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Welcome to the Tuesday, July 12 America’s Got Talent Season 6 Episode 13 quarterfinals from Hollywood — live blog (8pm in the West). The first 12 of the 48 acts will perform tonight for their chance for a million bucks.
Nick Cannon, Sharon Osbourne, Piers Morgan, and Howie Mandel are back, and hopefully, you are too!
Let’s get started, shall we?
Feel free to get a conversation going!
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(The usual disclosure: As you know, we are a site devoted to opinion, inspiration, civility, and tolerance. So, why this weekly ritual with AGT? Well, first, it’s our guilty pleasure [life can’t always be so serious], and second, it fits right into one of our pillars: inspiration. America’s Got Talent features folks who are going for it in a very real sense. They are living their dream, come what may [the big red “X”?]. Doesn’t matter who you are, what you look like, or where you come from. On stage, you’re all equal under the lights. That’s pretty great to me.)
The show started with the now-trademark judge entrance. Someone would think they were royalty…although, on TV, they probably are.
The 12 tonight are vying for four spots…through your votes…
And they’ll be doing it live.
Oh, and it took less than five minutes for Howie to piss off Piers. Love it. More of that, Howie!
Then, it was down to business.
The Miami All Stars were first up, and guess what? Their song wasn’t cleared legally. That’s right…after rehearsing like crazy, it was time to start all over with very little time left. But they’re pros, right? The Miami All Stars came out swinging. Really swinging. Incredible. Even Piers Morgan called it “fabulous.” He’s right. Sharon weighed in with “spectacular.” Howie? “Mucho caliente.” See folks? You have to have at least one year of Spanish to judge the show. The Miami All Stars were flawless to lead off, and with a great lesson. When life pitches a curve, swing for the fences anyway.
Dezmond Meeks was up next. He shared a little bit about his life — an outcast for his tastes and talents. Take note everyone. Look where he is now. Dez Meeks took to the piano in a flourish on stage and gave us a wild rendition of “Satisfaction.” It wasn’t just Dez Meeks on stage. He had the whole show — glitter, dance, women dressed in gold dresses. Looked pretty Vegas to me. Dez, you may have some famous influences, but you are certainly your own brand. Awesome. He told the judges he was “shaking like a leaf,” but it was almost impossible to tell. The judges had some criticism in the form of “cheesy” and “too cabaret.” But Piers? Not so much. Piers was a huge support of Dez Meeks’ cabaret style. Agreed. (Wait…I agreed with Piers? It happens! But don’t tell him.)
The bane of Piers’ life, Those Funny Little People, were up next. What are they? Well, they’re sort of like gnomes with a gruff manager and a showgirl. It’s actually an interesting schtick, Those Funny Little People. Tonight, they were “Singin’ in the Rain”…Piers buzzed of course, but the show went on with “It’s Raining Men.” I’ve never seen it performed by gnomes before. Look, I know it’s unconventional. I know it’s silly. But it’s so darn intriguing. Those Funny Little People have a definite charm. Piers calls their charm “annoying,” and then Sharon slammed him. Nice. Then, she had some high praise in the form of “groundbreaking.” I wouldn’t be surprised if they slipped through just based on novelty.
At the break, I made a banana bread sundae. What is it? Banana bread, caramel sauce, and whipped cream. Oh yes, I did. Oh yes, I ate it.
Now, where were we?
That’s right. America’s Got Talent quarterfinals. How could I forget? Next up is The Fearless Flores Family. Apparently their hyper-dangerous act is legal, because they’re back. Another motorcycle in the cage with the kids? That’s right. The Fearless Flores Family is certainly…fearless. The kids in there was scary, then mom got in. Yikes. My regular readers know I usually watch these acts through my fingers, and tonight was pretty hard to watch. I don’t do well with the need-to-be-100%-accurate acts. But the Flores Family was pretty incredible. Then again, maybe that’s the banana break talking…
But probably not.
That was an interesting cluster of commercials. Before we move on can I just ask — how the heck many movies can Jason Bateman be in at once?
Back to the talent.
Next up? Squonk Opera. That’s right. Squonk Opera. They rehearse their…act…in a Pennsylvania barn. Love that. The visuals on a black curtained background were quite interesting. It was a little bit rock, a little bit strange. Maybe a little bit something else. Sharon criticized the song (apparently written by Squonk Opera). Howie liked it. Piers? Well, he called it “hell” and “bonkers.” Why not? I think we all need a little more bonkers in this world. Who says it can’t come from Pittsburgh?
Okay, we’re back from Pittsburgh. What’s next? A comedian — J Chris Newberg. Piers hates him, so I’m looking forward to some good laughs! “That’s Probably a Bad Idea” was pretty funny. I’d like to see a longer version of that with the kids chorus in tow. The J Chris Newberg look-alike-ness was a nice touch. Howie gave high comedic praise. Piers slammed it. Sharon provided the creamy center and admitted to liking his “That’s Probably a Bad Idea” song. Piers looked pissed. J Chris Newberg didn’t care. And all is right in the AGT quarterfinals universe.
Snap Boogie, the one-man awesome Boston dance act, came up next. He’s a street performer on the biggest stage in the world. Before his act, he says he “popped” his leg in practice. Will Snap Boogie overcome that injury? Tonight saw him in backup dancing shadows. The effect was pretty cool. He was solid and high energy, and the audience clearly loved it, as did the judges. What injured leg? Piers called it “superb.” Sharon called him “above Vegas.” Howie? Well, he made it unanimous. Snap Boogie said that he goes with the flow on stage and changes it up as he goes. And isn’t the ability to improv a mark of greatness? Well, maybe not when it comes to me when I was in my improv days, but for others. Definitely for Snap Boogie.
The AGT quarters continued with Echo of Animal Gardens. Echo the Parrot didn’t do so hot in Vegas, but hey…Hollywood is here. Echo’s girlfriend is apparently in attendance tonight. I gues she’s Binky of Animal Gardens. Echo was definitely on early. He was chatty and sassy just like any good parrot (I haven’t known that many parrots. I’m just guessing here that they’re chatty and sassy!). Howie questioned whether Echo of Animal Gardens was a million-dollar act or a birthday party act. Piers and Sharon liked it. What do you think? Are you enough of a bird fan to vote for Echo?
We’re back. The show’s back. The banana bread is gone.
The Fiddleheads are next — bluegrass and awesome. They have a really nice sound with a really great lead singer. Can they step it up? Their choice of Michael Jackson’s “Billy Jean” was an interesting selection. Big shoes to fill. I’m not sure it showcased the lead’s talents as well as something else might have, but it was clever and fresh. Howie agreed with me on the song choice thing (I wrote what I wrote before he said it!). Piers said the song was too big. As for Sharon? She didn’t like the song choice or the costumes. She wants them to go back to their bluegrass roots. In the end, I still like ’em and I’d still like to see more of ’em!
The next act is Duo Aero — trapeze acrobatics. They say they spend all of their time working and training together. I hope they don’t ever fight. I’m going to try to watch this one all the way through without covering the eyes. Their swing dance-in-air was an interesting interpretation. Piers wasn’t thrilled with it, calling it “safe.” Sharon agreed, wishing aloud it was back to the modernity they showed in their first audition. Howie completed the critique trifecta. They may not make it to the next round, but they may get to Cirque du Soleil anyway.
Eleven-year-old Anna Graceman was back with her big voice and big talent. She sat a grand piano tonight and belted out “What a Wonderful World.” A bold choice? Definitely. But she rocked it. And it’s definitely an audience favorite. It was a chance for her to show off her soulful chops. Sharon liked it, Howie loved it, and Piers was a fan of her boots (and her voice). I hope we get another dose of Juneau’s own Anna Graceman in the Semis.
Last but not least is an incredibly dangerous act — Sandou Trio Russian Bar. They’re going to perform tonight over a bed of nails? Good lord. What good is a cool million of you’re not around to enjoy it? They did a great job over plain spikes — then, they lit them on fire. Good lord x 2! I do have to say Sandou Trio Russian Bar nailed it. Sorry for the pun. The most dangerous act on AGT ever? Quite possibly. I’m guessing the Sandou Trio will be leaping to the semis.
The voting will open soon. Who’s your pick? Pretty tough competition tonight — dancing gnomes, motorcycles in a steel globe, a talking parrot, an 11-year-old insanely talented singer, and a bluegrass Michael Jackson tribute.
What’ll it be?
We’ll find out tomorrow.
We’ll see you there. Here. At Nobody’s View.