From a teenage Kazakh singer to a unique Indian dance duo, “America’s Got Talent” brings together memorable talents from around the world. The auditions took place with a full audience in these prerecorded segments of “America has talent,” and it’s hard to imagine what this show would look like without their energy. Twice tonight, the public has dictated how the judges vote, and their collective participation is still huge. There are certainly some interesting moments to come. But for now, it was more what we expected from “AGT”, with incredible performances, stories of breaking the mold and taking a chance, and stories of strength and persistence in the face of difficulties. One of this week’s wellness stories came from a young woman who was told that she didn’t physically fit the mold to be a dancer, but proved that everyone was wrong before they even to get on stage. Then a 13-year-old contortionist proved that her body could do incredible things that even hurt to think … and all with a cheeky smile!
There were, of course, incredible vocal performances throughout the night, including a young teenage girl from Kazakhstan, a recently homeless single mother, a quartet of barbers taking Lizzo from all the artists and another young woman who had spent his life telling him the physical appearance didn’t fit the mold. This is one of the most important aspects of “AGT”, and something that other reality shows have started to embrace more. We do not have to live in narrow stereotypes of what is acceptable. Every style, every body, every ethnicity, every sexual orientation is both worthwhile and worth celebrating (something Simon Cowell advocated here, but certainly not in the days of his “American Idol”). While we must recognize the ongoing litigation against “AGT” for the former judge’s allegations of racism Gabrielle Union behind the scenes as a warning against what is presented to the public, the show did a good job of celebrating people from all walks of life from all parts of the world … at least on the surface.
But the most important thing we learned tonight is that Sofia vergara can be overwhelmed by stage fright. Difficult to tell the public a warm-up joke, it failed so dramatically that it was probably funnier to watch it than if she could have offered a joke. Just warning, since I’m safe at home, I’m probably going to be a little harsher than my colleagues Howie mandel, Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara and Simon Cowell. But I might be nicer too. May be. And just for fun, I’m going to rank them from the worst to the first to see how my favorites are doing and whether the judges are doing it or not (ie agree with me).
(world record holder) So this guy’s act is to break world records. This time he challenged Terry Crews to rip t-shirts in a minute, it took 29 to set a new record. He was 30 years old, Terry fell right next door and the judges were only average. It’s a very, very bizarre act, but he managed to make it entertaining during that minute. If he has some staging in addition to the records, or humor or something, it might work like an act, but as it is now, it just falls flat. Result: Y, Y, N, N
Bank of Harmony
(barbers quartet) It was cute that they made “Juice”, but there was nothing really surprising. We don’t think it deserved the buzz of Simon and Heidi, but they really needed to wow us with more than their choice of song. In their defense, it was clear that Simon’s buzz had really shaken them and had shaken their confidence, which is a shame. It could become a really fun act. Result: N, X, N, X
(Dancer) For someone technically trained at such a young age, we hoped for a bit more technical polishing. She is energetic and has a fun routine, but it was not one that would dazzle or impress (Heidi gave her the X). His floor roll was a little awkward, so his best move was the cracks. We applaud her avoidant body stereotypes in dance (which are mostly harsh and unfair), but we really hoped that she would wow us with more than energy … we wanted dance moves! And we know she can deliver it because she pretty much does it like her thing, appearing with various pop stars in clips and even other reality shows like “The Voice”. She has it, we’re just not sure she brought it. Result: Y, X, Y Y
(magicians) Not so much magic as absurd comedy, but it was funny. It was weird and ridiculous and yet it was funny. It would have been incredible if there had been a surprising moment of real magic in the act, but their chemistry and the overall staging still entertained us. Even the opening intro was funny. The question is, how far can it go? Result: Y, Y, Y, N
Emerald Gordon Wulf
(contortionist) It wasn’t until the last waterfall that we started to see that there could be more to it than it did. At first, it was like, look, an incredibly flexible act of contortionist, it was a little repetitive but delivered with a soft staging that was contagious. The brushstroke with his foot was the added element of intrigue and interest that elevated the act beyond a single note. It’s not a winning act, but it’s adorable… and can fit in your carry-on. Result: Y, Y, Y, Y
(actor) It took the audience a little while to slip into the 80-year-old Marty’s world, but that’s completely natural. Once there, however, he brought them with his rarely heard perspective on the world and truly charming and fun moments. It has a natural cadence when delivered which makes it easy to listen to, but it also requires sharp hardware and not all of its jokes are as strong as they need them to be. But he has a sympathetic charm for him. Result: Y, Y, Y, Y
(singer) She fell far from the beat and missed a huge note at the start of a high race, but Cristina has a strong voice. We are a bit mixed on this one as it seemed like she was overwhelmed with everything that was going on. She didn’t give her best audition on this first song, but Simon immediately wanted to hear another song from her, to give her another chance. She needed it. When she hit the chorus of “Gimme Shelter”, it was then clear that she had shaken the nerves that had disturbed her the first time. She owes everything to this second chance when she hit every note, stayed faithful and really knocked the house down. Consistency is its next challenge. Result: Heidi’s Golden Buzzer
(singer) It’s amazing how many people have such incredible voices at such a tender age in these shows. Daneliya does not sing like a 13 year old kid. Even more impressive, even if English is not her mother tongue, she was able to perfectly convey the message of the song. She could use varnish and experience on stage to gain confidence and performance, but this instrument is a real gift and something special. She could achieve her dreams if she continues to work hard. Result: Y, Y, Y Y
Shakir & Rihan
(dancers) As we have never seen before, we loved the choreography effectively telling the story of an older and younger brother and this unique bond that is almost indescribable. It could also work for a parent and a child. The creativity in using the smaller body with the larger body both in the dance moves and in the incredibly creative lifts makes this so special. Rihan could bear to tighten his dance a bit between the laps, but he still had incredible moments… and he is nine! It was a very cool and very memorable audition. Result: Y, Y, Y Y
(singer) A masterful performance of “Mercy”, Celina is a world class singer who has no idea how good she is. Her choices for when to skyrocket, when to slip into a soft falsetto, when to hold a note just half a time longer. These are gifts. She’s natural to feel the song and express it in an incredibly authentic tone. We felt it as much as she did. It’s a great song, but easy to do karaoke. Celina delivered it as if it were hers. Result: Y, Y, Y Y
(singers) This is how you demand attention as a trio of singers. Each of them had a solo part to launch things to prove what they were capable of individually, and then they combined completely to show what they can do together. It was a memorable arrangement with a silky male voice in the center. It’s exciting to imagine how they could play other songs, and that’s how you want to let people feel in a show like this. Result: Y, Y, Y, Y “America’s Got Talent” continues on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. AND on NBC. Do you have a story or advice to give us? Email the TooFab Publishers at [email protected].
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