AGT’s First Night of Live Performances: How did they Stack Up?


America’s Got Talent began its live shows last night and there really wasn’t much to be excited about. This season has clearly been a disappointment. Subpar talent got through Vegas and is now performing for America’s vote. Some of the acts were mildly entertaining, but I don’t know if four of them deserve to go through. Acts that would face a tough elimination against serious talent in past seasons are now simply the best of the mediocre. The show opened with an unnecessary half hour “countdown” with audition footage and outtakes. It served to remind the viewer just how lackluster this season has been. The performances didn’t start until 9pm.

Distinguished Men of Brass
The group performed a marching band style rendition of “Crazy In Love.” Once again, they were sloppy and disorganized. Howie said they had to take it beyond a marching band or a halftime show. Unfortunately for them, the act is pretty much a marching band and not much more. There is no way they can win the competition and I’m surprised they got through Vegas. Then again, the selection in Vegas was never good anyway.  This act is not horrible enough to eliminate, but the competition is probably over for them.

Edon was the second act to perform. He is probably among the best of the worst, so he’s most likely advancing. In a normal season, he might be facing elimination against tough competitors. This season Edon doesn’t have any tough competitors. The judges loved his version of David Guetta’s “Titanium” and it’s not outrageous that they would. He’s got a very unique voice. However, he’s clearly not worthy of a Vegas show.  Child singers have been a lot better in past seasons. It’s hard to know how much further Edon will go in the competition, but he’s safe for now.

Jarrett and Raja 
This musical magic act should not have advanced to the New York rounds and their performance last night proved that. It started off with Jarrett singing a bad version of “Singin’ in the Rain” followed by a cheap illusion to make attractive women appear. The audience hated it. The judges weren’t as harsh. Sharon said it was cheesy but that “[she] love[d] cheese.”   It was too camp and unappealing. Besides, the trick wasn’t good. They’re not advancing.

Lil’ Starr
When this 6-year old tap dancer rehashed the same unimpressive performance as her previous audition, Howard was the only sensible judge to say she was done. She’s a cute kid. She’s confident and poised. She’s just not that talented. If she does advance, Howard says there needs to be some kind of story. The other judges of course told her not to to listen to any criticism. She probably won’t make it anyway.

Todd Oliver
Todd Oliver, the dog ventriloquist, was next. He brought out two of his pets to argue with each other. He was asking the dogs if they liked each other. They both had various ways of saying no.  His gimmick was always impressive because it combined ventriloquism with cute patient dogs, but his material was lacking. Ventriloquists need to be funny as well as technically skilled. He wasn’t funny. Howard said that his material should get more topical, but he most likely will not get another chance.

The American BMX Stunt Team
The cycling group performed many mildly entertaining tricks. It is nowhere near good enough for a Vegas show. The judges talked about how difficult it is to perform the tricks on a small stage. That still doesn’t make them good. There have been cycling acts in the past that have been far superior to this one. The American BMX Stunt Team probably didn’t deserve to make it to the live rounds.

Nikki Jensen
Nikki Jensen was the only semi-talented adult female singer to make it to New York, but she was just average. I don’t see her improving. It wasn’t great for any of the judges. Her voice is somewhat unique. However, it’s not that great. It’s just good. As the judges said, she didn’t make her performance memorable. It was an interesting take on a Coldplay song. It just didn’t quite work.

The Scott Brothers
The judges loved this dance act. It seemed vaguely reminiscent of a cheap vaudeville routine mixed with some attempts at robot dancing. I didn’t get it. It didn’t hold my attention.  It doesn’t seem at all like they are worthy of a million dollars. However, who knows in this season?

Michael Nejad
This was the most horrible act of the night. It’s hard to believe the judges even said yes to him during auditions. Nejad plays music using household appliances, which seems absurd. The judges thankfully put him in his place by buzzing him. Howie said this act was best suited to be performed at Home Depot. He’s right, but even that’s a stretch. This guy is done.

787 Crew
This dance crew was not at its best  As Howie pointed out, 787 Crew’s act is very similar every time. Howard  said that their previous performances were much better. He also said they were “in trouble” and would not advance. He’s right, but Sharon disagreed. Surprisingly, she thought they deserved to go to the next round. They probably didn’t deserve to make it past Vegas. Their routine is not unique and they are not Vegas material.

Shanice and Maurice Hayes
The judges loved this father-daughter duo. Once again, Shanice and Maurice’s talent seems adequate among very unskilled acts. I found their singing rather sharp and unpolished. They sang a rendition of Faith Hill’s “There You’ll Be.” Howie, initially skeptical of the act, gave the performance a standing ovation. Howard called Shanice a superstar and Maurice the heart and soul of the act. It didn’t seem that great to me. Their powerful voices make up for it a little, but not much.

David Garibaldi and his CMYK’s
This was probably the best act of the night. I’ve never seen performance painter before, so at least it was unique. They seemed to find a way to get the crowd’s attention and had very good skills as well.  I don’t know how different their act can get each time, but at least it was effective this time. Music, dancing, and art is an interesting combination. They deserve to advance.

Who will go through?
Of the 12 acts that performed, only Edon and David Garibadli and his CMYK’s really deserve to go through. Howard predicted that America’s four picks will include the two previously mentioned and the Scott Brothers and Shanice and Maurice. He’s probably right, but only because four need to advance. Last night’s performances continued to showcase the low standard of talent this season has offered viewers.

Posted on July 3, 2012, in NBC, Network Television, Primetime, Reality TV and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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