'America's Got Talent' Quarter Final Impresses And Distresses
The first Quarter Final live competition of America’s Got Talent’s sixth season began on the Tuesday episode. The first part of the quarter-finals saw 12 performers competing for the home audience’s votes and a place in the next round, which will go to a lucky four. The winner will headline a show in Las Vegas, and win $1 million.
The Miami All-Stars went first, performing a salsa routine that got rave reviews from all three judges, despite having only two-hours of practice they were not able to legally clear their first choice of music. Piers Morgan called them one of the most talented groups in all competition. Howie Mandel called it “mucho caliente.”
Dezmond Meeks, a singer, was next, with a piano-driven version of the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction”that split the judges’ opinions. While Sharon Osbourne and Mandel felt his performance was “too cabaret and cheesy,” Morgan loved the performance, saying it would fit perfectly in Vegas.
Funny Little People, one of Morgan’s least favorite acts, came on third. Their dance to “Singin’ In the Rain” and “It’s Rainin’ Men” did not change his opinion: he hit his “X” button less than a minute in.
Fearless Flores Family, the BMX stunt riders received cautious praise, with Mandel calling them “amazing,” yet fearing for their safety. The performers used the same round cage as in their audition, but upped the ante by having the childrens' mother join in on her own cycle.
The unique and strange Squonk Opera also couldn’t impress the judges, with Morgan and Osbourne hitting their buttons, but they do have a fan in presenter Nick Cannon. The founders of Squonk Opera said they wanted to combine music and art as a lead-in to their performance. They projected images on a fan-shaped screen and incorporated rock instrumentation with operatic vocals. Morgan said, "This is what I imagine Hell is like.”
Comedian J. Chris Newberg and Morgan have no love lost between them: while Morgan called Newberg "a complete and utter idiot," the latter, in turn, called him “jerkface.” Morgan hit the buzzer after his third joke, just before he brought out a children's chorus, all dressed as him, complete with fake beards. While Morgan said the routine was "startlingly inappropriate," Osbourne said the song was "so, so wrong", but she liked it.
Dealing with an injury and the unfamiliar situation of working with choreography and backing dancers, Snap Boogie still managed to put in an impressive performance. Mandel praised his style and Morgan said his routine "could be in Vegas tomorrow."
With the "moral support" of his girlfriend Binky, parrot Echo of Echo of Animal Gardens spoke in multiple languages, whistled, and sang "Jingle Bells" and "Over the Rainbow." Osbourne loved it, but Mandel questioned whether it was really "a million-dollar act". However, Morgan’s comment took the cake, saying Echo was funnier than any of the human comedians.
Bluegrass band The Fiddleheads performed Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," but didn’t do as well as they would have hoped. Mandel questioned the group’s song choice, Morgan said the lead singer didn't hit the big notes, and Osbourne felt the bluegrass style didn't work for the song.
Acrobats Duo Aero also failed to impress any of the judges with their trapeze routine. Morgan was "bored," and felt they played it safe. Osbourne criticized them for acting "an old-time aerial act."
Anna Graceman, the 11-year-old singer sang "What a Wonderful World," and received a standing ovation. While Osbourne found the song "an odd choice" for a young child, she said the performance was wonderful. Mandel called her "a phenomenon." Morgan complimented both her boots and her singing, with Graceman retorting she put her outfit together herself.
Sandou Trio Russian Bar, the daredevil acrobats, closed the show. In order to top their last performance, they added a bed of nails under the bar. Midway through, they upped the ante further by setting fire to it. They pulled off the routine without a hitch. Mandel commended the performance, but asked if it was worth the risk to become a headlining act. Morgan said he could barely look at them because of the danger.
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