AGT’s Second Night of Performances

Turf

America’s Got Talent has provided its viewers with a selection of acts that basically asks America to go with the lesser of 48 evils. This isn’t to say that some of  the acts aren’t good at times, but this is a season with many subpar acts. Even a lot of the ones the judges think are good will never be worthy of a Vegas show. This season’s highest quality should be considered mediocre television. Once again, it’s hard to say whether four acts actually deserved to advance. America will just have to take it as it is and realize those are the rules.

Lion DanceMe
Lion DanceMe act consisted of  the performers dressed in their lion costumes jumping in between platforms. This is supposed to be a cross between a dance act and a danger act. There was neither. This act did not deserve to make it past Vegas. As the judges said, their act seems the same every performance. The platforms might have been a little higher and there might have even been less dancing. That makes the act only slightly better in one aspect and much worse in another. In the package beforehand, Sharon said she loved the element of danger. When considering the danger acts, it is incredibly unfortunate that any other truly dangerous act is put into the same category as Lion DanceMe. Howie got bored watching the performance as did I. Both Howard and Sharon were constructive, but it’s not worth it. Lion DanceMe does not really belong on the national stage.

Turf
I was looking forward to Turf. He’s one of the acts that would’ve made it to the Top 48 regardless of the standard of competition this season. His talent is genuinely extraordinary. It seemed for sure he would be a stand out. He still was a stand out, but his performance on Tuesday was not as good as his previous efforts. The hip-hop dancing contortionist moved to The Black Eyed Peas’ “Imma Be” and it seemed for a while that he was just walking around the stage. There needed to be more dance moves throughout the act. His contorting moves were good, but certainly not great. In his other performances, the twists seem to be a lot more difficult. If this was the first time I saw Turf, I probably would have loved him. Unfortunately, he didn’t improve this time. He’s probably advancing, but that’s not saying much.

The All Ways
The All Ways is a band that is not good, never was good, and is never going to be good.  They said in their package that they have performed in front of an audience consisting of no one. After last night’s performance, that’s not surprising. Their rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” was truly terrible. They seemed like they were screeching the whole time, They could not hit the high notes at all. The song was not an appropriate choice for them. Probably, no song would be but the song they chose was especially poor. It doesn’t make sense that they got past Vegas. It was a stretch to approve them after the auditions. For some reason, there was a little unwarranted optimism in the judges’ comments. Thankfully, it won’t matter. The All Ways is done.

Hawley Magic
Hawley Magic wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t good either. The illusion was performed correctly. It just wasn’t exciting. Johnathan Hawley started out balancing his wife on what looked to be a sword and spun her around. After a while, she was seemingly impaled by the sword. It looked sort of real and I wondered somewhat how the illusion was performed, but it wasn’t mesmerizing. Hawley Magic’s performance was adequate, though certainly not deserving of a show in Vegas. They are most likely not moving forward in the competition.

Lisa Clark Dancers
The nature of this dance group makes it possible for them to be perfectly fine one performance and embarrassingly bad the next. I was never a big fan of the Lisa Clark Dancers regardless, but last night was clearly not their night. They perform many different styles of dance depending on performance. I couldn’t identify this one. All that was clear was that the music was annoying and that the choreography was unrefined. They got some praise on their overall talent from the judges, but none of them really thought they deserved to go through.

Aurora Light Painters
I wanted to like the Aurora Light Painters, but I couldn’t. Their Vegas performance was better than last night’s and their initial audition was better than Vegas. They’re going in the wrong direction. When they said in their package that they were doing a “Monster Under the Bed” story, it seemed like a cheap gimmick. At the very least, it could still be a little exciting. Unfortunately, it wasn’t and even after the performance the story wasn’t completely clear. I was expecting somewhat of a scary performance. In this sense, Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers Of The Night” didn’t fit as a background song. Before last night’s episode, I wanted Aurora Light Painters to advance. Now, they don’t deserve to.

Danielle Stallings
Danielle Stallings is probably the only semi-talented female singer in the competition. Everyone else has been below average, so she doesn’t need to be great this season. Her arrangement of Bruno Mars’ “It Will Rain” was problematic as the music drown out some of the vocals. The vocals were not great as they were, but her performance looks great in comparison even though it was just average. Stallings is from a lack of viable competition. In any other season, she might not have made it past the Vegas rounds. As it is, she’s probably going to the semifinals.

Donovan and Rebecca
Donovan and Rebecca are evidently very skilled acrobats. However, just because they are good at what they do does not mean they deserve a Vegas show. They were very graceful and majestic, but did nothing that could be considered amazing. It would be hard to watch an hour of them suspending themselves. The 90 seconds weren’t even worth much attention. It was boring and didn’t have much attention. They may or may not advance, considering how much the judges liked them. They are certainly not going to win.

Big Barry 
Big Barry’s segment was probably the best part of the show. Of course, his performance was awful and I was dreading it. He had no right to be in Vegas or advance to the  live rounds. In fact, he probably should have been cut from the air all together. After last night’s show, I’m glad he wasn’t. The package started out with Barry saying that he made the quaterfinals and that was amazing to him. He probably knew full well he didn’t deserve it, but he does a great job milking the moment. Howard then says “My toe has more talent than Barry!” I am inclined to agree with him. After the dreadful train wreck of a performance, we now get to hear the judges’ input. Howard and Sharon buzzed him. Howie was entertained. As Howie began to compliment Barry, Howard was having none of it. He stopped him mid-sentence saying “the Howie filibuster is getting annoying to me.” It really wasn’t about Barry anymore. Howard went off on Howie, saying he doesn’t treat the show the way he should and that he owes an apology to singers Mary Joyner and Andrew De Leon for eliminating them in favor of Barry. Sharon couldn’t take it and was shocked that Howard used actual names. It was pretty clear that this wasn’t just Howie and Howard playing roles. They were shown still arguing off mic. Howard showed a complete and utter disregard for the show’s standards and it was a very unprofessional display. That being said, he is right and I loved every second of the heated argument. Finally, there is some chemistry between the judges. It was very good television. It’s one of those moments that has been missing all season.

Tom Cotter
As I expected,  comedian Tom Cotter was one of the strongest performers of last night’s show. His  premise on expressions in the English language has been done before, but his punchlines were original and his timing was superb. I was surprised to hear Howard say that he might win the competition, but it makes sense that he is a front runner. Cotter has a very calm stage presence under enormous pressure and it seems he will keep up the great work during the next rounds.

Ben Blaque
Archer Ban Blaque ends up not looking very exciting after he’s been seen a couple times. His tricks can be dangerous, but that doesn’t excuse them from being boring. The tricks were short enough that the viewer could miss them without paying attention for three seconds. Howie was the most impressed and the others were only mildly entertained. Blaque is probably finished.

Tim Hockenberry
Tim Hockenberry is the front runner of male singers and that’s not just because the other singers are bad. He’s truly unique and talented. He performed a clever arrangement of Katy Perry’s “Part of Me” and showed the real passion and emotion he had in his voice. He should have been discovered a long time ago. I’m excited to find out what he performs next, since it’s almost assured he’ll be back.

Who Will Go Through?
After another less than spectacular performance night, picking four semi-finalists should not be necessary. Only Cotter and Hockenberry unequivocally deserve to advance. To fill up the other spots, Stallings and Turf make the most sense. However, they will probably not last too much longer. I’m hoping next week’s episode makes it a little more difficult to decide.

Posted on July 11, 2012, in NBC, Network Television, Primetime, Reality TV and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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