The final set of the original 48 America's Got Talent performers gave us a mix of really good and really NOT good performances last night. After a very slow first hour, the show ended with one of the most awe inspiring routines in memory from Team iLuminate.
We grade it, and others, below.
Kinetic King - The installation may have taken two days and nights for set-up, but I didn't get how being a kinetic artist would be the winner of the show. He did have unnecessary models and immediately the whole thing didn't work. I felt bad for him, but the fact that he still talked to Nick was admirable. My Grade: D+.
Zuma Zuma - The Kenyans were happy to fulfill their dreams and were willing to add elements to their performance, but they were totally different from their last two performances, including their better costumes. Their climbing skills were cool but they spent too much time transitioning between tricks while the others bounced in the background. My Grade: B+.
Avery and the Calico Hearts - There's a Kids’ Bop attractiveness to the girls and watching the excitement in their faces was cute. The choice of Stevie Wonder's "I Wish" was wrong and the backup singers weren't as tight as they were previously. Avery has a strong voice for being so young, but they needed a better song. My Grade: B+.
Charles Peachock - Charles is single and spends time juggling; he was convinced that he had enough content for a 50 minute show. He started off with a very slow piano and tennis ball segment. If you’ve never seen a juggler do this before, you’ve been living under a rock. Some keys were off and the performance was too slow. The performance awkwardly transitioned to Elvis and it didn't make sense. My Grade: C-.
Sam B. - Sam, the excited office clerk, managed to have women around him. The whole performance was hysterical to watch and it worked a lot better with the backup dancers. The dancing never improved, but that's we expected from Sam. My Grade: C+.
Taylor Davis - Taylor's low end of his vocals were off and I lost all connection to him as Piers buzzed him. His tempo was off from the generic backup and his nervous vibrato didn't help his cause. My Grade: C-.
Melissa Villasenor - Melissa was nervous because unlike most performers, she doesn't have the luxury of adding backup dancers. Her Sharon Osborne imitation was horrible, but it was made up by a strong Britney Spears and Michael Jackson. I'm not sure the time was spent as well as she could. My Grade: B.
Scott Alexander - With no magicians making it through, Scott was the last hope. Scott decided to go the Jesus route with a choir singing a pitchy version of "Think." Then people disappeared from the stage and reemerged on the side. There was something about the routine that was missing, because Scott wasn't the focus in the first half. My Grade: B+.
Fatally Unique - The only problem of the dance crew is that they are up against Team iLuminate. I think they did their best with the props and scenery. The whole performance made me miss Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation." The group was really clean and they had some of the best transitions between moves. My Grade: A-.
Yellow Design Stunt Team (pictured) - With the Smage Brothers making it through, the bicyclists seem redundant, but Yellow understood how to theme their performance. The design of the stage was smart and there were different tricks happening in the background to keep your eyes busy. Having so many people performing distracted the fact that there was one fall at the end. My Grade: A-.
Frank Miles - Frank had more of a backstory than I expected: he's a guy willing to die because he's been dead before. I felt horrible for the model he had to use. His quips were sharp, but when he shot everything connected except for the donut. That was the whole point and it missed. My Grade: C+.
Team iLuminate - This group is basically a dancing version of Fighting Gravity, but with a better sob story and an amazing understanding with technology. I loved the combination of the alien shapes with the song choice and the fact that they went and did a gravity defying move at the end. The moving man near the end to the butterfly woman was amazing. My Grade: A+.