9/11 America’s Got Talent Results. Poor Format Yields Poor Results. An Incredible Finale Blown.

One of our readers pointed out something we did not get from the explanation of how they were doing the votes tonight on the ten finalists.  There were 20 total acts, and we thought and felt that a total vote competition was appropriate.  To not allow the acts from each night to compete against each other introduces a completely random selection into the mix.  An unfair flip of the coin, not chosen by the audience or the judges.

But our reader was right.  Five were selected from the first night and five from the second.  And the second night’s talent was vastly better, so it ruined a chance at a spectacular finale integrating mediocre talent from the first night.

There were two truly sad events on the show . Sharon voted for Daniel Jens to go into the top 10.  Sharon then followed up by not even remembering the name of Jonathan Burkin, referring to him as “Baton Boy”!!  This convinces us even more that the judges are useless and those that plan the show are pathetic.

Out of our top 4, 3 were selected.  But this was primarily because of the ill-conceived format not allowing the second night’s talent to compete with the first.  Jonathan Burkin was fantastic and better than anyone that performed the first night.  But he got eliminated because of the flip of a coin.

Sarah Lenore was fantastic.  She could compete on Idol.  Eli is better, but the selections from the first night that displaced Sarah were a joke.  Fat Lady (Emily) doesn’t hold a candle to Sarah.  Paul Salos?  Please.  Donald Braswell?  We are sleeping already.  Sarah blows them away, and we hope she shows up on Idol and makes fools out of the people that run this show.  The fact that Jessica Price is in the final 10 and Daniel Jens got within one vote of the top 10 while Sarah was sent packing demonstrates even more, this show is just way too random.

All three of our dark horses were picked.  Paul Salos, who we thought was better this week than last, but he wouldn’t have made it if he performed the second night.  Donald Braswell made it and that is sad as well.  He is a niche performer.  We would not pay to see him other than as part of a much broader show.   He is a snoozer, sorry to say.  And the child sympathy act got through.  Kaitlyn is super cute, but to even compare her to some of the talents eliminated in her favor is an insult to intelligence.

We were Wright on the Wright Kids.  And we thought the vote against Extreme Dance FX sad.

We agreed with Joseph Hall for the top 10 as well.

So where does that leave us?  We have three entries in the top ten that just plain to not belong there and do not have a prayer.  But at least they got rid of Jens.  Finally!!

The three mistakes:

1. Kaitlyn Maher – We said we would not be disappointed with Kaitlyn being in the top ten, but when we actually saw the talent discarded in her favor, we realized we were wrong.  She could not sustain an act in Vegas and the judges and audience know it.  This was all about child sympathy.
2. Paul Salos – Paul actually could carry a long act doing his show imitating Sinatra in Vegas, but no one would pay good money for it.  He could do an act in front of the slot machines, but talent-wise he doesn’t even qualify as a puppet for Terry Fator.  This was the elderly sympathy vote combined with random luck he got to go on the first night when the talent was weakest.
3. Queen Emily – The fat lady can sing.  She can’t win.  We wouldn’t pay to see her sing one song, let alone a show on Vegas.  She was a poor choice.

America didn’t really blow this.  America’s Got Talent is primarily to blame with this lame format and incredibly poor choices for each night, clearly placing the weaker talent on the first night.

In fact, though, this pointed out something random about the entire show.  The choice of talents for each week can result in incredibly unfair comparisons and eliminations.  We have a couple of suggestions.

1. Get rid of Jerry
2. Get rid of the judges
3. Have an overall elimination competition more like Idol that allows everyone to compete for America’s votes.

We think that the random choice of talent from night to night deprives America of the best competition.

We think Eli wins anyway barring elderly and child sympathy votes, but those have been particularly strong this year so you never know.  America is gullible when it comes to these acts and the show panders to them.

So let’s order the TOP 10 talents so far (bearing in mind this is before their final performances).

1. Eli Mattson
2. Nuttin But Stringz
3. Neil E. Boyd
4. The Wright Kids
5. Joseph Hall
6. Jessica Price
7. Paul Salos
8. Donald Braswell
9. Kaitlyn Maher
10. Queen Emily

However, we are a bit confused.  The judges often infer that the reason for choosing a talent to move on is whether they can “sustain” an act on Vegas that lasts over an hour.

But it seems like really, we are voting for talent, not Vegas.  Eli, for example, is hugely talented, but that doesn’t make him a long term Vegas act.  There just aren’t too many of those, and those that do Vegas regularly are older names like Frankie Vallie or Sinatra before he passed away.  Pearl Jam or Marc Cohn may show up on occasion, but they aren’t there every night.  It just doesn’t seem practical to consider a singer for such an act.

That said, that rules out Emily, Jessica, Donald and Neil, none of which are as talented as Eli and none of which, we feel would   And Kaitlyn is cute, but she could never sustain a Vegas Act long term.  She could be part of one, but not THE act.

Nuttin but Strings we think could, but would need a huge amount of choreography work and vastly more diversity than they currently have.  They are hugely talented and great to watch, but for over an hour every day on Vegas?

The Wright Kids could pull it off for a while.  But we think that America would tire of it quickly.  Again, they are more of a touring show than a fixture in Vegas.  We would like to see them at a local show perhaps, but we are not interested when in Vegas in paying to see them.

One thing there are a bunch of in Vegas in lasting acts are niche performers.  Female imitators, comedians, magicians, etc.  Paul Salos and Joseph Hall come to mind.  We don’t think people would pay to see Paul, but he could sustain a more minor act after the initial hooplah was over.  SImilarly, Joseph, with good choreography and some more practice could be a huge draw of young girls, at least for a while.  And Elvis impersonators are not uncommon at all in Vegas.

So now we have a conundrum.  Do we vote for the best talent or the act we think could survive in Vegas the longest?  If the former, the list above makes up our choices.  But if the latter, we would have to consider two of the less talented stars as the winner.    Is it “America’s Got Talent” or “Choose the Vegas Star”?

The polls below first appeared on this article and is still open for voting.

[poll id=”38″][poll id=”39″]

9/10 Review & Prediction: America’s Got Talent!! Be Your Own Judge!

The show started with the greatest new act we have seen period. Terry Fator!! He brought on our favorite turtle to sing for Sharon. Winston did a great Marvin Gaye tune. No one knows how Terry does this. He sings better than some we have seen on American Idol, without moving his lips and through a puppet.

Terry then brought out Maynard Thomkins, an Elvis impersonator which was specifically related to the later talent, Joseph Hall, that actually does his own Elvis impersonation. You know, Terry can do anybody. He can impersonate Frank, Elvis, even the great Roy Orbison and have you feeling his puppet is an awesome singer. We may be able to eliminate all other acts on this show and just make them into Terry Fator puppets. Great performance Terry. 100 million bucks? It wasn’t enough.

No we would like to explain our title. You should be your own judge on this show because the judges are all useless. Piers is a pompous Simon Cowell wannabe that should just be discarded as the buffoon he truly is. Sharon has an edge, but brings little to the show. And Hasselhoff should go back to talking to cars. Jerry, most of all, is a waste of air time. So, you can save huge amounts of time watching the acts without listening to the judges at all. And the show is infinitely better!! Be your own judge.

Act 1: Sick Step (8/10)

When we were in Boston this past week-end we saw some break dancers at Quincy Market. They were all pretty good, and it was fun, but you can see the difference with Sick Step. They are pros, well choreographed and fun. The synchronization was great and each dancer seems to bring a strength. None are just filler. They are as good as some of the So You Think you can Dance Breakers, and we genuinely love them.

Act 2: Donald Braswell (7/10)

OK, this guy can sing huge. His voice is spectacular, but what comes to mind as he performs is his name should be Donald Boresustohell. The music is totally yesterday. But he has a niche. He could perform on Broadway or in a Broadway show and kill it. He did a Phantom of the Opera song and it was spectacular. We just find him boring and think America will as well, fake tan or no.

Act 3: Joseph Hall (8/10)

Joseph is an Elvis impersonator. In this show, he had some classic Elvis style and moves. He also had the song down fairly well, Suspicious Minds. But he doesn’t have the voice on the power notes. But he has every girl in the audience standing or on their knees screaming for him.

His tan actually looks real and his chest shaved. He gets a point just for his looks. Women will love this guy and he is a draw. But in comparison to Maynard Thomkins, we don’t think he is that much better talent wise. Tough call.

Act 4: Taubl Family (6/10)

New Title, the In Trouble Family. The women came on and sang. The lead was good, but the harmonies were awful early. As the boys came in, they were strong again, and the boys were the stars last week that pulled it off for them, but you know what? They lost. Next.

Act 5: Sarah Lenore (8/10)

This gal belongs on Idol. She has the talent and look to pull it off. She may not win, but she could give most Idol’s a run for their money. She chose a ridiculously popular song to sing. She chose “Bleeding Love”, by Leona Lewis. And as we mentioned last night, that gets you compared to the original, and that makes it real tough to judge. But we loved it. She made it her own, put on a “live” performance of the song and was fantastic. Sara is beautiful and a hot performer. She can definitely be a star.

Act 6: Nuttin But Stringz (9/10)

OK, you just have to see these guys. They are great. It seems simple. A couple of violins and some dance moves and overall, it just seems like a losing act. Then you watch it, and you take them to the top. They draw you in and up. We have no idea what it is. We have heard better violin. We have seen better dancing. We have seen better choreography. We haven’t seen a better act (except Terry).

Act 7: Kaitlyn Maher (7/10)

This act is difficult for us, and we are sure it is difficult for America. The girl is incredibly cute, but that isn’t a reason to vote for her; well it is, but it would have to be purely for child sympathy. But Kaitlyn has something else. She is 4 and remembers every word of difficult songs. She walks and waves in this way that is so cute you know it is practiced, and she pulls it off wonderfully. Even more stunning is she hits every verse with perfect timing. This is something many professionals fail at. Her only failure is also in her youth. We cannot compare her talent to that of adults. If this was America’s Got Talent for Children, she would win. But how can we give her the same ranking as someone like Sarah Lenore? We just can’t. We are not sure if America will, but we wouldn’t feel too bad if she made the finals.

Act 8: Tapping Dads (8/10)

Wow, these guys really brought it tonight. Great choreography, fantastic showmanship. We could see them on Vegas. They know who the star is, and they know how to play off him. Their synchronization, perfect. We raised them a point watching them again. We had them going home this week, but now we are not so sure. They hit it and they deserve a berth in the finals, but so do so many others!!

Act 9: Eli Mattson (9/10)

Eli had a couple of mild intonation problems at the beginning, but the piano was great and he killed the verse. He picked a very difficult song by Alicia Keys. “If I Ain’t Got You”.

We liked his version better. He loses one point because he belongs on Idol. But then again, his piano is killer so maybe his diversity says he belongs here. Eli will have a CD out soon, we can feel it.

Some people want it all Eli. Some people just have it all. Congrats guy.

Act 10: Jonathan Burkin (9/10)

Baton Twirler Wizard. (Performed to “Pinball Wizard”). Jonathan brings together a world of talent. At first you see a guy twirling batons, and you think it is kind of corny, but really, as you watch it closely, you get it. The guy is a massively talented juggler; he just uses batons. He is a gymnast, executing flips and complicated dance moves with aplomb while juggling. And the guy is a major showman, but he does it in jeans and a T-Shirt! Jonathan is a finalist. Period. If he drops the baton once, he is doomed, but he hasn’t yet.

Our picks:

1. Jonathan Burkin
2. Eli Mattson
3. Nuttin But Strings
4. Sarah Lenore
5. Tapping Dads
6. Joseph Hall
7. Sick Stuff

Not again. Another tie breaker. OK, 1-3 are golden. No removing them from the top 10. So who goes from the remaining 4? The acts from last night and tonight will be voted upon together, which confuses things even more. Going back to our review from last night, our only 9/10 act was Neil E Boyd. So, that picks 4/10 from the two nights for us.

1. Jonathan Burkin
2. Eli Mattson
3. Nuttin But Strings
4. Neil Boyd

Leaving 6 more, and we have so many that were so very close. Here are our remaining picks for the top 10.

5. Sarah Lenore
6. Joseph Hall
7. The Wright Kids
8. Extreme Dance FX
9. Tapping Dads
10. Sick Step

Possible Alternates

1. Paul Salos
2. Kaitlyn Maher
3. Donald Braswell