Live from Radio City Music Hall–I’ll be blogging the America’s Got Talent FINALS right here!
Mara Justine (Singer) – Oh. The 12 year old singer is first. She’s only been able to advance the last two times with a judges assist. She’s performing “Perfect” by Pink. Her performance is a little turgid, but she’s nailing the big notes, if not the emotion, exactly. There’s a weird echo on the audio track. It’s not just Mara, but the judges remakes too. TECH! Mel B is really pleased with her performance. “You’re the little girl with the big voice.” says Howard, who feels she has grown throughout the competition. Howie also calls it “perfect.” (OY) Heidi calls her “flawless.” Glowing remarks from the judges has Mara tearing up. Regardless, she’s going to have a tough time advancing. She faces stiff competition, particularly from the other singers.
David and Lehman (Magicians) – Their bit tonight revolves around lottery scratch tickets. They ask the judges to pick balloons and after the balloon is popped, choose a number between 1-100. The numbers they pick become part of the scratch ticket, set up on an easel. There’s one last balloon. When it’s popped, a lottery ticket floats out. The numbers on the ticket match the numbers the judges chose. OOPS Howard’s number is wrong. Oh wow. On the back of the boy’ shirts, written in tape, is “Howard’s number will be off by one. That was a very clever trick. Their banter was funny, too. The judges rave. “How do you do it? asks. By the way, Mel cheekily chose “69” as her number.
Sons of Serendip (Group/Singers) – This band, including harp, piano and cello, once again put a unique classic twist on a pop song. A violin player and choir add grandeur to the performance. The group continue to pick cool songs. This time, it’s “Ordinary World” by Duran Duran. Ethereal, evocative–the lead singer turns in a grand and gorgeous performance. Howard felt they hit it perfectly tonight. “A wonderful emotional moment.” Heidi calls it grand and majestic. Mel says they nail it time and time again. They really stepped up to the plate, she says. Howie hopes the viewers at home, hear what the judges hear, because the group deserves votes.
Howie notes the sound problems during Mara’s performance. I wonder if she’ll get some kind of do over?
Aw. Back from break, Howard is holding SCOOBY! Christian Stoinev is next.
Christian Stoinev and Scooby – Christian was really bummed after Howard dissed him last week. He was sure he was going home. After being criticized for emphasizing the dog too much, he’s plans to turn up the strength tricks. Except…the act opens with Scooby front and center. It’s a jail theme. The dog is wearing a black mask and prison stripes “Wanted for stealing the show.” (Scooby is in the audience with the judges. This must be Scooby 2) After a few tricks, Christian takes over to do some solo strength work. It isn’t anything special, though. Truth is…he’s kind of boring without the dog. BRING BACK SCOOBY. Heidi is conflicted. She wants to see both Christian AND the dog. Mel B. thought it was one of his best performances to date. Plus, she loves him shirtless. Howie felt Christian stepped it up. Howard congratulates him for taking in his constructive criticism. “You can go to bed tonight, proud of yourself,” he says. Aw. After pleasing, Howard, Christian becomes a little teary.
Emil and Dariel (Teen Cello Players) – You know. They’re playing for their grandfather. The kids play the ASTEROID SONG. Noooooooooooo. “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” They DON’T take Howard’s advice to add a vocalist. Instead, they’ve got a choir in the background singing the chorus. Hm. Not many surprises here. This comes off as muzak. I don’t think I can like the Asteroid Song under any circumstances. Mel B, however, felt it was massive. “You owned it. You guys are really special,” she says. Howie calls them phenomenal. Howard still thinks they need a vocalist. A real lead singer. He reminds the audience that they are phenomenal virtuosos. Heidi felt they were a little safe. I AGREE! Very safe. Boring. The others disagree vehemently.
AcroArmy (Acrobats) – The act begins with a show of strength. A tableau of the boys holding up girls one handed. It’s beautiful. The acts kicks into gear. There’s throwing, and tumbling and amazing, dangerous feats of balance and strength. All of it is choreographed beautifully. Remarkably, there are very young members in this group. Everyone is so good! They finish with another death-defying toss. Stunning. Honestly, I think the troop would be a very deserving winner. Howie can’t stop saying “WOW”! “You gotta vote!” he says. Howard compliments the act for building momentum week after week. He’s afraid folks at home can’t see how spectacular it truly is. Heidi thinks they deserve to win. “You guys are just everything,” says Mel.
Quintaveous Johnson (singer) – Another 12 year old singer. But the difference between him and Mara is that he’s got a scary ability to interpret like an adult and do it absolutely effortlessly. He never seems coy or precocious. Tonight, his singing “I’m Going Down” by Mary J. Blige, and it’s pretty fabulous. He’s hitting those big notes like a boss. He’s so young, he can’t be more than a novelty act at this point, Howard is amazed that the young singer hasn’t been swallowed up by the big stage. Heidi compares him to Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson. She calls him a “superstar.” Mel B thinks he could win this. Howie begs viewers to vote. I think he’s too young to win.
Mike Super – In his opening package, he talks about the intense competition the other magicians pose. His trick began last week when he visited Howard at his Sirius studio and handed him an envelope with a “prediction” in it. Howard promptly stuffed it down his pants. Nick is part of the act. He chooses some cards. He steps in the “cash booth” where he dumps a bunch of money on him. The bills fly around him. He chooses one. He steps out of the booth with it. He reads the serial number. It matches all of the cards he chose. Impressive! Howard unveils the prediction he had in his pants. It’s in code. Mike uses a butane torch to unveil the exact same serial number. The judges are blown away. “You came out here, and now you killed it,” says Howard.
Blue Journey (Contemporary Dance Duo with Projection) – The song is “I Put a Spell on You.” There’s a wall of doors projected on the backdrop. It’s another surreal, slightly disturbing scene. A hand in silhouette appears to control the dancers as if they were marionettes. It’s another creepy, yet compelling story told by the duo through movement and screen projection expertly incorporated into the performance. Mel B loves that the act is so unique, but this week, she found it repetitive. Howie isn’t sure they hit it tonight. Howard says not to listen to the other two. Bravo, he says. Heidi loves that they always come up with something new. She hopes America votes for them.
Emily West (Singer) – We hear Emily sing “Over the Rainbow” during her video package. It’s like she gets two performances. Live on stage, she sings “Nights in White Satin” by the Moody Blues. I find it interesting that she’s completely abandoned country music, which is what she sang when she had a label. This is a little old fashioned and adult contemporary for my taste. She’s got an amazing voice, she hits the big notes right on. I suppose she needs a big competition song to succeed at this point, but I wish she had sung something contemporary. The judges give her a standing ovation. Heidi calls it a perfect performance. “Nailed it.” says Mel B. “Your voice is killer.” Howie calls her voice “haunting.” Howard notes that the Moody Blues have not been inducted into the Rock Hall. She proved they belong there, he says, and calls her the greatest singer to ever perform on AGT. WOW. The pimping. BIG PIMPING. Oh. The song was her parent’s wedding song.
Mat Franco – Both Heidi and Howard praise Mat during his video package. Oh. Mat is using Mel’s phone again. He promises not to touch it. He riffles the cards at the camera and asks the AUDIENCE AT HOME to notice a card. He picks a card which he flips up into the air. The King Of Hearts sticks to the ceiling. Hm. I noticed that card. That trick was actually really obvious. The deck was stacked to riffle in a particular way so that it paused at that card. More tricks, revealing cards that the judges have signed. Mat’s sleight of hand is pretty amazing. Underneath Mel’s phone was a box with Howard’s signed card. The guy has amazingly FAST hands. Heidi calls him her favorite magician. Howard brags they are the number 1 summer show, and it has so much to do with Mat. Howie says Mat deserves to stay. VOTE AMERICA. Actually, his last trick was bigger, and more impressive. But still, he deserves to advance.
Next, Nick does a bit with Kermit and Miss Piggy from the Muppets. Piggy smacks Nick with a “mean right hook.” It probably feels really familiar. Oops. It’s a preview for the Muppets appearance tomorrow night.
Miguel Dakota (Singer) – Ohhh. Miguel gets the pimp spot! In his video package, Howard repeats his diss of Miguel–that he doesn’t have star power. Miguel swears to bring it. Hm. He performs “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones, which is an odd choice at this point. This isn’t the right song for him. Much too big for him and his modest vocal gifts, it puts his flaws on display. There’s not much singing happening here. There’s a lot of growling and shouting. Not one of his best performances. Heidi felt his voice got lost in a big song. She prefers him with his guitar. Mel disagrees. She thinks he’s a fully fledged rock star. (Uh. Nope). Howard found himself missing Mick Jagger. He agrees with Heidi. Howie thinks he’s the biggest STAR the show has ever had, and evokes a slew of teen idols, like OneD. Hm. Have a feeling Teen Super Stardom isn’t exactly what Miguel has in mind. Eh. I’m Team Howard/Heidi.