America's Got Talent returned from Olympic hiatus with a lot of lackluster recruits from the greatest hits of YouTube. Why? Because very few things excel at wasting time like reality TV talent shows. Howard Stern repeatedly bemoaned the existence of the YouTube episodes. I nodded in agreement every single time.
Here's the rundown:
Kelly sang/shouted a country song, "Gunpowder and Lead," and Howie Mandel called her the best act of the night. He wasn't wrong, which is the sad part.
Romeo Dance Cheetah
In a costume that would have been tacky even by '80s rock star standards, Romeo treated us to an energetic air guitar concert. My favorite part was his repeated attempts to correct Stern when the shock jock insisted that it looked like he was "playing with himself."
Academy of Villains
My first thought was "juggalo dance party," but quirky dance crew Academy of Villains proved themselves to be pretty interesting with their "Bohemian Rhapsody" act. Howie Mandel said that it was only fitting that they be the last to perform, you know, "saving the best for last" and all that. I really don't think this show needs another dance group though.
The Magic of Puck
The dancing hankie was simple and a little corny, but well-executed and weirdly enough, kind of entertaining. However, the judges worried that he wouldn't be able to hold his own with the bigger and flashier magicians already in the competition.
Cast in Bronze
A creepy masked musician played "Carol of the Bells" on a portable carillon and confused judges Sharon Osbourne and Howard Stern. Stern was pretty adamant that he would never willingly go see the sort of show Cast in Bronze delivered, but I don't know, it was weirdly cool.
At first, it seemed that Eric Buss, with his musical cans of worms, epitomized everything terrible about the YouTube episodes. However, when he explained that he crafted his own firing mechanisms, I was impressed. Not impressed enough to vote or anything, but impressed enough that I no longer felt the need to get brilliantly, amazingly drunk in order to endure the rest of these auditions.
I was so disappointed with comedian Melinda Hill's amazingly unfunny stand up audition that I followed Howie Mandel's advice and checked out her stuff on YouTube. It's okay. The Facebook joke comes up a lot, which unfortunately, is easily the worst bit of material she has. All three judges lamented the material with Sharon throwing in an additional jab at delivery.
I was more excited about the fact that a 16-year-old kid knew "Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia than I was by his performance, though to be fair, for someone who admitted that his stint on the AGT stage was his first time performing outside of his bedroom, that wasn't bad. I always appreciate Howard Stern's brutal honesty though, "The idea that we can be stars in 10 minutes is a fallacy in this country."
Marilyn Manson's ex-roommate was weird and dark and awesome. I'm with Howie Mandel here. It was "unique, original and exciting." Well, except for the middle, where all three judges agreed that it dragged. Still, decapitation by clown? Pure nightmare fuel awesomeness.
7 In Unison
Almost immediately X'd by Howie, the jazzy dance group was a pale comparison to the exciting and unique groups that we've already seen perform... and I say that as someone who general dislikes the dance groups. Sharon asked them what set them apart from any other dance crew. Nothing. The answer is nothing.
A group of guys from New Jersey who happened to be attractive and enjoy covering Katy Perry songs charmed their way through YouTube to assault our senses with their less-than-polished performance. Stern said they "need time to gel," while Howie said they reminded him of four guys pretending to be rockstars.
Clint Carvalho and his Extreme Parrots
Sharon called him "the bird whisperer" and the moniker certainly fits. Carvalho trained his cockatoo, Kitten, to answer his summons from a rooftop across the street, free-falling above traffic and navigating through the lobby of the NJPAC center to join him on stage. It was pretty cool.
What are your thoughts on the YouTube auditions?
Here are my predictions:
Academy of Villains
The Magic of Puck
What are yours?
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