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America’s Got Talent: Episode 13 Review

NBC

For the past two nights we were exposed to most of the selected talent who the judges deemed as their favorites. We saw a few slip ups, and a couple of heart break eliminations along the way, but the judges are done playing around. They were kind during the first round, letting some of the lamer acts make it to the second round, but not this time. Finally, ‘America’s Got Talent‘ got really interesting.

We’re on the last night of “Vegas Week” here at The Venetian where the Stand-By crowd gets their chance to go in the spotlight. But the tension is high as many contestants mentally bite their nails due to their shot nerves. They’ve sat through all of the competitors who were showcased as part of the Judges Favorite section. They really need to step up their game if they want to even get noticed at this point. There are only a couple of spots left in the next round. Who will fill them up?

Turf, the double jointed dancer from the streets of San Francisco was one of the first acts that appeared on this show that blew away audiences across the nation. Unfortunately he wakes up on his performance day on the wrong side of the bed. He’s already nearly a couple of hours late to his own second round audition. But he’s not the only one whose nerves are shot.

First is Hawley Magic, an illusionist couple whose own rig is visible from the curtains. Their act isn’t that unique and in some ways is a bit upsetting to see just because of how predictable it is as an illusionist act. Howard agrees with us, equally unimpressed but Howie and Sharon are won over. Next is Giani who goes with a mind game that’s a little too complicated to understand. Then there’s a duo who think they are the next Sigfried and Roy but in real life are known as Jarrett and Raja. They make an entire orchestra appear out of thin air. Awesome.

Band category time! We hope the Distinguished Men of Brass make it since they put a cool spin on the whole marching band aspect. There are several other bands that fail to dazzle like The HillBenders and the cocky kid Dillon Havins (and Friends). But lets not forget The All Ways, better recognized as a hair band who puts their own cool twist on contemporary songs like they do below.

The Emily Anne Band She’ sounds too similar to the Eric & Olivia duo from the previous night. They can’t have two similar voices on this stage. We say that they pass on them right away but they don’t. Lastly is the Distinguished Men of Brass who live up to their band name. They’re cool.

But then there’s the dancer category which is as packed as ever. We begin with LionDanceMe, a dance group that balances on small sticks/plates. Then there’s Demo Team who stands out mostly due to the children’s ability to kick the living daylights out of their teacher. Then they’re followed by Kota Sports who are basically a BMX group. Eh.

Lastly is Sergenti Steve’s act and all we have to say in response to this is what the hell was he thinking when he created this. First he opens his mouth to reveal a few cockroaches, then he opens a basket to reveal one of the deadliest cobras in the world. He’s not going to subdue the creature at all. Then what is he going to do? Kiss it of course. Once he does that the judges are so on the edge of their seat that they’re about to fall off. Howard thinks that he stepped it up a notch but the other two aren’t impressed. Gosh, they’re so sensitive.

Then we go to the kids portion of the Stand-By’s list. The first is Lil Babywockee, a dancer whose moves can easily put some of the adult dancers on this show to shame. We like her a little bit better than Lil Starr, mainly because this performer tends to do the cheerleader duck face while on stage. Danielle Stallings blows them away with her sweet and soulful voice while The Cos Fam dance group doesn’t feel like their routine is organized. Tevin McGuire has an all right R&B voice but you can tell he didn’t win over the judges’ hearts. Unity in Motion, or who we’d like to forever refer to as Sparkle Motion, messes up during their faux Swan Lake routine and the judges notice. Gasp! Lastly there’s The Williams Bruthuz who are in top form. But not all of the judges are sure about this.

Bring on the gymnasts. First is Summer Lacy, an acrobat aerialist whose circle ring performance in mid air wowed everyone watching, leaving them all feel a little bit intimidated. Next is the Benn Mendoza Circus who do their own funky rendition of Alice in Wonderland. Sadly it turns out to be a jumbled mess with too many performances happening on the stage at once. Last is Donovan & Rebecca, the strong acrobatic couple whose outfits closely resemble that of Britney Spears’ getup in her “Toxic” music video. Sadly they don’t capture everyone’s attention as much as that music video with their lackluster performance.

The rapper section is up next, showcasing some of their most mediocre “singers” in the bunch which include Granny G and Burton Price. He sings a midi song that more or less sounds like what he sang the first time around which he admits to. That’s something you shouldn’t really ‘fess up on Burton.

Second to last is the dance groups, starting with Battle Born, a monstrous group that doesn’t “step it up” their second time out. Next is Old Shoes, New Shoes. They’re an elderly couple who can tap dance but still struggle to grab everyone’s attention. Then there’s LCD, the Lisa Clark Dancers who have great moves but their choice in outfits is questionable. Were they inspired by the ‘Dark Shadows’ movie by any chance? We have The Scott Brothers who do a really cool and sharp dance routine intertwined with classical music. Lastly is Inspire the Fire, or better known as the semi-’Glee’ group. They do another song which still feels similar in tone as their previous performance. They should be putting together a musical for hundreds to see.

Last is the novelty category. David Garibaldi and the CNYK group are up first. As you may or may not remember, they’re the ones who danced to a tune and painted the artist singing it on a large canvas at the same time. Yes, they did it again but this time with the King.

Then there’s John Pizzi, the virtual ventriloquist whose act the second time around doesn’t make the judges laugh. As a matter of fact, Sharon seems the most irritated over the whole act once they involve her in it. Michael Nejad is pretty cool, not only because he’s a talented musician but because he can create instruments out of practically anything. Playing guitar on a shovel? Sold. The juggler doesn’t wow us, nor does the elderly tap dancing group The Two Bits or Big Barry. He sounds even worse the second time around. What is wrong with these judges? This man should have been eliminated halfway through his first song.

Elusive, the half-deaf man, manages to win over everybody with his smooth dance moves. Then there’s Lindsey Norton, the talented young gymnast who doesn’t appear to be giving it her all the second time around. May her nervousness be getting the best of her?

Turf, finally we get to see him again. But he’s not the only double jointed dancer in this competition. There’s Stepz who impressed the judges just as much. But which one of the two will make it? Stepz goes up onto the stage with his ‘Star Trek’ JORDY hip hop look. It takes him nearly a minute to get into his real act which breaks Turf’s heart backstage. He doesn’t really dance as much as he does show how much he can be double jointed.

But lastly there’s Turf whose moves feel slightly toned down the second time around.

All of the Stand-By acts have performed, but who will make it? Those who make it include Lil Starr, the ballet group, Danielle Stallings, Elusive, Lindsey Norton, the juggler, David Garbaldi and the CYNK group, Donovan & Rebecca, Jarrett and Raja, Distinguished Men of Brass, The All Ways, Inspire the Fire, LionDanceMe, Lisa Clark Dancers, The Scott Brothers, Stepz and Big Barry. What the hell, Big Barry? Really? He was easily one of the worst performers out there.

Those who didn’t make the cut include The William Bros, The Cos Farm, Lil Babywockee, Tevin McGuire the R&B singer, the tap dancing groups, The Emily Anne Band, The HillBenders, Battle Born, Giani, Summer Lacy, Granny G, Burton Price, John Pizzi and Stepz.

Next week they’ll be live on the East Coast showing off their top 48 performers. Here’s hoping that Turf will win the show. Watch ‘America’s Got Talent’ this next Monday and Tuesday at 8:30/7:30 Central.

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