It’s week 5 on America’s Got Talent and it’s evident that we’ve reached the bottom of the barrel when it comes to legitimate entertainment. Other than an amazing girl who can probably sing any aria you toss her way, the auditions were either performances we’ve seen before or bizarre tricks that feature a headless mannequin. The judges definitely lowered the bar this round. Let’s review who graciously made the cut and who mercifully received a hit from the “thanks, but no thanks” buzzer…
Young Brother Dance Group
Jack and Cameron are brothers (12- and 9 years old) who spend a few hours every day practicing their “smooth” moves in the garage. One claims to be the technical side of the duo. The other brings the power and energy. Both are dressed in black suits, fashionable spectacles, and boyish grins. They are adorable. But when the music starts, these angelic little darlings morph into hip-hop geniuses who manage to grab their own crotches in a way that makes you forgive the fact that they should be playing with Legos instead of spanking the air in front of them. Howard refrains from dashing the young brothers’ dreams and rounds out the panel with four yeses from the judges.
Oz left the hustle and bustle of Wall Street in New York City with a lofty ambition—to dig inside the minds of others. He quickly guesses the number Heidi is thinking (child’s play) and moves to the harder stuff. Mel B. writes “Fiji and Geri” on a piece of paper. This is the place she vacationed with a fellow Spice Girl. Oz rips up the piece of paper before pulling out an envelope from his pocket. Howard inspects the envelope, noting that it has no less than 30 staples all around the sides. Howard opens it and reads a note the mentalist wrote. Oz predicted that Mel B. had vacationed in Fiji with someone named Geri in 1998. The year was a bonus wow factor. The judges LOVED it and put him through to the next round.
Britney suffers from severe stage fright. That’s probably why she totally choked near the beginning of her audition. When she stands up to leave, the judges encourage her to sit back down at her piano and try again. It was a wonderful moment. Although I agree with Howard that her vocals were not strong enough for the competition, the other judges feel that there’s something special about Britney that we have yet to see. She’s through!
I knew immediately that Mr. Fudge’s balloon act would be one that was so gross, I wouldn’t be able to look away. His poor assistant shoves a deflated balloon up one nostril and then pulls it out of his mouth. HIS MOUTH. Then Mr. Fudge blows up the nostril side balloon and twists it into the top half of a dog. The other half is blown up and the dog’s bottom half is twisted into place. Then the nameless helper wiggles the dog back and forth through his nasal cavity as I begin to gag. Mr. Fudge claims that the coolest part of the show is watching his helper remove the balloon. When Mr. Fudge hands the poor soul a towel, I fear for the worst. Sure enough, when Mr. Fudge pops the balloon and pulls, all sorts of bodily fluids protrude from the helper’s nose, mouth, and eyes. Vomit. Three judges vote for Mr. Fudge to go through to the next round. It’s clear that they want to see what else the helper will stick up his nose.
Latin Dance Group
The four members of Semeneya are super pumped to bring their acrobatic salsa routine to the floor. Ruiz is quick to mention in their pre-packaged interview that you have to keep going if you make a mistake. And with the rapid footwork, spins, and lifts in this routine, one wrong step can lead to disaster. Poor Ruiz should have knocked on wood because he pops his knee out of the joint mere seconds into the act. He and his partner gracefully leave the stage, but the show can’t go on without them. Ruiz is sent to the hospital to curse his bad luck, while the judges give the remaining three dancers an ultimatum. They may rework a number and come back the next day as a trio, or they can wait for Ruiz to rehab and come back next year.
The leader of the group steps down, offering the remaining two dancers the stage. And since these kids are complete professionals, the partners already have a number ready to go. Game. On. Feet shuffle, sequins catch the light, and bodies fly as the pair burn the floor. At one point, I was nervous someone was going to suffer from whiplash. How many medical emergencies can one group handle? They manage to make it through to the end and even earn a unanimous vote from the judges. Semeneya is moving on to the next round. Who knows who will show up as the fourth man? Stay strong Ruiz!
NEXT: Metal + Mariachi = Metalachi [pagebreak]
Heavy Metal Mariachi Band
From the 10 seconds I witnessed, I think I might follow these guys into seedy bars around the nation.
Arielle is a sweet 11-year-old girl who credits her big brother for introducing her to singing. She also claims that her mother is her biggest fan. She wears a simple blue dress with a tiny little flower in her hair for the audition. Then she opens her mouth and the most mature voice issues forth. Arielle is singing an aria in Italian. The audience is mesmerized. Even Nick Cannon stands in awe, unable to come up with something funny to say in the wings as he holds Arielle’s weeping mother in his arms. It was so moving that Heidi hit her golden buzzer. Arielle is going straight to the live show! Believe me when I tell you that she deserved it.
Danger Stunt Man
Grandpa Show gets his thrills playing with chainsaws. Not only does he walk on his hands over the running machine, but he also likes to cut fruit with it. Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong. After shoving an apple into his mouth, Grandpa Show blindfolds himself and then attempts to cut the apple in half using a piece of equipment that could potentially kill him. Don’t try this at home kids! Grandpa Show successfully halves his piece of fruit and because he lived to tell the tale of the experience, the judges agree to send him through. I don’t think I can watch if the next round produces Grandpa Show attempting to cut a grape with his chainsaw.
Alexi likes to perform acrobatic and balancing tricks on a headless mannequin. I’m sure half of you think this is some weird fetish, while the other half appreciates his willingness to find a partner that doesn’t talk back. At the end of the day, we can all agree that it is creepy. Alexi removes his shirt (resulting in a “woo hoo” from Heidi) and launches into an erotic dance to Berlin’s power anthem “Take My Breath Away.” Alexi is talented. And he’s odd. I’m not sure if that is the winning combination the judges are looking for. Howard is eager to see what else the headless woman will wear in future routines. I’m eager to see if Alexi sticks with ‘80s easy listening song choices. Three judges agree that Alexi should go on to the next round. Please let there be a “Don’t Know What You’ve Got Til It’s Gone” routine. That song can work on so many levels.
Alex has been singing for 25 years and he’s ready to launch a show in Vegas. He feels Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” is the song that can help make his dream a reality. I personally think his feather shoulder pads are the key. Although his vocals weren’t stellar, his energy certainly roused a lethargic audience. His passion is undeniable and incredibly contagious enough to score four yeses from the judges.
Syum and Juggling Taxi
Sweet, innocent Syum is the Silent Bob to Danny’s Juggling Taxi persona. Apparently Danny knows everything about Ethiopia. That’s crazy, because Syum is from Ethiopia. Plus, they both know how to juggle. Hello odd friendship! I’m so glad they have each other because their performance was less than mediocre. The guys and Heidi all slam their buzzers immediately. Mel B. allows the performance to progress for no other reason that she likes the song “Hot, Hot, Hot.” I think not, not, not.
What did you think about “Audition 5?” Was Birdy Sue robbed? Did you think the group who tap danced inside boxes deserved more than 10 seconds of screen time? Do you feel lazy because you can’t lift 205 pounds like Power Lifting Granny? Or is that just me? I do like the fact that she refused to remove her gold bracelet. She may be fierce, but she’s still a lady.