More drama is promised tonight as cuts continue on Day Two in Vegas. Last night’s 17 successes and some of the failures are revisited, as is the premise of the three-way dance-off. Good Lord, I can’t believe that guy that eats glass is still in this thing. There are also still WAY too many young singers in this competition, and they need to be thinned out.
Paradizo Dance is first to be called, asked to justify themselves, messed with, and put through. Ishaara, the Bollywood-style dancers, and the Footwork Kingz (guess that wasn’t them getting eliminated yesterday, then) are pitted against one another. Piers talks about how hard the decision is, and Mr. Canary and I think it’s quite easy: The Footwork Kingz are good, and Ishaara is a bunch of kids from UC Berkley who are not actual dancers. Nevertheless, both groups make it through. Nigel never would have allowed this!
Jeffrey Ou and Rashida Jolley are pitted against one another for no reason other than that they both happen to play instruments that are featured in classical music (then where are the violin-playing triplets, eh?). I loved Rashida’s performance, and but we were hardly shown Jeffrey’s. It must have been really good (thanks, America’s Got Talent, for once again denying us quality television), because he goes into the Top 40 while Rashida is cut. The whip act of Scott and Laura Camp is also cut, as are jugglers The Flash and both fluffy-haired (The Kalanins) and hairless (Duo Design) balancing acts, Arthur Gulkarov the double jointed dancer, and the Kara and Corey Britz, the brother-and-sister duo that sounded like Evanescence. Actually, the sister, Kara, who appears alone, confesses that the brother has decamped for another opportunity (smart, yet kind of callous), and the judges use that as an excuse to cut her, as though she couldn’t find another guitarist. She should try out for American Idol, that girl. She’s got pipes.
Next up is beringleted moppet Eleisha Miller, who is so darn adorable that it doesn’t even matter that she can’t sing all that well, which should keep Ciana Pelekai in therapy for not a few years. She cutely loses her shoe as she rushes up the stairs to hug the judges.
Mario and Jenny, the sexy-slash-dangerous chainsaw-juggling act, is presented next. I wonder why Mario’s drawn-on eyelashes are so much bigger than Jenny’s drawn-on eyelashes, but the explanation is not forthcoming. Anyway, they go through.
Marcus Terell and the Serenades were put through all together, despite the judges’ clear feedback that the girls aren’t up to Marcus’s vocal standards. Now, I distinctly remember Sharon and Hasselhoff telling this act that the girls could improve, but since they aren’t given a chance to perform again, the judges just watch the same damn tape, and whaddaya know, it’s still bad.
Marcus again refuses to abandon his friends, and the act is going to be cut when one of the ladies asks if the judges will take Marcus alone. Of course, this is exactly what the judges (producers) want, but the situation is milked for maximum drama and tears. Marcus goes through.
Back from the break, it’s time to find out how the three-way dance challenge shakes out among Breaksk8, Destined 2 Be and U4RIA (which I incorrectly spelled correctly in yesterday’s recap, because it occurs to me we’ve never seen the name in a graphic, although there was a group called “Live in Color” that looked suspiciously like this one). Clearly, we cannot have not one, not two, but three dance acts with cutesy, numerically-spelled names in the competition, so somebody has got to go.
The choreography struggles are recounted; as I predicted the 5-man Destined 2 Be seems to pull together more quickly as the larger groups butt heads. Nevertheless, all three acts have gotten it together by showtime, and even though we only see parts of the performances, which are cobbled together by the editors, it is clear that although U4RIA are naturally the best dancers, it is Breaksk8 that turns in the strongest set overall. They obviously read my recaps and followed my suggestion to take advantage of the mobility of the skates, and it earns them a spot in the quarterfinals. I have, however, since Tuesday night’s performance seen Breaksk8 on Randy Jackson’s MTV show America’s Best Dance Crew, so I can’t figure out which show comes first. What’s up, Breaksk8?
Voices of Glory, the trio of siblings with the wheelchair-bound mom, are stupidly toyed with, then put through. With only fifteen minutes remaining, the show jumps into overdrive: To the tune of Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration”, the following acts are put into the Top 40: opera singer Barbara Padilla, glass-eating carnival geek Chris Allison, dog acts Tony Hoard and Rockin’ Rory and Pam Martin and Viva, adorable old lady dancer Carol Lugo, singer Charles Dorsey, Jr., and the awesome Pixie Mystère, African High Flyers, the ErIAm Sisters and Bri, at which point I turn to Mr. Canary and huff, “Sure, they couldn’t fit BOTH a pianist AND a harpist in the competition, but there’s any number of slots for cute singing kids, right?!?”
Matt and Anthony, the singer/tap-dancer act, is put through, as is Grandma Lee, because she is funny and old and has waited a long time. Hope you got some other stuff done while you were waiting, Grandma Lee. Looks like most of it was chain-smoking, from the looks of your skin. Triplet violinists Alizma, who if you recall were good at violinning and not so much at singing, are messed with (because the producers wanted to hear them all beg at once, but this time they took turns, so screw you, producers), but also put through. No big surprise, since Hasselhoff has a completely stoned look on his face from the moment the girls walk in. coming up next: Kelli Glover and Mia Boostrum attempt to out-cry each other for the final spot!
So Kelli and Mia have been summoned before the judges to hear whether either one of them or neither of them is going through. Mia gets a little emotional talking about how much it means to her, so Kelli responds by sounding like she just lost her whole family in a house fire to compensate (lots of teary noises, and yet no actual tears). The judges pick Mia, presumably because Kelli seems like an unstable molecule, even though she really does sing quite amazingly well. Frankly, I would have booted Charles Dorsey in a heartbeat to put her through, but Simon Cowell produces this show, and he has enough history with the girl to know whether she’s worth dealing with. Did you think the judges were actually making the decisions?
So, the acts celebrate having made it through, but wait! Before the credits roll, the three judges, on their private jet to Hollywood, receive a completely scripted “surprise” phone call from Lord Cowell himself, in which he says he has reviewed their choices for the Top 40 and that “we have a very, very serious problem, here.” Simon, Simon, Simon. Famine and war and terrorism and AIDS and genocide are very, very serious problems. Could we dial it back a tad? Of course we are left to contemplate that cliff-hanger, but my guess is that it’s something to do with Breaksk8 signing on for Randy’s show. I would personally replace them with U4RIA (who are loads better than Ishaara, after all), but maybe this is an opening for crybaby Kelli Glover, who was eliminated “last”. Will Kelli finally get her big break (as opposed to the half a dozen times she’s already been on television, which I’m pretty sure is six more times than I have)?
Once again, I am aggravated at the overwhelming proportion of singing acts in the competition. I think this show is a good opportunity for those who are deemed too old and ugly for American Idol (don’t you know anyone over 29 is a wizened hag?), but the younger singers could try out for AI (well, maybe they have). Mr. Canary tries to tell me that the singers have the best chance to make it big, but I counter by pointing out that the only winner of this show to actually get a big Vegas contract is Terry Fator, the ventriloquist from Season Two. The other two seasons were won by singers. Can you name them? My point.
And, unlike American Idol, which has produced success for people who did not actually win, none of the also-rans ever seem to get a mention. What have we heard lately out of Queen Emily, for example? Bupkus, that’s what.
So, in the interest of the also-rans, instead of listing the acts who made it to the Top 40, whom we’ll see soon enough, I am going to list the acts that made it through the audition rounds but whom we never saw again, even getting cut: Black Fire Percussion, Anointed S, The Unexpected Step Team, Urban Nation Hip-Hop Choir, rapper Eclipse, fire act Draconik, hoop-sex people Simone and Bruce, NYC Gay Men’s Chorus, Yo-Yo Joe, The Diva League (I can’t freakin’ believe they cut the Diva League and didn’t even let us SEE them again!), fire act Simon Chaban, tango dancers Laura Cantu and Louis Bar, The Comic-Bots (who were definitely not cut in the Hangar of Destiny, but who disappeared afterward), magician Tom Durnin, Circus R Us, The Hurricane Tricksters, Anna Pipoyan, Timez 2, Live in Color (U4RIA?), kid dancers T.J. and the Little Mamas, fire-breathing Miss Germany, aerial silks/singer/violinist Janice Martin (who has apparently TOO MUCH talent for this show), cartoon poppers The Scott Brothers, dance crew Encore, comedian Alycia Cooper, violin-piano duo N2UN, magician Nathan Burton and at least seven acts who were never even identified by name. And these are the folks that actually made it through. For crying out loud, even the people who completely crap out of the American Idol auditions get identified!
So that makes NO fire acts, NO whip acts, NO circus, NO rappers, ONE magician, ONE comedian, ONE juggler, a couple of dog acts featuring precisely one dog each, a couple of musicians and a whole damn lot of singers. Maybe that’s the way Vegas is going, but it’s going to be pretty boring to recap.