America’s Got Talent: Season Premiere Part 2 Review
We’re still in the middle of the audition process for ‘America’s Got Talent,’ so at this point audiences are prepared to see anything from the sweet to the absolutely absurd. What better place to find that all than in San Francisco?
We’re technically on the second episode of ‘America’s Got Talent,’ so naturally at this point the judges are ready to ‘go into battle’. “I’ve been waiting in my hotel room since five in the morning, waiting to judge something,” says Howard Stern as he’s greeted by crowds of San Franciscans. And obviously the rest of the crowd is anxious to move forward with the auditions. After all, if the contestants manage to win this competition then they will snag a million dollars. And no matter what you tell us, we don’t believe that Howie Mandell actually flew in on some form of a jet pack. That’s just careful editing at work there.
We begin the festivities with the Sacramento dance group called CMYB, headed by David Garblandi. Now here’s the kicker: they’re not just a dance group, but a painting dance group. Yes, they manage to combine their love of dance with their incredible painting skills. To think that he’s able to paint Mozart while actually dancing to it along with his group is just amazing. Color the judges impressed. (Sorry)
Then the audience isn’t introduced so much as exposed to Mr. Special. His name should sum it up. He comes in a little tricycle playing “Anchors Away” on a trumpet while wearing half of a chicken outfit. He gets an automatic fail from Sharon and Howard, but pushover Howie gives him a chance for a split second until he decides to vote against him. Mr. Special doesn’t take the news well as he almost calls Sharon a b—-, then tells her to give him a call. Mr. Special even manages to slightly harass Howie and Howard back stage. Rude much?
It’s time for a horrible audition montage! We’re exposed to the worst of the bunch which includes lame fire performers, a band who plays solely on guitars made out of suitcases and Mars Green, a man who’s painted like a lizard and sings an awful rendition of Katy Perry’s “Supernatural.” That poor, poor audience.
Obviously the saddest one in the group was Kim McAffe, a singer who’s duet became a solo thanks to her flaky singing partner. She may have given Howard Stern praise for his show, but that doesn’t stop him from giving her an automatic no for her performance. Suddenly Nick Cannon pops up, trying to help her out by “scratching,” which makes her performance a bit worse.
Let’s bring on the balancing act! We’re referring to Cristin Sandu, a seventeen-year-old who balances on several metal circles. It terrifies the audience to a degree, afraid that Cristin will be splattered all over the AGT floor, but he manages to pull off his act without a hitch and wins most of the judges over.
Then we’re sprinkled with a bit of humor as the auditions continue on with LCD – The Lisa Clark Dancers. This has to be one of the funniest dances that’s been seen on the show so far, mixing contemporary dance with classical music. Everyone’s won over except for Howie, which nobody gets, not even us. For some reason Howie is happy when he sees the magician and the concert piano player who pull off a cool sawing act that ends with half of the piano player performing one of his tunes. And then he gives a yes to a juggler who screws up the first time he performs his act. What’s going on in that noggin, Howie?
We get our first dose of impressions on the show thanks to Dave, a comedian impressionist. He manages to imitate the voice and movements of a few celebrities including Nicolas Cage and Vince Vaughn but doesn’t entirely hit the mark the whole time. All of the judges basically tell him to get a little “edgier” with writing his impression skit, but still think he’s good enough to move forward in the competition.
We slip into the more emotionally touching portion of the show when we’re introduced to Luiz Meneghin, a normal man with a solid opera voice. His performance is fine but at the same time you can tell he picked a safe song to sing instead of really pushing his vocal cords to the limit. Either way, he managed to wow everyone in the audience. Here’s hoping he really challenges himself when he’s in Las Vegas.
Day two of the San Francisco auditions kicks off with Paula Nelson, an eighty-year-old woman who’s known as Granny G. What makes Granny G so unique? Why she’s a grandmother who can rap about moral values. The judges suggest that Granny G could be even cooler if she blings up her walker. She’ll certainly be doing that when she’s in the next round. At least she’s loads better than Kotton Kandy, a heavy-set male street performer who wears a glowing showgirl outfit. Hey, he may not be what everyone wants to see but at least he gave it the good old academic try while dancing to the “Tootise Roll.”
Crappy audition montage part two! This round includes motorcycle stunt men who can barely do any tricks, a lady with a performing mini-horse and puppy that just walks around in circles. And though you would have figured the man who transformed his broom and dust pan into musical instruments wouldn’t move forward, you’re wrong.
It’s sympathetic time once more with Tim Hockenberry, an alcoholic who turned his life around and is now ready to sing in front of the nation. He performs a great rendition of “You Are So Beautiful” which almost moves Howie to tears. Everyone is absolutely in love with him, especially Howard who describes his performance as “a breath of fresh air.”
The last dance group we’re presented with is the FBC (Funk Beyond Control). They’re all right, but the one thing that almost killed their routine is that one of the kids immediately messed up. Thankfully, Howard Stern and company were in more of a forgiving mood at this point in the show.
Speaking of decent performances, the judges managed to let an indie folk hipster-like band, called The Emily Ann Band, move forward. They sang a really strange rendition of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” that left half of the audience wondering what they just listened to. Oh well, they advanced to the next round along with so-so stand up comedian Kellen and a martial arts dance group that messed up at one point.
Thankfully the last performer of the night deserved to not only be on this stage but definitely deserves to make it all the way to the finals. Alonso Jones, aka Turf, is a hip hop contortionist dancer who was kicked out of his house for wanting to pursue his dreams. He was homeless for two years and danced for money on the street until he could afford his own apartment. The contortion may at times be uncomfortable to watch but man, he’s got some moves. Even Nick Cannon is speechless, his jaw hanging ajar while watching Turf at work. Once he’s done performing, Turf is moved to tears over the judges’ wonderfully kind words. “Just this right here… dream came true.” Yes, this man is going to Las Vegas.
That’s it for San Francisco’s portion of the auditions. Next week we’ll be watching the trio make their rounds in New York City, Howard Stern’s home turf, on ‘America’s Got Talent,’ airing this next Monday and Tuesday at 8 PM.