed by random celebs chosen from a list by the judges. We get Joe Pesci, George Clooney, Sting, Woody Allen, Robin Williams, Dr. Phil, Robert Downey, Jr. The audience chose Jay Leno, because it’s the same audience that thought Innovative Force was worth keeping. Howard makes a Mrs. C./Fonzie joke to Marion in the audience, and she does not appear amused.
The soaring, emotional finale will be The American Military Spouses Choir. Kind of a clinical name, but I suppose Army Wives is taken. They have pretty robes with sashes now, instead of those cheesy purple tee-shirts that are probably union-made. The ladies sing the always inspirational Hero, which must be what Nick dials up on the iPod as foreplay music. The audience leaps to its feet, crying and cheering U.S.A.! U.S.A.! Lips tremble as the singers are tearfully praised by the judges. Next cherubim will descend from the heavens and spread glitter and sunbeams for all to take home in their Orville Redenbacher swag bags.
Tomorrow night we learn who will be getting the other three spots not taken by the choir. See you then!