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America's Got Talent 4, August 18: The Soundless of Musicby Tyler Sandersfeld -- 08/19/2009
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Ladies, gentlemen, and President Obama! Welcome to week three of the live performances on America's Got Talent!
Will we be seeing some Vegas-worthy talent this time? Let's certainly hope so. The twelve acts are: footwork dancers FootworKINGz; girl rock band G Force; deep-voiced singer Lawrence Beaman; breakdancer Hairo Torres; sexy and dangerous Mario & Jenny; singer/pianist BRI; comedy musician Dave Johnson; dance group Pixie Mystere; pianist Jeffrey Ou; singer Marcus Terrell, along with a new group of Serenades; wildcard magician Jay Mattioli; and another wildcard U4RIA Dance Group.
Unfortunately, I once again had a problem with my VCR, so I won't have as much detail as normal, especially with the judges' comments. I need to switch to DVR.
After some pointless discussion about last week's judges' choice, the performances start with – what else – a dance group. Seriously, show, that's getting old. Anyway, Chicago's FootworKINGz is up first. This will be their most dangerous routine ever, seeing as how they needed medics during rehearsal.
The FootworKINGz dance to "Boom Boom Pow." First of all, gotta say I love the blacklit shoes and stripes on the outfits. And the lit-up vests at the end were the icing on the cake of good dancing. They have great energy, kicking moves aided by the lights, and a bit of cleverness. The ending was a bit messy, but otherwise it was a solid, very entertaining performance.
Piers has a problem with FootworKINGz – he doesn't know whether they are "one of the best dance groups" or "the best dance group." Sharon and David were also very positive.
Following another dance act at the top of the night is another singing act going second. It's Marcus Terrell & the Serenades. Marcus's friends were cut in Vegas, but Marcus himself got the go-ahead. He is now with a new trio of Serenades. In fact, one of the new girls joined just two days ago. Can this work for Marcus?
Marcus & the Serenades sing "Mercy." If Thia and Charles couldn't make it from this position in the episode, Marcus hasn't a prayer. The Serenades are okay, certainly better than the old group, but not the best. As for Marcus, he just doesn't sound very good. The note at the end is just as cringe-worthy as Alizma's last week, but he doesn't get buzzed for it.
Unfortunately, the judges just have to overrate them. I can't remember the judges saying a single bad thing about Marcus or the new group of Serenades.
Next up is the young group of dancers and gymnasts known as Pixie Mystere. The girls (the oldest being just 11 years old) became friends at the dance studio and now see each other as sisters. Piers hopes they put some more actual dancing into their act this time.
Pixie Mystere performs to a song I'm not familiar with, dressed like the youngest showgirls in the world. Okay, they're not bad performers at all, and the theme of the performance is definitely very Vegas. In fact, if they were of legal age, I can see it working in Sin City. However, with the oldest girl being just 11, it all makes me feel... dirty. This would be a great Vegas if there's an audience age limit of 13 – no boys over the age of 13.
David asks them to picture going to school in Vegas. I imagine a lot of sick freaks following them. Piers has a problem – he hasn't buzzed once!
So far, this has been a pretty good episode, actually. Let's see if my favorite wildcard, Jay Mattioli, can keep it up. Magic to Jay is about being different. David likes Jay's youth, but wonders if he can stack up to established Vegas magicians.
Jay performs his routine to "Calabria." Yes, I know the name of that song. Jay starts by making two girls appear out of nowhere. He follows up with some major bog-standard tricks with scarves and trick wands. There is a somewhat neat quick-change bit with his vest, and he conjures up a cute dog at the end. However, the only thing different about Jay's performance was that he was constantly dancing around. I'm let down, and it appears that all of the wildcards will be flops. Should've brought back Tallan, judges.
Piers buzzed Jay because none of his acts were surprising. Sharon loves dogs, but thought all of the magic was typical. Jay pleads his case by saying that magic is not like singing, because you have to do something different. This after you pull off some of the most elementary tricks in the book? That cements it – I no longer like Jay Mattioli. Preemptive good riddance!
Next up is musician Bri (I refuse to spell her name in all caps like the show does). Bri gets a pointless question from a viewer in Cedar, Iowa. Wow, I thought Nick just abridged Cedar Rapids or Cedar Falls, but there is a town called just Cedar. I suck as an Iowan.
Anyway, Bri performs "Poker Face." Once the tempo goes up, the quality goes down a bit. Bri should have ditched the piano at this point, because the addition of neon-painted dancers makes the performance a touch awkward. Thankfully, it ends as a ballad and is a good ending. Maybe not the best performance ever, but it could get her a place in the semifinals.
Sharon says Bri owned the song. David thought the dancers were scary at first (yuh huh), but it all worked out at the end. Piers says not a lot excites him, but that did.
The past two weeks, the last act of the first half has been (arguably) the best act of the first half. With the quality of this first half, can the U4RIA dance crew keep the trend up? They felt like they blew their chance in Vegas (and they did, since they actually got to perform). They hope to be the first wildcard to make it through.
U4RIA performs to "Don't Stop the Music." Perhaps they will be the first wildcard to move on, since they were the best wildcard act so far. They have a psych-ward theme going on, with the women doing some very nice locking. There are a few points of messiness, but overall they could be rivaling FootworKINGz if only one dance group advances.
David loved it and doesn't know why. Piers says one of the women, Katrina, is scary, but says they are the first good wildcard act. He continues to say the dancing has been unbelievable, and this quarterfinal is shaping up to be the best. Sharon doesn't know if they're the best technical dancers, but they were fun.1 2 Next-->
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