Wednesday, July 11, 2012

America's Got Talent Quarterfinal Recaps: Idiotic Idioms and Charismatic Contortion

We enter week two of the America's Got Talent Quarterfinals with an odd episode. It started off slow, with some previous favorites struggling to wow me, and struggling to impress the judges as well. The music felt very dull (not the singers, but the music that played during most acts) and there was a lot of downtime during the performances. But it picked up towards the end, and now I'm having trouble narrowing down my top 4. There were two definites, and three others that I'm having a hard time choosing between.

Click through the jump for my top 5 picks (now with YouTube clips!) and thoughts on the rest. Let us know yours as well!

#1. Tom Cotter 
His quick routine discussing silly phrases like "Beating A Dead Horse" and "Break A Leg" was pretty damn awesome. It started out a little slow, but quickly built up to a solid masturbation joke and ended with more prime time sexual innuendo. His material was pretty good, but his delivery is perfect. Would love to see him go the distance.

#2. Turf Turf has been a favorite from the start. He twists and turns his body in ways that I can't even imagine, and he has so much character that his routine almost doesn't matter. I want him to win! Last night's performance was pretty good, but the pacing was a little slow. There were some off beats, and in a two minute TV performance every second matters. The stage show was great though with about 20 Turf clones in the background.
#3. Tim Hockenberry
Earlier in the show The All Ways performed a rock version of a Lady Gaga song and it felt like a big joke. Like a punk band at a backyard show playing a funny cover of a pop song. Later in the show Tim Hockenberry came out and closed the show with a slowed down, emotional version of Katy Perry's "Part of Me". It was super intense, and instantly knocked out the other musicians in the episode.
#4. (tie)  Ben Blaque / Donovan and Rebecca My number 4 is a tie between love and hate. I'm so torn.
Everybody likes Ben Blaque because they want to see if he will kill his girlfriend on live TV with a crossbow. He didn't, but if he keeps going through he probably will. The whole early 90's feel to his act was weird at first but it's now drawing me in. Plus he looks like Jason Schwartzmann in Scott Pilgrim.
And Donovan and Rebecca are the total opposite. All Donovan wants to do his pick up Rebecca with his pinky, and she wants to (and will) do the same. They have the same dated Yanni/Fabio feel to their style but it seems to work.

How about the rest?
The first of the boring, repetitive music. Their performance was very impressive, but it's just not that exciting.

The All Ways
They have a lot going in their favor (drummers hair!), but their Lady Gaga cover was too much of a joke to take seriously.

Hawley Magic
WTF?! Cool trick, but they're so weird that I don't think it'll go through. They have the cheesey GOB style magic down pretty hard, and nobody likes that.

Lisa Clark Dancers
Howie buzzed it just in time. They are really tight, but the music was boring and the performance was losing me halfway through. There was one little centerpiece that was pretty damn impressive though.

Aurora Light Painters
They did a Jim Henson style light performance about a monster under the bed. Just like Henson's non-muppet stuff, it was too bizarre for mainstream TV, and not to mention, the story in their performance was a little unclear and the ending was kind of botched.

Danielle Stallings
It just reminded me of a kids communion recital. Good voice, but no presence at all. The judges loved it so I wonder if you had to be there.

Big Barry
He only hit his one awful but signature big note a few times. I think the band and models actually took away from everything. Barry and his bad singing needs to be front and center.

We'll update with the results after tonight's episode.

Who do you think will go through?

UPDATE: Big Barry is out. So is Ben Blaque. 4 of my top 5 made it in. The winners of the night were: Turf, Tim Hockenburry, Tom Cotter, and Dovovan & Rebecca.


  1. I'm rooting for Big Barry so much right now it's not even funny.

    1. Haha. His attitude is the best. Does he care about anything at all? I love it.

    2. I get that he's the Sanjaya type for this competition, but it's *so* over the top corny, and he actually performed quite well last night, I thought? The extra production helped him out.

  2. I agree with all your top picks! However, I am also a fan of BB! I hope he goes through to hear that lovely shrill of his

  3. Update: Big Barry is out. So is Ben Blaque. 4 of my top 5 made it in. The winners of the night were: Turf, Tim Hockenburry, Tom Cotter, and Dovovan & Rebecca.

  4. I had such high hopes for Aurora Light Painters because of the potential of their art, but you’re right; they botched it up. I hadn’t thought of Jim Henson Productions though when I saw them, but I agree now that you said it. Of course Big Barry didn’t make it in; America takes the show seriously, unlike Howard. I take it seriously too; my Dish co-worker got me hooked on this show when he discovered it on his PrimeTime Anytime recordings, and now I can watch them commercial free too with Auto Hop. That saves me enough time that I can watch an extra show in an otherwise busy evening when I have to handle 3 children.

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