Nick Cannon welcomed us to Las Vegas last night, where the 100 acts nervously awaited their fate.
Overall, 10 advanced directly to Hollywood: The Silhouettes, Lys Agnes, Professor Splash, The Rhinestone Ropers, The Fearless Flores Family (now with Mom in costume!), Melissa Villasenor, The Captain & Maybelle, Team iLuminate, Miami All-Stars, and Squawk Opera.
The rest? Time to battle for the judges' hearts and minds...
Danger Category: Charles Pecha decided to set his bottom half on fire, which was better than his one-man iLuminate juggling act. I liked the multiple uses of fire: twirling fire, juggling fireballs, and then proceeding to light him on fire.
Kevin Shelly, the underestimated board breaker, moved from wood to concrete, standing on katanas with blocks on his back. Unfortunately, the blocks didn't break, but it may have been more about the assistant not having enough swing. Frank Myers did an easy mind trick with Russian roulette in play. The performance was compelling, with a nice fake out at the end. Advanced: Frank Myers, Yellow Design Stunt Team, and Charles Pecha.Vocal Groups - 4Play and twins Mona Lisa got the focus for opposing reasons. I liked the back to back piano playing of the twins, though it made me question their position as a "vocal group" and not as a "band," but I digress. Then 4Play imploded, causing their elimination right there. Advanced: Mona Lisa.
Acrobats - Starting with the Trapeze act, this level was higher. The Zulus apparently didn't have money to up their wardrobe, but continued their acrobatics. Steve was sporting muscle medication in his hand, but it didn't seem like injuries were an issue. Steve added contemporary into his routine, which gave the routine class, something I didn't think that I could say about pole dancing. Solei followed, painted as an Avatar (why?!?) and Howie proceeded to make her cry right before the routine. Advanced: Steve Retchless, Zuma Zuma, The Daring Jones Duo, and Summerwind Skippers.
Magicians - Fantastic Fig and Newton didn't improve his act or his outfit. Scott Alexander came with a silhouetted hamster wheel that turned out easier to use than a multiple hinged door. Michael Turco used "Born this way" as his performance song, taking advantage of the irony of having a track about God making no mistakes, because Michael had his setbacks. Advanced: Scott Alexander.
Animal Acts - Jessie the Jack Russell Terrier stumbled on his jump rope, so it was down to the birds to succeed. Echo was only half-present, occasionally answering questions. Rocks, the painter from Vegas Birds, was stupid. Who was silly enough to choose the painting bird instead of a funnier one? Advanced: Echo the Talking Parrot.
Classical Singers - Necessary Diva still had power poses, but couldn’t make it after Lys automatically advanced. Landau was supported by Cindy Chang in the back; there was an ease to Landau's performance. Cindy picked a song that was too fast for her so she wobbled even worse than her audition; her voice was like a car on rumble strips. She was immediately leaving Landau broken and scared. Advanced: Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.
Bands - I was lost in the sea of generic bands. For example, the Lost Boys were just a younger BGP. Fiddleheads had a solid performance compared to their audition because of stronger vocals. Pop Lyfe warned about going epic in an electric set; adding 100% (or 10%, depending on their mood) to their routine and were right. I loved the ending, even though the guitarist accidentally unplugged himself. Advanced: Fiddleheads and Pop Lyfe.
Dance Acts - The blood! The injuries! Fatally Unique had one girl slam her head into the floor. LD Dance had a severely twisted ankle. Unlike FU, twisted ankle girl pushed as hard as possible, clearly she couldn't drop out because she was the focus of the solo near the end. Breaker Snap Boogie picked a song with heavier beats to hit and I thought his tricks fit well. Fatally Unique's injured girl magically returned right before the performance, busted lip and nose. Someone was off time and I'm not sure why she slammed her face; I've seen Fanny Pak (on ABDC) do the same exact pyramid move without any issues. Advanced: Fatally Unique and Snap Boogie.
Female Singers - Shavon, Kelsey, and female Justin Bieber Dani Shay were the only good females? Considering Lys Agnes was "Classical" the rest of the field must be thin. Dani decided to take a chance to do an original song: "Superheroes" and while she had some stronger vocals, she blanked completely. The judges reprimanded Dani and basically forced her to sing a song they knew. We watched her sing two lines of "Trouble" twice, though I hope she learned more than just that. Advanced: Dani Shay.
Comedians - With no audience, the comedians didn't know if they were bombing. J. Chris Newburgh sung about strippers. The Obama impersonator shouldn't have beat box. Jen tried to emote her awkward nature but rushed through her routine. The sweaty Geechy Guy's one-liners failed without an audience, but the "I Forgot" license plate joke was strong. Advanced: Geechy Guy and J. Chris Newburgh.
Novelty/Weird Acts - The ping pong act was weak. Hershay was off-key. Almost on pure necessity for having a novelty act make it through, someone had to advance. The gnomes were slow in the beginning, but were coordinated. The Kinetic King had his “Clever Lever.” While I still don't think his act is really TV worthy let alone Vegas worthy, his construction exploded in miraculous glory. Advanced: Kinetic King and Funny Little People.
Male Singers - The many flavors of performers were out performing from the gruff to the light voices. Ryan Andreas was less nervous, but chose the wrong song. Dezmond, while critiquing heavily, looked into the audience and had a good connection. Advanced: Dezmond Meeks.