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So, at last we arrive — the YouTube acts. This was the grouping that brought us Jackie Evancho.
Who will come from nowhere this year?
Sharon Osbourne, Piers Morgan, Howie Mandel, and Nick Cannon preside, and we’ll get another batch of contestants for the semis…straight from the Internet!
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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.)
Who wants to be famous? Hands?
Well, if you got on YouTube and tried out for the AGT YouTube.com act, tonight coulda been about you.
But instead, you did those other important things in your day and now you’re here with me on the couch reading this. But that’s okay. We have a good time every week, don’t we? I do.
Alright, enough of that. Let’s see what YouTube has to offer tonight. Let’s meet the 12 who have to go from Internet to INBCternet.
Nick Cannon, sporting another great suit, came onto stage to thunderous applause. The lights flashed. The judges were introduced. We were reminded that the show is “live.” And, the audience gave love to Howie.
Piers said this is his favorite show. Why? Because they’ve come from the Internet to live TV with no live audition. He used the word “excited.” Then, he referenced Jackie Evancho again…the gold standard, right?
TNC Elite was the first act — clogging. Clogging to modern music. This has potential, folks. If it’s done right, it can be incredible. If not? Well, we’ll get to that. As it turns out, they were really good. I’ve never seen clogging to the Black Eyed Peas before (ha! I wrote “blogging” instead of clogging). The judges were lukewarm, leaning to positive. Nick disagreed and thought they were really great. I have to say, if they moved on, I wouldn’t be disappointed. Clogging. It’s the new hip hop.
Illusionist Brett Daniels was next. He says it’s the only thing he wants to do with his life. The story alone is great. He says that very recently, he was wondering what to do with his life. Now? He’s on the America’s Got Talent stage with Marilyn Monroe. He got a buzz from Piers. The illusion was wonderful and very elegant. The judges said they weren’t thrilled with the presentation. I don’t know. I’m no expert in talent, but I think it went pretty well. Piers says he buzzed when he got bored. Did you get bored? Maybe I’m just too easily entertained.
Up next? A dog. Gabe Rocks. A bulldog to be exact. Apparently he can open the fridge and flush the toilet. I could use a “Gabe Rocks.” I think the highlight was when Gabe meditated before the act. Nice. He mounted a rocking horse, and then rocked it. Good start. The Piers Morgan impersonation went over well. Then he wizzed on a tiny Piers. That really went over well. Then the skateboard. Let me just say, Gabe Rocks did more in two minutes than I do all weekend. Piers hated the act (shocking). Sharon loved it…and not just because she has a bulldog named “Lola.” Howie agreed that Gabe was a great dog and said he would pay just to look at his face. The act ended with Piers’ unsuccessful attempt to get Gabe to attack Nick. I love these live shows. I miss the days of totally-live TV (and I wasn’t even born then!).
The next group — Aeon. A mix of acrobats who express themselves through the urban landscape. The have a wheel tonight and dance moves. Now, can they do it on a stage in a closed-in space? They pulled it off with some flair, but not without a buzz from Piers. He said it was poorly coordinated with a lot of missing things and tumbling. The group didn’t agree. They said they didn’t miss. Sharon thought it was “repetitive.” Howie disagreed, saying he loves urban running and dance and the creation of a show. Nevertheless, there has been a lot of bitter tonight.
I’m going to have part of cinnamon roll (with extra icing) to get a dose of something sweet. Now THAT’S who should be on this show. The people who make these cinnamon rolls.
Okay, enough cinnamon roll. Back to AGT.
The next act was contortionist Breena Bell — age eight. Do you like acts like this? Not everyone’s on board with contortionists. She got a buzz from Piers. Why? Well, he said that she is a good gymnast and that’s where she should focus. He says he wasn’t being an “ogre,” just honest. Sharon said she enjoyed the performance, but that again, maybe this isn’t the time. Howie was on the same page. Nick tried some of her moves, but was unsuccessful. I was going to try some of her moves, but I’d be unsuccessful! Therefore, I’m sitting here typing with my limber fingers.
Kevin Colis of Texas is a music lover, hoping that America will love him. He played music until age 30 when he says he gave up. But his fiancee signed him up for AGT and here he is…having his chance! My viewing partners really liked him, but they weren’t sure about the song. I thought he was fun to watch, and he has a lightness about him that could be contagious. No buzz from Piers! Howie said he was “great” but compared with the other singers, is his act enough? Piers was very complimentary, as was Sharon. For a first timer, he really took the moment.
I have a feeling we’re in for more Kevin Colis. Fine by my viewing group. Fine by you?
A dancer, Beth Ann Robinson, came up next. Her dream is to dance. She describes her dancing as “intense” and “unique.” Her style was certainly a surprising fusion — ballet, gymnastics, modern — Piers really liked it. He used the terms “grace” and “soul.” Sharon called her technique “effortless.” Howie was in agreement, calling her a future “star in your field.” She was humble in her post-dance interview and certainly has the judge-supported credentials to make it through. Will America go for a solo dancer?
Gymkana — a no experience necessary acrobat troupe — was up next. I love the idea that anyone can join and learn. More o’ that in the world, please. They were really really good. These strength and agility acts are always impressive. So much at stake safety-wise under so much stress on AGT. Howie used “wow” to describe the act, and called it something “amazing” and new…especially their use of ladders. Piers liked the act, but asked them to be a little less repetitive. I hope we get to see what’s next…even if it is a little scary and dangerous. But then again, so is looking over the side of Grand Canyon and we love that! Am I right?
Hello? Hello? Hello? Echo…echo…echo…
Kalani Basketball Freestyle was next. A one man basketball show! He says he grew up in a small place with little else but a basketball. If you don’t have a lot, make the most of what you have. I love that. Thank you Kalani for a reminder. He only had one miscue and that earned him the Piers buzz. Other than that, it was a really good act. The judges really weren’t that enthusiastic. Although, I have to say I expect to see Kalani Basketball Freestyle at halftime shows through the NBA season.
Next? “Hip hop” and “scary” — West Springfield Dance Team. They say they want to scare the audience with their look. Can zombies and monsters dance? Michael Jackson thought so. Apparently, Piers thought so too. He really liked it, as did Sharon and Howie. Oh, and by the way, I said to my viewing group before they came out, “They need a different name that tells us more about what they do.” Said it before Sharon did. Just thought I’d mention that. I want you to know a little about who I am when it comes to AGT judging. I know you don’t care.
Will we have thriller redux? We’ll see. With the zombie craze going on, who knows? Oh, by the way, did you check out our iPhone app ZombieAffirms? Well, get back to the top of the post and follow the link! That means you, West Springfield Dance Team who will soon be called something like Monster Jammers or something like that.
Pushing on, it’s Matt Wilhelm, who got the most YouTube votes. He took his video from his cell phone to the AGT stage. “Breakdancing on a bike” is how Wilhelm describes what he does. The effect of light and bike and dark was really striking and made for quite a show. Sharon called Wilhelm’s bike his “dance partner.” She’s right. Howie called it “phenomenal.” I think Team iLuminate, Matt Wilhelm, and Fighting Gravity need to team up.
But for now? Well, this is Matt Wilhelm’s time. I think we may get more black light biking soon.
A Burbank high school choir, Powerhouse, came up last. I’m glad things like this are getting “cool.” They apparently inspired “Glee.” That’s not too shabby. Piers called it incredibly “cheesy,” but said that he really like it. He said it made him “happy.” Sharon called it “infectious.” That’s good show choir, right? It has to have that vibe to it. Howie buzzed, calling it “Glee light.” Piers countered, asking Howie if he really favored a skateboarding bulldog to Powerhouse, and Howie said he did.
Piers then rested his case.
TNC Elite, Illusionist Brett Daniels, Gabe Rocks, Aeon, Breena Bell, Kevin Colis, Beth Ann Robinson, Gymkana, Kalani Basketball Freestyle, West Springfield Dance Team, Matt Wilhelm, and Powerhouse are your 12 YouTube acts. Which is your favorite?
Join us tomorrow for the LIVE blog here at Nobody’s View to see who moves on.