Another auditions night has arrived, steamy and fragrant with summer blossoms, the show bursting onto your TV screen to be live-blogged at 9 EST on NBC. There is no end to the talent in our country, or at least no end to people who think they should be paid to appear before an audience doing something or other.
Afterwards, you can kill some time taking the AGT Pop Trivia Challenge, which requires you to consume Orville Redenbacher products. Log in after the show to find out if you were paying attention, and you could win a trip for two to the season finale! Take me if you do; I need the break after all this blogging. Void where prohibited, of course. I wonder how that works? Do you win, run out and buy a bunch of cruisewear, then receive a letter that tells you “Oops, sorry, your state says ixnay on the iptray”?
Nick opens the show in a helicopter, screaming incoherently out the open door. The AGT production budget must be insane, since they obviously needed to commandeer another aircraft to film this. You’d think some of it could go for more tasteful suits for Nick.
Olivia Rox is the first performer, a singer. She’s young and fresh-faced. That’ll end soon enough. She strums her glittery pink guitar and strives to sound moody and filled with angst, which is hard when you’re 14 and already own a glittery pink guitar. She giggles too much to be effectively emo, but they put her through. Maybe they can wean her off the Xanax.
Ronald Farnham appears on stage next. He has a number of toilet plungers arrayed on a tabletop, and explains that he will throw at people. Perhaps he’s a bitter retired plumber. A series of flabby, bare-chested men wearing helmets line up, and he starts flinging the things at their backs, missing most of the time. And to think there are people in this country who desperately need toilet plungers and don’t have them.
Barry Kurtz is a 62-year-old male stripper who also sings. Fortunately, he doesn’t get to the stripping part of the act before he gets buzzed.
Howie finally shows up; he was not at the judges’ table at the beginning of the show, for some unexplained reason. Nobody noticed.
Next are a be-tuxed musical group of three guys. They want to give up their day jobs to focus on their music–ominous words. They introduce themselves, and then a lumbering fellow who looks like a sumo wrestler appears from the wings and takes off his shirt. The tuxed guys start slapping his belly, arms, and face to create a nice, dancey beat. So that’s why the group is called Tummy Talk. Everyone gets out the Ben Gay. Then the judges suggest bringing out Nick to be stripped to the waist and slapped. I’m on board with that.
Following is a bunch of overdressed little girls called Fresh Faces. They do a cheerleading kind of thing, lots of jumping, splits, and coy gestures. Who would pay to see this? It’s in every suburban backyard across America.
Next a celebrity impressionist. Those are usually fun, but this guy is lame. De Niro and Robin Williams? Come into the aughts, fella. But we hear an excellent impression of Howard Stern saying he was good. Then we have to put up with a shirtless sword swallower who also spins around on one hand, which just gives me agita.
A group of skating acrobats who spin on suspended sheets and grab each other by the ankles perform next on a sheet of ice-coated plastic. Very innovative–I mean figuring out how to have ice on a stage. Otherwise, what is the big deal.
They are followed by a group who do “video mapping.” SensEtion, who can’t spell, are dressed all in white with helmets, and use dance, video projection, and a lot of fancy talk in their act. Please use some talent. The lights go out, and it turns out they’re basically Tron on a stage. The lightboxes are carrying the act. One blown fuse and the show can’t go on. Heidi was bored. She’s seen more exciting prancing on Project Runway.
More little dancer kids next. They’re forced to discuss whether they are in a budding romance, a concept to which the girl vigorously objects. Onstage, she haughtily insists that their prize money would be given to the poor. Lucky for the boy that she wants no future relationship, as he would be seriously whipped. Otherwise, Yasha & Daniela are your typical terrifying android dancer children whose address is the Village of the Damned.
A Kentucky guy with an aw-shucks attitude is next. He’s a coal miner and a Marine veteran. You couldn’t write a better story unless he were also an amputee father of special-needs triplets with a gay brother who trains guide dogs for the blind. Plus, he has a chin cleft. His name is Jimmy Rose and he sings a forlorn country song he wrote himself. Unless it turns out he did not “like” the Paula Deen support page, he has just won the show.
Abel Barillo builds and plays his own instruments. The first is a guitar made from a crutch, than a wind instrument watering can. He gets buzzed quickly. No one gets any credit for industriousness these days. I mean, who would you rather have stranded with you on a desert island, this guy or the video dancers?
Now for some fire power. A paunchy gray-bearded guy named Captain Explosion explains that the fire department won’t let him do his act indoors, so out in a field, they watch him grab a helmet and approach a large box, purportedly filled with explosives, that he climbs inside of. We hear a loud BOOM and then it’s a commercial. Cheap trick, AGT. Especially since the ad is a bomb. When we return, the box has disintegrated, strewing bits everywhere. The Captain appears to be fine, although his faculties may not have been at the outset of this venture. It seems obvious, however, that whatever exploded wasn’t that dangerous if he’s still in one piece.
Choe Channell (pronounced like the perfume) is an 11-year-old girl with cruel parents who chose that name. She sings because she wants to see people smile. Too bad she chose a Carrie Underwood song, then. She also hunts, indicating that America’s Got Buck-Shooting Tweens. Heidi thinks it’s time for a little girl to win the show again, while the rest of us are still waiting for someone talented to take the prize.
Some peculiar young woman named Megan Amigo, who appears to be Special Head’s sister, is next. She does some kind of contortion that expresses her spirit in movement rather than words. So she’s saying she’s twisted? She pretzels herself into impossible positions to the theme from the Partridge Family, which I find spiritual since David Cassidy had a powerful effect on my consciousness.
After her, a puppet gets eaten by a guy in a giant squirrel costume. I enjoyed it because it’s very hard to find a good squirrel costume. Never mind how I know that.
A soul-pop band of mostly siblings from NYC follows. 212 Green are so cute; they’re like Josie and the Pussycats, but with a couple of guys mixed in. As a bi-racial child, the lead girl identifies with Mel. Let’s hope the sense of connection ends there, and she doesn’t go out and buy herself a giant pair of boobs.
Now for a goofy guy named Al Harris from Lawn Guyland, NY. He has a suitcase full of stuff on a table–uh, oh, a prop comedian. He won’t stop even when Howard begs him and all the buzzers have gone off. The only funny thing about this guy is his haircut. Where’s that giant squirrel when you need him?
And thus endeth another evening of talent. See you tomorrow night–NOT NEXT WEEK, AAIIEEEE– for the last chance before Vegas. The judges have rounded up the best of the best–but now, the announcer cries, comes THE best act of the season! A SUSAN BOYLE MOMENT. They could be toying with us, but the lady certainly looks dowdy. Hmph.