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