America's Got Talent started off strong this week… then immediately disappointed. Until the second hour, there was only one standout performance, although at least we ended on a high note.
Come along now and see if you agree with the grades we handed out:
The Untouchables - Miami All-Stars Jr. had the advantage of being choreographed by a strong teacher that understood NBC's production values. The background did a huge disservice for the dancers because it created visual chaos. There were tons of visuals going on that a solid background would have helped. I liked the use of levels and the amount of tricks. It was smart to keep only a handful of dancers front and center to prevent even more chaos.
"Rock Star Juggler" Mike Price - I don't think there is such a thing as a "rock star juggler," even though Mike's talented. He upped his game with the cheesy unicycle. The knives then went into fire clubs which he sucked at while he was on the unicycle. He then proceeded to drop a club. The next sequence involved him jugging over a girl, but with his wide stance you knew he wouldn't drop anything.
Cristin Sandu - Cristin has a legacy of circus performers on his father's side. He started with unnecessary cube twirling. His act takes too long to prep for a 90 second routine, but when Cristin got on his pile he knew that it was over. That one tube dangled on the edge and he fell over immediately. He didn't even get to the fire.
Elusive - It was smart that Elusive had random background people to make his performance look like it could fit a larger stage. I appreciated his level variations and his tricks were pretty strong. Elusive wasted too much time between tricks and I don't understand why he didn't end on the top of the staircase.
Jake Wesley Rogers - Jake's 15, awkward, and believes in his awkwardness. His choice of "Toxic" matched the whole "awkward" storyline, but why was he even in front of the piano when you could barely hear it? The way the cameras covered up his hands, he could have been miming piano for all we know. Then he wandered around the stage and claimed that he was "ready." Nope. Sorry. Not tonight.
All Wheel Sports - The emergence of the bicyclist from the sky was interesting. I normally complain about groups being too busy, but the longer ramp helped with the problem. I compare All Wheel Sports as an edgier, rock star Cirque du Solei. In a very weak group of performers they stood out as a clean and dynamic group.
Wordspit and the Illest! - The hip-hop fusion group decided to go with an original performance and it didn’t work. The opening sounded like noise until the rapper started. The volume of all the instruments didn’t help the performance at all, the electric guitar was too loud where it was competing with the rapper and main singer. I didn't like their song, instead of the phrase "Lights, Camera, Flashin'" being a catchy pop hook, it was annoying.
Jacob Williams - Jacob's voice in his interview was so monotone, it was sleep-inducing. He decided to go with his life-story with more of an awkward angle. The vomit jokes were great, the party of one jokes worked well. I appreciated the tempo of Jacob’s routine especially after Tom Cotter was a little too rapid fire. He got to evolve his story in one nice swoop.
All Beef Patty - If you love camp, you'd live All Beef Patty. The vocals for "Let's hear it for the boy" were actually pretty strong. Having all the backup dancers covered up the fact that All Beef Patty didn't move. For a drag act, All Beef Patty did everything she could have, but I'm just hoping that there was enough of a voting block.
Spencer Horseman - The performance had Spencer suspended with a really cool looking straightjacket and a bank bag. He upped his game that the performance was visually appealing. We couldn't see exactly what was happening which was disappointing; watching Spencer almost-drown the last time was exhilarating. He didn't need the full 45 seconds because he ended with 13 seconds to spare.
Lightwire Theater - There was a lot of time spent constructing new puppet/costumes and I'm happy to see that we got some new figurines. I appreciated the fact that the camera predominantly stayed in a wide shot. While the act was really similar to their dinosaur segment, the birds provided a lot of cute motions and with the naive bird it worked really well.