America’s Got Talent: The Wildcard Show

Todd Oliver and Irving

America’s Got Talent has been filled with disappointment this season, so on a show where the judges bring back 12 eliminated acts, it seems logical that this would be the worse show yet. Strangely, it wasn’t. There were still some sub-par acts, but Tuesday’s wildcard show was a good night overall. It was a shot at redemption and some of the acts made their case quite well. Fortunately, no act was a complete waste of time unlike previous nights.

Spencer Horsman
Spencer Horsman is an escape artist, who was extremely disappointing in his quaterfinal performance. He was behind a blank screen performing his escape, so the audience could not see what was happening. Clearly, he had more potential, so Howard brought him back. Horsman showed his potential this time and has proven himself to be a fantastic act. This time he trapped himself in a glass box and filled it with an excessive amount of wet cement. He was attempting to escape the box before he buried himself alive. He was able to keep the crowd on the edge of their seat because the danger level was higher than ever before. Horsman will be back. Howard made the right decision to reinstate him.

All That!
All That! was Sharon’s pick. It did not deserve to be invited back at all. The clogging group is technically skilled, but very unexciting. There is not much it can show America that will impress the voters. Their movements are static and somewhat boring. It is certainly a unique talent that not many people are able to showcase, but it doesn’t deserve national attention. All That! didn’t need to redeem itself. It had already showed its full potential. The group just wasn’t good.

Jarrett and Raja
Jarrett and Raja are comedic illusionists, who severely let the audience down in their previous performance. Believing America got it wrong, Howie gave them another chance. This time, the audience was much more satisfied. Howie was ecstatic, even though the performance was not overwhelmingly better. This time around, Raja was placed in a wooden box and played the piano. Jarrett then suspended the big box in mid-air and it exploded. Raja then appeared on the other side of the theater still playing the piano.  It was a very straightforward illusion and while it was slightly fun to watch, it did not deserve such a rousing reception. A  magician was moved from one place to another. That is all that happened. It is hard to know whether Jarrett and Raja will have anything else to offer, but it is not worth knowing. Judging by the audience reaction, they may advance. However, they do not have enough talent to win.

Jake Wesley Rogers
Jake Wesley Rogers is a fairly talented young singer with a lot of potential to grow in the future. He may have a career ahead of him. He’s just ready for the national stage at this point. Rogers has had two live performances on AGT, both of them fairly mediocre and neither of them worthy of advancing in the competition. Rogers’ first live performance was slightly better and it got him eliminated. Tuesday’s performance of Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” will undoubtedly meet the same fate. Sharon had the right idea bringing him back, but she showered him with praise that he did not deserve. This will be the last America sees of Rogers for a while.

Cristin Sandu
Cristin Sandu is the epitome of an act worthy of redemption. His balancing act is undoubtedly dangerous and difficult to perform. So difficult, in fact, that he wasn’t able to finish his act in his first quaterfinal performance. Nonetheless, it’s clear that Sandu had potential and proved himself in Vegas.  Knowing that Sandu could seriously impress America, Howie gave him another shot. Unfortunately, he fell off his cylinders again, much like he did in the quaterfinals. He was able to keep the crowd in suspense for a slightly longer period of time, but he essentially failed twice in a row. As much talent as Sandu has, he cannot redeem himself anymore. He’s done.

Todd Oliver
Todd Oliver is a good ventriloquist, who has a unique gimmick of using his dog as his puppet. He was eliminated last time because his material wasn’t funny. Howard suggested that he needed to be more topical if he was brought back. When Howard brought him back for the wildcard, Oliver took his advice, but he still wasn’t funny. The premise of the routine was that Oliver’s dog, Irving was running for president. The only purpose of this was to make cheap dog puns and make fun of the president. Oliver did not do a very good job of either, even though his ventriloquism was still adequate. He does not deserve another chance to prove he was funny. Then again, Oliver was close to advancing after his last performance. He may get another shot.

The Bandbaz Brothers
The Bandbaz Brothers were a very weird inclusion to the wildcard show. The acrobatic act was eliminated in Vegas without  having been given the chance to perform. Somehow, Sharon thought they were worthy of a shot at performing in Newark, which they didn’t deserve. Their act was boring and too short. The Bandbaz Brothers began their act by putting a balancing apparatus in each other’s mouths. The younger member balanced upside down and the older member held him up. While it was certainly a feat that is unique to acrobats, there is a reason that The Banbaz Brothers were cut from Vegas. No matter how dangerous their act may be, it’s still a bore.

Sebastian “El Charro De Oro” 

There have been amazingly talented kids who made a mesmerizing impression on America’s Got Talent, but Sebastian “El Charro De Oro” is not one of them. Howie gave the 10- year old mariachi singer another shot, even though he did not deserve it. This time around, Sebastian sang a mariachi version of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.” Both the judges and the audience liked the performance, but the most charming thing about Sebastian is his precocious attitude. His vocals were a bit sharp at some points and a bit flat at others. To put it bluntly, he isn’t that great of a singer. This is as far as Sebastian is going in the competition.

Horse has a very polarizing act that can be very fun to watch at times. His ability to sustain blows to his groin is unique and comical, but it is also vulgar and disgusting. Whether he gets voted through depends on who bothered to vote. There is a strong possibility that America will hate him, but that’s beside the point. Howard made the right decision to  bring him back. As bizarre as Horse’s talent is, he’s a good showman. Howard claimed he had too much story line in his previous performance. This time, he got back to the basics.  He began his act by proclaiming “cups are for cheaters!” and stripping down to his underwear. He spent the rest of the performance finding various ways to subject himself to pain in the nuts. His stunts were actually fairly intricate, including jumping from a high landing straight into a wooden bar. Horse may or may not advance, but he certainly makes an impression.

Lindsey Norton
Sharon brought acrobatic dancer Lindsey Norton back. Norton is a skilled dancer with an infectious personality, but she should still stay in the ballroom. She does not have anything to offer on the national stage. Her performance on Tuesday was as good as it could be, but Norton still should not advance.

Andrew De Leon
The one sensible decision Howie Mandel has made as a judge on AGT was to reinstate opera singer Andrew De Leon. De Leon was originally eliminated in Vegas week after freezing in the middle of his performance. However, he was considered by the judges to be a huge talent and the surprise of the season. There was huge backlash from America when De Leon was eliminated. In a season full of letdowns and showcasing acts that never deserved to see the light of day, Howie thought it was appropriate to bring De Leon back. Luckily, he was right to do so. De Leon performed a beautiful soprano of “Regresa a Mi,” which is a Spanish version of Toni Braxton’s “Un-Break My Heart”. He could not finish his performance in Vegas, but De Leon erased any doubts in his potential with his performance on Tuesday night. He will almost definitely advance.

Ben Blaque
Tuesday’s show closed with Howard’s pick, archer Ben Blaque. His act is unique and certainly dangerous, but it is uninteresting to watch. His wildcard performance consisted of him shooting an arrow at a target that his partner held and then shooting an apple off the top of his own head while blindfolded. The set up was way too too long and the trick did not pay off. Even though Blaque succeeded, it is likely attention diverted when he was setting up his last arrow. Blaque is a good archer, but certainly not a good performer.

Who Will Go Through?
This week’s performance show is surprisingly more of a tossup than usual. Certainly, Horsman and De Leon will advance. The remaining two spots should be between Horse, Jarrett and Raja and Oliver. Then again, Sebastian may get by on his charm, so it is a little difficult to tell what will happen.

Posted on August 22, 2012, in NBC, Network Television, Primetime, Reality TV and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I thought one of the best acts of the night was Todd Oliver. His act was simple, clean, and very funny. I also agree that Cristin Sandu deserved the second chance, and it was sad that he fell again.

  2. Jeremy Einbinder

    America certainly got at least two of the acts wrong. Horsman was robbed.

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