'America's Got Talent' takes us to church. And everyone cries.
It’s the last week of auditions on America’s Got Talent and the acts were extremely good or horrifically bad. There was very little middle ground, except for the intimacy expert who taught Nick Cannon how to properly kiss a woman. It was oddly satisfying and therefore will be placed in its own weird little category known as “WTF?”
The producers grouped our entertainment into sections. There were contortionists, singing acts, oddities, and an entire segment dedicated to performers who date each other. But first up? Let’s hear it for the boys…
I absolutely loved this group of dancing dads. Sure they are all former professional dancers who are now well into their golden years, and yes they can still shake their groove performing old school moves to “Uptown Funk.” The one detail that made me pause was their decision to wear what presumably are work clothes as their costumes. I’m talking khaki pants, oxford shirts, and dress shoes. A few may need to invest in heart monitors before the next round, but kudos for getting through!
The dude portion of this segment included singing sensations Nick and Eddie. The youngsters’ ability to channel their inner Rack Pat by crooning “Mack the Knife” merited them a ticket to the next round. They were soon joined by Ben—a huge guy with tats, an epic beard, and a worn out guitar belting the lyrics of “Drift Away.”
Next is the contortionist round. Several girls with rubber bones twist their bodies into unimaginable shapes. I concede that many were talented. And then Scott shows up bragging that he can do things that have never been done before. In a nutshell, Scott is double jointed in his fingers. And he can wiggle his ears. He receives four buzzes and walks off the stage as an entire auditorium of people try to manipulate their fingers they way Scott did. Stupid human trick? Absolutely. Talent show winner? Not a chance.
Larry Callahan and Selected of God Choir
Gospel Singing Group
Larry Callahan always wanted to be a choir director when we was a little kid. And boy can this guy direct a choir. He describes their sound as “contemporary gospel with a spin of traditional sounds.” I’m not sure there’s a Billboard category that fits that description, but I liked it. Their version of “The Prayer” was interesting, yet powerful. You could tell each choir member felt the words they were singing. The costuming, including the giant shoulder flowers and hot pink lipstick, was on point. But when Larry started crying at the conclusion of their performance, I started to cry. Then the choir started to cry, and I cried some more. Audience members were passing tissues. Heidi was glassy eyed. It was a special moment that deserved four yeses.
The next portion of the show featured love birds. The opening montage showcased couples kissing in the wings, a sexy aerialist act who work both on stage and off stage together, and a married couple who perform acrobatics on a pole. (I was about to write “not a euphemism,” but I have no idea. No judgment here.) Then we are introduced to a pair of gymnasts with an interesting story…
The editors go into great detail on Duo Volta’s background story. They were partners. He thought she was hot. They got together and now her life is literally in his hands. Relationships are all about trust. When they introduce themselves to the judges, Howie asks if they are dating. The girl announces to the world that her beefcake boyfriend broke up with her two months ago. Howie is livid. For the next three minutes, we transition into America’s Got Counseling as the judges’ panel processes the demise of Duo Volta’s personal relationship. When they finally dance, I agree that it was impressive, but there was a weird dark cloud hanging over my head. The conclusion of the routine ends with her boobs in his face. That’s not awkward at all. Four yeses from the judges and a resounding “you’re an idiot” to the big guy from Howie.
I understand that this guy is a professional, but when he chugged 120 raw eggs in 90 seconds, I thought I was going to hurl. Literally. I had to look away. Especially when yolk started dripping from his beard as he picked pieces of egg shell out of his mouth. He deserves something for not ralphing all over the stage after that stunt. I guess a ticket to the next round is good enough.
NEXT: Return of the boy bands
3 Shades of Blue
Picture the brother trio Hanson in your head and then add a kid from One Direction and you’ve got 3 Shades of Blue. They take a risk by playing a rock version of “Feeling Good” and it pays off. The oldest brother is the only vocalist. He’s raspy and a bit unpolished. But the band contributed to the raw feel of the vibe and it actually worked. Couple that with floppy hair, hoodies, and skinny jeans and you just might have something that will make the tweens go wild. Four yeses!
The Gem City Jewels
These girls want you to know that they get lots of stares when they roll up into the club. I think that’s great, because they will never have careers in the music industry. It was horrendous. Bless their hearts and thank you judges for buzzing their act halfway through.
Pretty Big is a group of full-figured women who believe in girl power, Afro wigs, and perfectly synchronized dance numbers. Their routine, choreographed to “Get Up Offa That Thing,” was extremely entertaining and energetic. So much twerking! Miley Cyrus would be proud. And so are the judges. The ladies are through to the next round.
Four guys who met in college decided to form a group about a month ago. They give off this frat guy “we’re a boy band” vibe and Howard’s eyes almost get stuck in the back of his head due to a massive eye roll. The audience settles in for a dorky rendition of “You’ve Got the Right Stuff” and are completely floored when the quartet belt out the opening lyrics of “Nessun Dorma” in pretty impressive Italian. Howard giggled at his own surprise. I may have stood up. Yeses all around!
Passion and Intimacy Expert
Joanna is a lovely woman who teaches people how to kiss for a living. Howard volunteers Nick to be her guinea pig. When Joanna brings out her trusty blow-up doll as Nick’s partner, Howard insists on finding Nick a pretty young thing from the audience so he can receive a proper instruction. Joanna walks Nick and The Girl With Pretty Teeth through the process of taking things slow by uttering the phrase “not yet” over and over again. Everyone is embarrassed except Howard. Howie and Mel B. hide their eyes while Heidi and I hide under the table. I haven’t been this uncomfortable since the trapeze artists aired their differences on national television. Finally Joanna lets them kiss and it cuts to commercial. This isn’t Cinemax After Dark. When we return, the judges tell Joanna, “thanks but no thanks” as Nick escorts his lovely lady off the stage to get her digits. Somewhere in a fancy mansion, Mariah Carey is throwing diamonds at her television.
What did you think of “Audition 7?” Were you shocked to hear drag queen Delighted Tobehere’s low voice? Did you think the act which featured 40 Latin dancers resembled a cracked out version of Dancing with the Stars? Do you feel bad for the girl in Duo Volta? I have to say that her partner’s lack of shirt did ease my aggravation a bit.