By Michael Slezak
June 29, 2006 at 12:00 PM EDT

Okay, so let’s talk about Week 2 of America’s Got Talent, which in a more accurate, more verbose world, might be called America’s Got Plenty of Middling, Vaguely Disturbing Talent. Once again, my main complaint about the show is the downright Abdul-ian judgment shown by judges Brandy, David Hasselhoff, and that Simon Cowell wannabe. Seriously, these people want encore performances from singer-contortionist Dave Smith, Michigan rockers PBM (who could barely defend their own whiny lead singer), and stripper Michelle L’Amour (who’ll need to head to Cinemax if she’s planning to take her act any further)? Why allow so much cannon fodder to advance to the next round?

As Cowell 2.0 himself pointed out last night, 11-year-old belter Bianca Ryanis probably going to win the top prize anyhow, provided she steps awayfrom the Shirley Temple Collection at Kmart and ditches thetoo-precious hairstyle. Indeed, her version of “And I Am Telling YouI’m Not Going” probably isn’t enough to keep Jennifer Hudson awakenights, but it was pretty frickin’ impressive, even to an avowed hataof child vocal acts like myself. That said, any more quotes like “Mydream is to be a famous singer and hopefully have my own TV show andnot just, like, 15 minutes of fame,” and I will officially ban her namefrom PopWatch.

The kid could probably pick up some soundbite pointers from Leonidthe Magnificent (pictured, with host Regis Philbin), that pink-winged, bejeweled, shirtless giant whoresembled an archangel as styled by Patricia Fields. After botching hisattempt to balance a sword on the tip of a knife that he was clenchingbetween his teeth, Leonid returned to the stage (at Brandy’s request)and made a tearful plea for a second chance. “To you I am a Christmastree, to someone else I could be god,” he sobbed, and the audiencesobbed with him. And, then like a couple of Grinches standing beforeCindy Lou Who, Hasselhoff and the British guy changed their minds, andgave Leonid the greatest present of all — another 5 minutes of fame.No doubt, that is some good TV, don’tcha think?