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'America's Got Talent' recap: Precious few moments of justice

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Let’s make sure we’re all on the same page before we dive into our recap of last night’s results.

You dumped Acrodunk…but pushed The Voices of Glory. You sent Paradizo Dance, two enormously talented acrobatic dancers, home…so you could watch Grandma Lee tell the same moderately humorous joke she’s been telling for two months. Again. What?! Worst of all is the fact that you took all of those voting cues from this man:

Who do I have to see to get a Xanax around here? The first half — and a little extra! — of the final eight contestants was selected last night, and it’s hardly the assembly any merit-based program would want to promote. I mean, there’s Fab Five (you chose wisely) and Kevin Skinner and Texas Tenors, all three of whom fairly well deserved their advancement (and were pretty much a lock, anyway). But again, you dropped ACRODUNK and PARADIZO DANCE — the two most objectively talented groups on a show that features the word in its title. Did you maybe misdial?

The first roll call, where Texas Tenors took the stage with Drew Thomas Magic and Arcadian Broad, didn’t offer any real frustration; the right act (and the obvious one, too) was given the nod. Not even a painful duo by Miss Piggy and Kermit or another trip to the (very cramped!) Orville Redenbacher lounge could sour that moment of justice.

Of course this quickly changed when the next three acts — Grandma Lee, Tony Hoard & Rory, and Paradizo Dance — came out to learn their fate. The latter was given the first boot, a real sin for a group that has been nothing but creative and fun to watch in all of their performances. Perhaps their routine the night before was not on a par with the “Halo” dance they did in the quarterfinals, but it was still great when compared to most of the other acts. The judges should (and this REALLY goes without saying) be able to recognize those acts operating at a higher level than others and NOT lead voters astray with unfair comments. Paradizo Dance was OBJECTIVELY BETTER than Grandma Lee, Tony Hoard & Rory, The Voices of Glory, and a few more acts…but their bum criticism probably cost them a finals slot. That really sucks. The kick in the pants: Grandma Lee advances. Tyler Perry and Bill Engvall fans everywhere high-five.

INTERLUDE: The Muppets were apparently not entertainment enough for one night, so The Hoff returned to his first love — a talking car the stage — and performed a jazzy song about nothing in particular. Paris, it looked like? Evening wear? Was that the song he used to end the Cold War? (My grasp of history’s a little fuzzy.) I found it suspicious that Sharon and Piers, his fellow judges, were not allowed to critique him. Shouldn’t he — and any other “entertainers” who take the stage — be held to the same standards of judgment they employ with the contestants? But I digress.

With 10 minutes left, we came to the meat of the show: four groups — Acrodunk, Kevin Skinner, The Voices of Glory, and Fab Five — all competing for the remaining two finals slots. Or one, since Kevin Skinner, like Texas Tenors, was a lock regardless of performance quality. After the country crooner was given the nod, my only thought was “don’t lose Acrodunk. Or at least don’t send them home next. Tell me they at least came in 5th place.” WELL, NO ONE LISTENED TO ME. Without question an act meant for the finals, Jerry Burrell and Acrodunk were instead sent home. What a load of s—! Being a sincerely nice and mature guy, Jerry managed to channel their frustration into a positive send-off…but their run should not have ended tonight.

Still one slot open, and a judges’ decision between Fab Five and The Voices of Glory. Sharon goes first, but…well, she doesn’t go (“I can’t make a decision”) and instead passes the ball to David…who ALSO can’t make a decision, and laterals to trusty Piers…who says the decision was “too difficult” to settle with a judges’ pick. So screw it, you’re both in!

(That faint bleeping noise you heard? Producers trying to mask the insane amount of cursing coming backstage from Paradizo Dance and Acrodunk as they were a) passed over by an American public easily swayed by judges’ ill-informed critiques and b) left to watch those same judges’ surprise “happy ending” unfold. REALLY?!)

So we’ve got half 5/9 of our finalists selected! What do you think, guys? Am I being too hard on certain contestants? Were the decisions to your liking? Did The Hoff BRING IT in a way we haven’t seen since “Hooked on a Feeling”? Unleash whatever you’re feeling in the comments below.