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America's Got Talent 4, July 28: The Big Gambleby Tyler Sandersfeld -- 07/29/2009
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Ladies, gentlemen, and potato impalers! Welcome to the first half of Vegas week on America's Got Talent!
Over 160 acts received a trip to Las Vegas at the auditions. However, some won't even make it out of the airport. Some acts will be cut as soon as Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne, and David Hasselhoff land. That seems really stupid. Why spend all of that money on plane tickets (or force the acts to do so) if they have to get right back on and go home?
Anyway, the judges deliberate (I'm not recapping this, since the comments are way too vague). The decisions have been made, and the acts are separated into four groups.
In Group A, I recognize Pete Peterkin, Manuela Horn, Marcus Terrell & the Serenades, Barbara Padilla, Jeffrey Ou, Pixie Mystere, Destined 2 Be, Acrodunk, and Arcadian Broad. David gives them good news.
Group B has Lake Houston Performing Arts Center, Tallan Noble Latz, Kari Callin, Jay Mattioli, and Ciana Pelekai. Sharon tells them they're going home. Wait, what? While I admit that Lake Houston and Kari weren't all that great, Tallan, Ciana, and Jay were among my favorites. I'm sure that Kari had a lot of fans, too. This won't sit well with many viewers. Myself included.
Piers is left to deal with the last two groups. Group C includes Eleisha Miller, Alizma, The Texas Tenors, Grandma Lee, Tony Ferrante, The Kalinins, G Force, Pam & Viva Martin, and Voices of Glory among the others. Group D has The Comic-Bots, Carol Lugo, The Fab Five, David Johnson, Kevin Skinner, Joseph Constantine, and Ishaara as acts I can recall. Piers says there's only one limo awaiting, so we all know what that means. Groups C and D... are both in. Are you serious? Jay and Tallan are out, but Eleisha, Joseph, and Tony are still in?! That can't be right.
The acts that actually get to enjoy their trip to Vegas enjoy their trip to Vegas. As for the judges, they keep deliberating. What's the point of this all? Why didn't they just eliminated everyone all at once? Why is it so hard to see all of these acts perform once again? If it were up to me, I'd separate the acts into five groups – solo music, group music, solo variety, group dance, and group variety. According to what we saw in the auditions, the numbers of each group are comparable. Each group would perform one day throughout Vegas week, and the judges will keep eight in each group at the end of the day. That'd be a good balance, wouldn't it?
The judges stop deliberating and ask to see Keith Johnson and Pete Peterkin. Piers wasn't impressed with Keith at the audition, and neither was I. Oh, crap, they're showing the home photos. Pete impressed me so much more, so they'll probably keep Keith and send Pete home. Keith gets all emotional while talking to the judges, which probably changed their decision for the better, unfortunately. In the end, Keith is... going home. Finally, a good decision. As for Pete, the judges tell him directly... he's going through to the top 40. What? Not that he's terrible, but that seemed awfully quick. Doesn't he have to perform?
The judges move to a theater to tell the acts who's staying and who's going. Wait, what? How does this make sense? Not only are they neglecting to let the acts prove their worth, as I thought was the point of this round, but they could have just done it in the deliberation room like they did with Keith and Pete. This is just ticking me off.
Young dancer Arcadian Broad is the first to meet the judges in the theater. I'm just going to skip all of this unnecessary heartstring-pulling, since I'm angered enough with this show. Arcadian is in the top 40.
Also in the top 40: Acrodunk; dancers The Platt Brothers; Recycled Percussion; comedic musician David Johnson; singer Thia Megia; rock band G-Force (how are they better than Tallan?); ballroom dancers Erik & Rickie; a capella group Mosaic; vocal trio The Texas Tenors; yodeling dominatrix Manuela Horn (really?); and cloggers The Fab Five.
Next up is 74-year-old disco dancer Tony Ferrante. He has to be out. David says Tony has an aura that brings a smile to everyone. The decision is... he's going home. That's nice. Now bring back Ciana Pelekai.
Three dance crews meet the judges next. They are Euphoria, Destined 2 Be, and BreakSk8. Hmm, I wonder if Euphoria is spelled Eu4ia or something. The judges have decided that one of them will be sent home, but they're not sure which one should go. They will each get to prepare a routine to the same piece of music. Wait just a minute here. Why do they get to perform again and some of the others don't get that chance? I'm hating this show more by the minute.
The only magicians left are Drew Thomas and Joseph Constantine. Nathan Burton was eliminated again? What is wrong with this panel? It better be Drew going forward over Joseph, or I may give up on this crap. The judges' decision was to either send one home or both home. Joseph... is going home. Will Drew be joining him? The answer is... no, he's in the top 40. Well, at least his audition trick was pretty good, but I'd still prefer Jay Mattioli as the only magician in the top 40.
The Spiritual Harmonizers, one of the few singing acts I truly cared about, come out next. With all of the BS in this episode, they better be going through. David says the judges have been talking about them. They are good singers, but there are too many acts, including a lot of a capella. They didn't make it because the judges don't have a freakin' clue what they're doing.
Who else is going home, most likely unfairly? SQ Entertainment gets the boot for the second season in a row, along with another dance crew I'm not sure I recognize (Encore?). Belly dancer Fuchsia FoXXX is out, which isn't that big of a surprise. Neither is the loss of martial artists The Hurricane Tricksters. Finally, burlesque dancers The Lollipop Girls are sent home. Since all we saw of these five acts was a snippet or two, I still wish I got to see more of them.
What about the somewhat crazy breakdancer Hairo Torres? Sharon wishes him well, says he has a lot of work to do, and puts him out of his torture -- he's in. I would have been shocked if they booted him after all of that talk from Sharon. Seriously, show, stop being so predictable.
The last two acts to learn their fates this episode are deep-voiced singer Lawrence Beaman and overrated YouTube star Kevin Skinner. I'd prefer Lawrence over Kevin, but we know that's not going to happen. The judges blab on and on about this and that, and the result is that... Lawrence is in. Kevin, meanwhile... is also in. Bleh.
The episode ends, and I can't be happier that it's over. Everything that happened in this episode made so little sense that it physically hurt me. Maybe I'm being a little melodramatic, but this was a confusing episode. Why are only a few acts getting the chance to perform again? Why did they have to have all of those pointless stages of elimination if nothing new was learned about the acts? Why must this decision be stretched out over two nights? Why did they eliminate some of the best, most show-worthy acts just as they got off the plane, wasting all of that money necessary for the flight? Why, why, why, WHY?! If anyone in charge of this show is reading this, please answer my questions.
The second half of this travesty continues on Wednesday. If you're not disgusted enough by this show to stop paying attention, see ya then!
Tyler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. What do you like? What do you hate? I mean, besides how this show is handling Vegas.
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