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

9/09 America’s Got Talent Review & Prediction. Daniel Jens Re-Enlists in Iraq. Bush Praises Him.

So, let’s start with last show.  Don’t we always?

One major complaint.  There are more commercials between each act on this show than there are acts in the entire show.  It is pathetic.  This is a 30 minute show that lasts two hours, and the number of commercials is abusive.

We were right.  5 out of 5 this week.  We hate to blow our own horn, (that is not true, we love to blow our own horn), but we were 4 out of 5 the past two weeks.

Eli Mattson
Nuttin But Stringz
Tapping Dads
Donald Braswell
Kaitlyn Maher

So, now for this week.

We have decided this week we should not comment on the judges at all, or Jerry.  They are just distractions at this point from the talent, and they could be eliminated from the show entirely along with the commercials.

As this show gets closer to the end, the talent gets much harder to judge.  Not only is it usually pretty darned good by this stage in the competition, it is so diverse.  How do you judge a magic act against a singer against a choreographed set of dancers.

We have no idea, but we do our best.  Terry Fator was a standout way above the crowd last season, but we don’t see a specific standout this year, although we do have our favorites.

Lets’ go baby.

1. Cadence (8/10)

We didn’t like Cadence last week.  Their Blue Man Group imitation was cheesy, and their act way too loose versus their initial tight act.  They were all over the stage last week, and instead of focusing on a small set of instruments, they tried to play everything percussion under the sun.  They got voted through, but it wasn’t good and they were not on our list to even make the top 20.

This week…they were tight.  Back to limited instruments; they brought in a real popular rap song.  Sounded like noise early, but then got it together as they focused.  Still a bit too spread out, but we blame that again on the horrible camera men on AGT.  The end was great. They all played in close proximity on plastic buckets.  That is what got these guys started; get away from the bull.  Good show.  Vegas?  Maybe.

2. Queen Emily (6/10)

Too corny of an intro.  She says her whole life has changed, but we don’t think her diet has.

Last week Emily buried herself in the background of the Supremes and we said she had to sing by herself this week to keep on.  She did, but it had no energy.

She sang a slow song.  She sang it nice.  She is going home.

3. The Wright Kids (8/10)

You know, we don’t like kid acts and last week, these kids were kind of flat and karaoke.  So, we weren’t surprised they sang a song focused more on a kid’s voice.  “Rockin’ Robin”.  This song was written specifically for a kid’s voice and they did it much better.  We liked them a bunch.  Lead was still a tad flat.   But fun.

4. James Gang (7/10)

We like this group of guys.  Their Broadway talent is there and the dancing is great, but the singing isn’t there.  So what do you do?  Send them home.  Sorry guys.

5. Daniel Jens (2/10)

The Army asked Dan to re-enlist.  Piers thinks he should.  We do too.  You shouldn’t have gotten this far Daniel.  You stink.  Bye.

6. Zoo-Perstars (8/10)

You know, the judges don’t get this act at all.  It is hysterical fun and total satire.  But when someone does not get satire, you can’t explain it, and Piers is not smart enough to get it.  Oh well.  He didn’t have to for this performance.  We loved it.  We laughed; we cried.  But they needed to take the costumes to something stratospheric.  A Hillary inflatable or something creative, but we were still laughing our heads off.  These guys are great.  A Walrus break dancing on one hand in an inflatable outfit deserves extra points.

7. Neil E. Boyd (9/10)

This guy is a Zoo-perstar.  We mean it.  This guy is so big that he is as large as any of the inflatable Zoo-Perstars, so perhaps he is exactly what that act would need to excel.

While Neil looks like he eats about ten salamis a day, he can sing.  His voice is powerful, you can’t get away from it.   His presence is HUGE!!  Whoops. Sorry.

8. Jessica Price (6/10)

When you perform a song that is the key hit of a star, you get compared to that star.  Colbie Caillat does the song Jessica chose; it is Colbie’s earmark, and it is fantastic to hear live.  Jessica’s guitar was amateur at best.  The lyrics were off tune.  The chills Colbie’s song gives you just weren’t there.  Sorry Jessica.  You are cute.  But that ain’t gonna cut it this week.  Try a coffee shop. Bye.

9. Extreme Dance Fx (8/10)

These guys are fun.  Always have been.  They clog well, the choreography is consistently good.  They were a step above where they were last week.  Great.  We are not sure clogging is where it is at in Vegas, but we couldn’t take our eyes off this act.  They were much stronger this week, and they earned the points.

Here’s a sample of their act from last week’s:

10. Paul Salos (8/10)

It was funny, the judges did not like Paul this week, and we thought he was better.  He did “Come Fly With Me” and he sounded like Frank this week.  Last week he didn’t.  We didn’t give him the elderly pity vote this week.  We think he earned the points.

So, what does that leave at the top?

1. Neil E. Boyd
2. Wright Kids
3. Paul Salos
4. Extreme Dance Fx
5. Zoo-Perstars
6. Cadence

Oh no, we have to have an elimination.  And it isn’t easy.  The bottom of the barrel here is the top of the bottom.  Neil is a shoe-in and easy.  The other five are so close in our minds that we cannot separate them easily.

We have to cut out one, and even though we liked him this week, we don’t think he has an act that will have staying power.  We are going to say goodbye to Paul Salos, with a very close vote with Cadence and the Zoo-Perstars.  We believe all three are so close, any one could be sent packing or continue hacking.

9/03 Season 3: America’s Got Talent Is Decent Again, STOP THE PRESSES!!

W e had one error in last night’s picks. The baton twirler, Jonathan Berkin, got through over Matthew Piazzi. We were real close on those two having them both ranked at 7/10, but decided that impersonations were more likely to make an hour long Vegas act than baton twirling. We also think Jonathan needs to dress up his act. Not the batons, etc. Himself. He needs some pizzazz! But he got voted through.

So once again, we had four out of five.

Winners from Last Night:

1. Jonathan Berkin
2. Sarah Lenore
3. Joseph Hall
4. Taubl Family
5. Sickstep

Now for tonight’s performers:

1. The Dallas Desperados Dancers (5/10)

Just cheerleaders. Buzz by Piers. Then Sharon. Of course Hasselhoff wouldn’t buzz young women in skimpy outfits, but he should have. Lame choreography, bad even for an average high school cheerleader team.

Overall, *TGFFF.

2. Bryan Cheatham (5/10)

Chippendale that thinks he can sing. Super Corny Intro. Sang “You Are My Everything”. Kind of flat in parts. Buzz 1 Piers. Not good. Back to the Jock Strap tips for this guy. Sharon says, “Cut the crap.” To get voted on, he would have to cheat ’em.

3. Flambeaux (5/10)

Fire Eater. Starts off cool. Then drags a bit and gets a buzz by Sharon, then Piers.
Audience booing. Overall, pretty dumb. Three buzzes.

4. Kaitlyn Maher (6/10)

4 year old mostly Child Sympathy Act. “I feel wike a big pwincess”. Sang “What a Wonderful World”. Off key, but majorly cute. So, if you vote for singing and karaoke, she is a 2, if you vote cute, she is a an 8. Audience goes nuts. Judges play up to her pathetically. Even Jerry takes advantage of the schmoozing.

5. Dorae Saunders (3/10)

Cheap Lip Sync Act Female Impersonator trying to look like Tina Turner. More proof that this is just a freak show by bringing on the third transvestite or transexual act in the top 40! We don’t think Kaitlyn was a transvestite, but you never know at her age. So it could be four! He does Disco Inferno. Piers buzzed early, the others didn’t buzz at all. They all should have. Pathetic lip sync. Sharon says she loves her. Oh brother. “Only in America can a transsexual play it live to 20 million people and pull it off”, exclaimed Hasselhoff. Well, David, we are not sure what she was pulling off, but it wasn’t this act. But we are certain she (it) can perform for you and pull it off.

6. Donald Braswell (7/10)

Big Sob Story after getting to come back as the Wild Card. America supposedly picked him, so let’s hear it. “To Dream The Impossible Dream”. Strong voice, good fake tan, we would not pay for him, but he was good and on key. Standing O. But Sharon hit it. The shows like Lawrence Welk aren’t on anymore and they are likely the only forum where Donald would be relevant. We have a job for him, he would make a great puppet for Terry Fator!!

7. Indiggo Twins (4/10)

Cute gals, that do a kinky dance act and sing. Hasselhoff says they are like vampires. We will see if they suck. Buzz right away by Piers. What else is new. Audience is booing within seconds. We know Hasselhoff will never buzz gals in skimpy outfits no matter how bad they are. But Hasselhoff was right about the vampire thing, they suck.

8. Tapping Dads (7/10)

Finally, these guys will get to do their act. They have hidden this act for weeks. Piers does not like them. Starts good. Nice sync. Good choreography. Buzz by Piers. But the audience disagrees and loves them. If the cameras would stay on the act, we could better judge them, but we liked them. Fun stuff. Piers is an idiot. Sharon saw it and tried to throttle him.

9. Eli Mattson (9/10)

Piano Player singer. Gets a one point deduction automatically for belonging on American Idol if he is indeed any good. Has a style similar to Marc Kohn. In fact, Eli did one of Marc’s songs last week. His Piano is good, his voice on key, and he has it all. Right on point. Guy is great. He would have a shot on Idol. Standing O.

Eli’s Version of Walking on Memphis.

10. Nuttin But Stringz (8/10)

Two guys that play the violin. Starts off good. Fun stuff. Building violin play, kind of intense, kind of corny. Piers says they are the favorite act in the competition. They are quite good, although a very odd act.

OK, the picks for us are pretty easy. The talent was totally evident.
1. Eli Mattson
2. Nuttin But Stringz
3. Tapping Dads
4. Donald Braswell
5. Kaitlyn Maher

We don’t need to play the child sympathy game this week, because the child sympathy act actually made it in by a hair into our top 5 because the bottom five acts were so horrible. But she will be out next week.

Eli has greatness built into his voice. Get him on Idol!!

*TGFFF: Thank gad for fast forward