The show starts an hour early tonight, so get your snacks and secure your spot on the sofa by 8 PM EST, when, according to NBC, Howie, Howard, Heidi, and Mel B “continue their quest to unearth America’s top talent.” It must be buried alongside Peking Man.
My research, which consists of an idle Google, reveals that Marty Brown, the aw-shucks country singer from the season premiere who plucked our heartstrings with his rendition of Dylan’s Make You Feel My Love, was not dragged from the back forty to perform for the first time before an audience that didn’t consist of a plow horse and some chickens. He released three albums in the early ’90’s that, while not huge hits, were critically acclaimed. But then he disappeared from the country music scene. Is his appearance cheating? Discuss.
The summer just keeps getting better, the show tells us in excited capitals. Not until I win an all-expenses-paid vacation to Cabo.
First up is a team of bench pressers. One guy is 75! They’re the Omega Force Strength Team. The old guy lifts a giant barbell. You’d think he’d have a flatter stomach. Another guy chops a huge pile of wood blocks with one hand. It’s a talent, to be sure, but how often do you need a pile of forty broken wood blocks. Another team member bench presses Nick, which is not so amazing since he’s kind of a lightweight. Howard calls them inspirational, which is a stretch since not many people aspire to lift extremely heavy items above their heads in front of an audience.
The Tae Kwon Do guys who briefly follow also break up some wood blocks, but with their feet. The wood block manufacturers are setting record profits tonight. And you just know all these muscle-bound types get annoyed when you ask them for help moving your refrigerator.
Little Darby appears next with her cheerleading coach. He holds her up on one hand and flings her around in several directions. Where are her parents? And her pediatrician?
Kenichi Ebina from Tokyo will be dancing, which is his passion. I wish he were also passionate about choosing a flattering hair color. His dance is that robotic kind of thing, with staccato motion of the limbs like a wind-up toy. But then he does a really striking move that looks like his head has fallen off. Not necessarily the most tasteful thing what with recent events in London, but still neat. I just hope no one says it’s inspirational. As he keeps on doing impossible backbends and twists like a character in a video game, I know all of you perverts are imagining what he’s like in bed.
A dog rescuer with very red hair and a very large bosom will sing next. She tearfully tells us that her weight has held her back from making it in the business. Deanna DellaCioppa‘s name might be holding her back, too, since no one can pronounce it. She’s doing the fat girl’s anthem, And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going. But she is going, to Vegas! Who will rescue the dogs? Howie thinks the song is her life. It’s certainly quicker than publishing an autobiography.
And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going to Answer the Phone Right Now.
19-year-old Steve “Sprice” Price builds cool things. He will present a Rube Goldberg machine, an odd idea for an act. Mel B doesn’t know what that is, even though they used one to make the Spice Girls appear to be singing. Sprice’s version, set up in the lobby, consists of a series of dominoes, a bike wheel, some wood planks, various balls and marbles, a stack of Solo cups, and a toy truck. So basically what he found on the floor of his frat house. “Anyone can do this,” Heidi enthuses, “if they’ve got the brains.” And anyone can host Project Runway, even without the brains. This is one of those “acts” that you can’t imagine a person paying to watch in Vegas. Although if you were drunk, it might be quite compelling.
A Chinese lady will now perform a traditional Chinese acrobatic act that requires great skill and balance. Let’s hope nothing goes wrong for Rong Niu. She gets on a very tall unicycle, puts one bowl on her head and a stack of them on her foot, then kicks the stack up onto her head, where they nest perfectly with the one that’s there. It’s impressive, but is it really worth the practice time that might be spent, say, learning neurosurgery or teaching Mel B to pronounce “juggle” correctly? Howard marvels at Rong’s American success story, which gives hope to all those Chinese children who dream of coming to this country to ride a unicycle and kick stacks of bowls onto their heads.
The American Military Spouses Choir is a group of Army wives who were sent here by the yellow ribbon magnet industry. If you do not cry at their story, you are made of stone too heavy to be lifted by the Omega Force Strength Team. The wives formed the choir because they learned that music therapy helps mitigate soldier’s injuries. Wounded veterans better avoid listening to the typical singers on this show. The ladies sing Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, and everyone cheers, not just for their singing, but for good old American gumption. The choir will deploy to Vegas.
That’s the talent of America for tonight. Next week they promise even bigger acts! At 9 PM again. See you then!