Tonight, on The World’s Mundanest, we’ll see all kinds of chazerai passing for talent. For example, there’s a formerly tone-deaf singer who claims her ability to sing is a divine miracle, and a precocious pre-teen vocalist from Kazakhstan. Isn’t that where Dimash is from? It’s a small world’s best after all.
No one seems to know who the other four performers are on this second night of auditions. Not even the obsessive nerds at Wikipedia have updated the show’s page. The apocalypse is truly nigh. We do know RuPaul will be doing his impression of a largemouth bass during every act.
In passing, I have to wonder if the judges get to shower and have their outfits cleaned after the first several hours of offering effusive praise under the hot lights. And what about the international judges? Those pods must be real sweat boxes.
The crowds cheer as Corden introduces the final round of auditions. First, from China, are some guys from a Shaolin temple who do an acrobatic, martial arts-type act (The Golden Kings of Kung Fu). They certainly are flexible fellows, jumping around briskly with glad cries, forming a human pyramid, and then leaping from prone positions on the floor as one guy rolls under them like a Little Debbie Swiss Roll careening down a steep slope. Their golden knickers are quite chic as well. Corden wants to get in on this last feat. The line of face-down men all manage to rise nimbly above his rotating girth that’s like an enormous rolling pin wearing a tie. The American judges give the group an average of 45. The other countries hand over enough to make 89 points. Everyone likes to see excellent results from regular gym visits.
Next is the 12-year-old girl vocalist from Kazakhstan (Danaliya Tuleshova). Out of the gate, she sounds no better on “Rise Up” than Vicki Lawrence on that flip-side hit she had in the 70’s, while she looks like Jodie Foster playing Becky Thatcher. It’s Wayback Wednesday over here. Sadly, her restrained and delicate vocal stylings don’t get any more impressive as she winds up the performance. The judges seem a little less impressed than her mom, who sobs on the sidelines. Ru, Drew, and Faith give her a combined high score, though. What does the world say? They send her through with a grand total of 96 points, spurring a shower of gold laser lights behind Corden. I can’t believe this saccharin drivel beat the Shaolin temple act, whose outfits were cuter, too. Questioned by Corden, a judge who denied to vote yes feels the girl needs more practice, not to mention orthodontia.
Next is a ventriloquist from Great Britain (Nina Conti). Where are the performers from Nauru or Kiribati or Liechtenstein? Maybe they can’t send people when the only talent is also the prime minister. The ventriloquist’s act is one we have all seen before on Britain’s Got Talent or something, where she invites an audience member onto the stage and straps a mask on their faces that have moveable mouths. She makes an innocent woman appear to make some lame jokes, than asks another audience member to come up and get a half-face, which looks like it would be uncomfortable to wear, and things descends into banality. RuPaul calls the act “organic,” a term that has lost all meaning when applied to plastic face masks with remote-control manipulated mouths. Judges – 42 With the Wall of the World Nina earns 85 and is through.
Duo Nigreta is yet another acrobatic act, a couple wearing an entire Michael’s inventory of body glitter. He hangs from a trapeze and pulls her up by her bun, which is attached to a metal hook. I hope she uses a good conditioner. Then he hangs by his teeth and she spins around rapidly, like when I try to untwist the cord to my blow dryer. I shudder to imagine body parts they’ll abuse next. The American judges are not generous; their combined score is 37. But the world comes through for the pair (81), who celebrate by pressing a thumb to the other’s forehead. It’s ether be a local custom, or they both have schmutz on their faces.
The next brief clips feature a family band (Liliac Band) where the lead singer, who looks like Mayim Bialik after weeks of using Olay Regenerist, sings like Janis Joplin right after a tonsillectomy. A Japanese dance troupe (Emotional Line) appears very compelling, so of course we only get a glimpse of their performance. The band gets through (91 with the Wall of the World) while the dancers do not (69 with the Wall of the World). Will we never stop punishing them for Pearl Harbor?
William Close plays a unusual instrument, the earth harp. It’s huge, filling the stage with what looks like the cables on the Brooklyn Bridge attached to a boat hull. It’s the only musical performance that requires warm-up exercises. The sound is lovely, and William is pretty hot himself. He can pluck my giant metal strings any time. After William sweetly helps her manipulate the humongous instrument, Faith is going to try to give him more than 50 points. Ru only gives him 35, while the gals give him 45 and 47. What’s bothering Ru, a man who is visibly moved by guys who break boards with their feet? Maybe the world will push act through even if it costs extra to transport. They do. (87 total with the Wall of the World)
A highwire act from China is exciting (Lei Wei), if you can overlook his Ed Grimley hairstyle. He contorts himself balancing on a wire in ways I couldn’t if I were electrocuted on solid ground. There’s also some guys in gold-braided bolero jackets and too much mascara whose act I missed (Los Vivancos). Surely they didn’t fight a bull in the theater? Both get through. (84 for Los Vivancos and 90 for Lei Wei)
Finally, Vonni Lopez, the tone-deaf singer who prayed to be able to sing as well as her family could. They call her The Heavenly Voice, which will also be the name of The Voice when it gets canceled. Her dress is white, her set is white, and her hometown is white. It’s meh from me to the fraught Christian music. She better hope none of the judges are atheists. In the end, the Father, the Son, and the Wall of the Worlds put her through. (48 from the judges–50 from Drew, With the Wall of the World the total is 92)
That’s it for this week. If this is the world’s best, I’d hate to see its worst.