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- American Idol 12 Recaps
Week 12, it says up there. I could have completed a certificate in medical transcription in that time. Fortunately, though, we’re not yet comatose, so we can watch the last 12 acts perform tonight at 9 EST to try to earn a spot in the semi-finals. We’ll be coping with two pairs of kiddie dancers, one pair of kiddie rappers, the guy who builds Rube Goldberg machines, a bunch of singing acts, another comedian, more acrobats, and that fellow who does stuff on top of a very tall pole. If he were a kid comedian who sang and danced up there, he’d have this thing sewn up.
I am saddened to report that Red Panda, the lady who rode a unicycle while kicking bowls onto her head, is no longer in the competition. It’s not clear if she withdrew or was disqualified–can you rig bowls?–but her spot has been filled by a girl contortionist who didn’t make it through auditions. It’s hard out there for a unicycling bowl kicker.
So now that Aubrey Plaza has helped the contestant on Hollywood Game Night win $25,000, it’s time for AGT to start. I have to say, $25,000 seems like a low-rent amount of prize money when they can pay half a dozen celebrities to be on the show. Also, that’s a really cheap set. The rug is from Pottery Barn.
Nick’s outfit colors tonight: navy, eggplant, and burgundy. He looks like a dining room on an episode of Love It or List It.
The Virginia State University Gospel Chorale starts things off. They want to inspire their listeners to know that tomorrow can be better. That’s definitely the right message for people going to the Vegas casinos. Tonight, they’re going to make us learn to love an “American classic” all over again, namely Like a Prayer. It’s come to this, has it? Madonna’s cultural contributions are considered classics. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t love that song in the first place.
Red Panda’s replacement, Melody Caballerro, is next. She’s a 10-year-old contortionist from a whole family of contortionists. My family just contorts logic. She does impossible backbends, puts her feet on her shoulders, and raises her body holding on with just her teeth to a stick. Her orthodontist must be rubbing his hands with glee. Heidi says enviously that she looks like she has no bones in her body.
Weirdly bearded singer/guitarist Dave Fenley follows. He’s been poor for some time, but now that he’s married, he needs some income. Getting a job was apparently out of the equation. He sings Trouble, the song that was overdone on competition shows a few seasons ago, but now just reminds us of that insurance commercial with the dog and his bone.
2Unique, who are 2pointless an act to have come this far, are up now. If yelling incoherently and ruining perfectly good vinyl records represents talent, then I should have been appearing at Radio City every time I got drunk at a party in high school. The judges are kind, but essentially tell them their greatest ability is being cute in public.
Sam Johnson joined the circus when he was 14. Is that even legal? He has not performed tonight’s top-of-an-80-foot-pole act in 10 years! Please do not try this–or the “joining the circus as a teen” thing–at home. Wearing his top hat, he climbs the pole, which is on top of an upside-down-U frame. The pole sways terrifyingly as he reaches the top. He ties a rope to his ankle and then hangs upside down, gripping the ladder rungs. Everyone shrieks when his hat falls off. Is this an audience of over-sensitive milliners, or just people who don’t understand how gravity works? Then the pole plunges earthward as if it has broken off–but no, it swings in a complete circle through the frame and back to the top as Sam clings to it. I hope he took Dramamine.
More acrobats now. Duo Resonance are a Russian guy and an American woman husband-and-wife team who work eight hours a day on their act. Probably not much else for them to do together, since he doesn’t speak English. These two basically just climb all over each other while soft music plays and people stare. Not unlike many date nights in my youth. Mel finds them erotic, and Howie finds them sensual, forcing us to picture his sex life. Heidi loved them, but now will have to rethink her need to be able to take her kids to see the winning act.
The first of the two kid dancer acts–two of whom are brother and sister, but on competing teams–come next. D’Angelo & Amanda claim while they are not the cuter pair, they are more accomplished. They’re doing a paso doble, which we all know from DWTS is a dance of intense passion which should never be performed by people who have not yet grown public hair.
Singer Selena Mykenzie Gordon follows. The 15-year-old’s mom was serving in Iraq when Selena was little, so her grandma took care of her and sang to her, which inspired her. While the backstory is tight as a drum and she’s as pretty as a picture of a pretty person, several points off for the spelling of her middle name. Then, of course, there’s the fact that she didn’t sing very well. The judges harass her about the poor performance, but she refuses to concede anything other than that the music was off. She has a great career ahead of her as an attorney.
Comedian John Wing has been perfecting his craft for 33 years. He must not have been very funny in the early 80′s. He says philosophically that he’s competing with himself tonight. Since all his jokes are mundane ones about having teenagers, he should be pretty easy to beat.
Sprice is the 19-year-old pasty-faced mechanical engineer who makes Rube Goldberg machines, and has as much personality as a bottle of Pepsi left open for a day. Heidi gets to push the first domino on tonight’s creation, which, when did he have time to set it up? It also involves an umbrella, soccer balls, electrical systems, Jimmy Hoffa’s corpse, and some kind of explosion at the end. When Mel says she found it all kind of boooring, Sprice’s eyes dart nervously and he sticks his tongue repeatedly into his cheek. Watch for him next on one of those high-channel true-crime shows, as the suspect.
Now it’s the other set of kiddie dancers, Ruby & Jonas. Their precociousness is tiresome, while their potential mental illness issues are just disturbing. Howard reminds them that one of them fell last time, a mistake that devastated the tots. Then Howie piles on and tells them their dance wasn’t as intense as her older brother’s paso doble. Someone better hide the liquor in the Snapple All-Natural Talent Suite.
After that frenetic display, we have Catapult Entertainment. They create stories using just shadows. The leader is from Connecticut, near Sandy Hook–cue choking up–and he wanted to acknowledge their loss, so tonight their performance honors life. I was hoping for a zombie massacre dance, but this should be nice, too. The coolest part is when a lady with a fro has her head turned into a tree with a swing hanging from it. All the judges are moved, especially by the dancers appearing onstage afterwards in their spandex briefs.
Okay, so besides these dancer guys, who brought everyone to tears and breathless exhortations about the circle of life, who will be the other three acts that win tomorrow night? Your guess is as good as mine. And better than all those other acts. See you then!
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