America's Got Talent kicked off season six in Los Angeles last night with Mr. Mariah Carey back, trying to make some money for the family, while Mariah tends for her twins.
We were treated to a pair of recaps, one of where the show is headed and one of former winners. I already forgot who Michael Grimm was because Jackie Evanco has gotten the eyes of Oprah. Has any of the America's Got Talent contestants maintained a real Las Vegas show? I was worried that so many singing acts made it to the finals last season.
When I think of a Las Vegas act, I'm expecting something in the caliber of Blue Man Group or Cirque du Solei.
Piers, Sharon, and Howie were excited about starting near Hollywood. The audience was ready to boo the teams of horrible contestants as the germaphobic Howie ignored every hand possible. It seemed interesting that the producers decided to spend the first episode with both Los Angeles and Atlanta. If they didn't force a commercial during the stun gun juggler, the two audition cities would have introduced one or two more acts.
So, who stood out?Los Angeles Auditions
Frank Olivier: The 50-year-old Unicycle/Juggler managed to get Howie to interact with Frank. I love that Frank touched Howie's head and wobbled around the judge. Piers and Sharon laughed in excitement as Howie probably washed himself in hand sanitizer after the competition. The struggling juggling act had to have been intentional.
Ryan Andreas (below): Ryan was afraid of rejection and apparently so nervous that he didn't put the microphone to his head when talking to the judges. He had a nice distinctive rasp in his voice and it surprised me that he picked "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan. I would be shocked if he wasn't sent straight to the quarterfinals, unless another Michael Grimm-like character pops up.
John Jacobson: John was known as the "Double Dream Hands" guy. It seemed less interesting as a performance act versus one of those crazy music videos that you kind of laugh at for a few minutes. It's probably okay, because he has been on Ellen and those Sprint commercials.
Cavalcade of Fail Part 1: The Horse Trainer that fell down could have done decently if he wasn't nervous. Stephanie Sanson was probably the youngest heavy metal rocker that existed, but wasn't bad in her genre. The fake fighters were just terrible. Louie was a fart impersonator; I didn't understand where the act would have gone after the first viewing.
Landon Swank: The 26-year-old magician from Alaska had an interesting light based illusions and I was blown away by how quickly he folded a woman. I had no clue how he did the trick, either. I'm hoping he has more under his sleeve.
Cavalcade of Win Part 1: The Body Poets were kind of like the Jabbawockeez in that they were masked breakdancers, but they added a bit of black light performance from Fighting Gravity last season. Brennan Figari was really good silk artist, but there have been tons of silk artists and it works better in group form. Olivia Bellefontaine could give Vegas a show with her whip.
Vegas Birds: Debbie and Danny were one of the cutest acts. I'm very happy that the parrot wasn't intimidated by the high amounts of people and lights. Opening with a bird saying "shut up" and then meowing. The fact that Danny the parrot bows at the end was the cherry on top. Debbie said that she had birds that paint. I think that she needs to increase the number of birds to give it a Vegas level.
Frank Miles: The juggler used stun guns which in reality was probably equivalent to fire on the end of a stick, but it's like the modern version. The best part was watching him in the pool of water. I don't understand though what he would do in the next few times we'll see him.
Ude Abagnale and his backup dancers: Why did the group look like they formed from an office dare? It's kind of sad that they buzzed him even before he sang and it was nice that Nick tried to defend the guy. In all reality, Ude would never get past a karaoke bar.
Miami All-Stars: The Salsa dancers were good except for the fact that the first guy almost fell out of his turns. I liked how they transitioned from salsa to mambo. The mambo tricks were always good for the camera, but the fact that they were so synchronized was the best part.
Cavalcade of Win Part 2: Scott Alexander's water effects added to the levitation trick that I've seen before. Preston, the Samoan fire dancer surprised me because I didn't expect him to be so good at a young age. The Yellow Designs Stunt Team was a bit cliché, but the fact that the bike broke concerned me about their equipment.
SH'Boss Boys: The little kids rap about education and having fun, that's enough for Sharon to win her over. The fact that they say "wadio" and "wapping" won over Howie. The five-year-old rapped about knowing how to add and subtract. They are the Future Funk of this season: cute hip-hop based kid act.
Primitivo Montoya: The star on his shirt was probably a sign that he was going to be an odd act. While he tried to sing dynamite, he was behind. The fact that he tried to cartwheel and fell off the stage was epic. He was probably running on adrenaline that he couldn't feel the pain of the fall.
Cavalcade of Fail Part 2: Vocal Element (the a cappella team) was bad because they were chaotic; their attitudes were worse. The Forever Young Dancers were just odd to me. Metatron's rapping skills were bad but the fact that he fell off the stage was a bonus.
The Crossed Swords: The couple looked like they emerged from the Renaissance Faire and their acting skills were questionable. The slips didn't help, but added a bit of danger to the performance. The bonus was Howie versus Pierce in a sword fight. In reality, the performers could have succeeded with scenery and dramatic music, but plucking them out of their element made them look funny.
Team iLuminate: Computers are amazing, aren't they? I love how they didn't even bother blurring out the fact that she used a mac. The performance screams Las Vegas. The best part was how the dancers could "turn off" and focus on other body parts. They easily trump last year's Fighting Gravity. If they don't make it straight through to the quarterfinals, I'd be worried.
The previews for the next few shows have some more visual illusion tricks, but they don't have the technological background of iLuminate.