Nick Cannon is wearing a watch chain! He’s very dapper tonight, with a pocket square, yet-Tim Gunn, watch out! Last night’s performances are recapped, including Piers’s (unfortunately valid) characterization of the Diva League as “a bunch of lip-synching old drag queens who can’t dance” but also his questionable assessment of chicken catcher Kevin Skinner‘s shaky vocal as “the performance of the night”.
Now that we’ve seen what we’ve already seen, let us take a moment to meet whom we already know: the judges. Piers revisits the fake controversy over whether Acrodunk got that last ball in, and of course they did, as a different camera angle shows. You owe Sharon $500, Piers!
Then the twelve acts are introduced, and the first two acts called to face off are the famously basket-making Acrodunk and the famously already-on-another-show Breaksk8. Nick promised some shocking results at the top of the show, so I suppose if I hadn’t already seen Breaksk8 on America’s Best Dance Crew, I’d be surprised at their elimination, but since Acrodunk is my favorite act in this group, I am happy to see them go through, even if they had to mess up my prediction stats to do it (see end of article).
In another haven’t-I-seen-you-somewhere-before-moment, remember T.J. and the Little Mamas, the little kid dance act that sailed through the auditions, never to be heard from again on America’s Got Talent? Well, pint-sized, Boondocks-haired T.J. showed up on So You Think You Can Dance as part of the dance group Boys of Rage, or whatever it’s called. Lordy, is there anything new under the sun?
After the commercial break, eliminations are put on hold to present Terry Fator, the one and only winner, nay, contestant, even, of America’s Got Talent to ever make a splash in Las Vegas, or anywhere else, for that matter-the girl who won the first season is literally still singing in shopping malls. Terry gets an intro video (even though we saw his intro video on last year’s show) and then performs his act, which is indeed very good. He is an excellent mimic with great timing, a fantastic singing voice and an amazing ability to keep his mouth shut. He also seems to be a genuinely nice person, so I’m all for his continued success. Go, Terry!
The 12 quarterfinalists are shown “partying” after last night’s show in the “Orville Lounge”, that is the product placement lounge sponsored by popcorn. Seriously, show? First we get the official Kmart Blue Light Question Area and now this? Are six commercial breaks per hour not quite enough, already? Nick reminds us that, although Breaksk8 is as we speak getting bussed to their next gig on America’s Best Dance Crew and Acrodunk is up to their ears in celebratory popcorn, ten more acts await their fate, so enough with the performing guests and tedious product-placement spots, let’s have…a commercial break!
Back from the break, three acts are called to the stage: Lake Houston Dance, Drew Thomas Magic, and Manuela Horn, to whom I have been accidentally referring as Manuela Horton, so sorry about that, and now I need to get around to changing it in the earlier recaps so the Gods of Google will enable her to find herself in all the snark. We hear that only one of these three acts will go through to the semifinals, and it’s certainly not going to be Manuela, so she should be eliminated first to allow at least a modicum of suspense, yes?
Actually Lake Houston Dance gets the axe, and happily they manage to keep from screaming this time. I’m not surprised to see them jettisoned, but now I wonder if there was some kind of crazy voter backlash that will actually keep Manuela and her giant yodeling self in the competition, but even she doesn’t believe it, nor should she. Drew Thomas Magic goes on, but at least Manuela gets in a cute Monty Python reference as she goes.
The next matchup is chicken catcher Kevin Skinner against a cappella group Mosaic. I fear the sentimental favorite will oust the talented vocal group, and I fear correctly: Kevin Skinner and his new hairdo move onto the semifinals. It’s clear that he is the predetermined Susan Boyle of the competition, and his makeover has already started. What’s next, elocution lessons? Um, yes, please!
We still have too much time to do what we need to do, which is to simply crush the dreams of three more acts, so now it’s time for a guest performance from Mariah Carey. Now, this is a major score for the show: Mariah has never bothered to appear on American Idol, despite its juggernaut status, and one wonders if Simon Cowell kicked Jerry Springer’s old ass to the curb and hired Nick Cannon just to get to the wife. Just a little bonus that Nick turned out to be a great host, then, innit? Mariah does her stuff, sounding good despite the studio sound being off (to the home viewers, anyway), and as they exit the stage together, Mrs. Cannon grabs a handful of her husband’s booty, causing him to do a hilariously cute, embarrassed “did you see that?” look back at the camera. They are such a cute couple; I cannot snark!
Time for more eliminations: The Platt Brothers, The Diva League and Grandma Lee are called to the stage. Well, the Diva League is the most obviously toast of this bunch, but once again America’s Got Talent sucks away all possibility for suspense by sending the Platt Brothers packing first. The winner, then, of course, is Grandma Lee, who is so overcome that she doesn’t even have a wisecrack.
Last up to vie for the one remaining spot are the two middle-schoolers, Arcadian Broad and Thia Megia, who came in fifth and sixth in some order, so we know that means the judges make the decision, because apparently the line between fifth and sixth isn’t actually a line, and the judges aren’t sure we know how to vote correctly, anyway. Based on the behaviour of the audience, I can see from whence this lack of trust in the intellect of America comes. Arcadian’s act was far more riveting, but he got spanked by the judges for deviating from his preprogrammed role, so it could go either way, here. My prediction was that Arcadian would go through, and I gave Thia a one-third chance, along with Kevin Skinner and Mosaic.
Piers is still put out with Arcadian’s impertinent multi-talentedness and votes for Thia. Sharon loves them both but goes with Arcadian, giving no reason (“Thia was more sleep-inducing than a double shot of morphine following a C-SPAN marathon” might not be considered very constructive criticism, I guess). David acts all tortured to have to make the horribly difficult and traumatic decision, but fortunately he doesn’t have quite enough time left to actually kill us with his emoting; he goes for Arcadian, too.
So, moving on to the semifinals from this round are Acrodunk, Drew Thomas Magic, Kevin Skinner, Grandma Lee and Arcadian Broad. My “Canary Calls” were for Drew Thomas Magic, Acrodunk, Arcadian Broad, Breaksk8, and either Thea Megia OR Mosaic OR Kevin Skinner, so I guess I am 3.33 for 5, giving me a pretty demonic batting average, if you care to do the extension. We’ll see if I can keep that going or improve it next time. Canary out!