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America’s Got Talent: Episode 22 Review

NBC

Since the 2012 London Olympics are said and done it’s time for NBC to bring back one of their most popular shows: ‘America’s Got Talent.’ But, strangely, on its first week back on the air we’re treated to a whole new batch of contestants.

Remember how for the past billion weeks the show has been imploring people at home to submit their own talented acts to the YouTube Snapple showcase online? Well the results came in and those who were voted the highest get the chance to appear on the show tonight. Our judges Howard Stern, Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandell are anxious to see what they’re able to dish out.

But first they bring one heck of a strange act on stage. It’s Clint Caballo & His Extreme Parrots, and we’re not entirely sure why parrots is a plural this time around, especially since he’s only got one doing a trick with him. What makes it even stranger is that the bird is named Kitten. The parrot flies all the way out from a bridge over to the audience. What a good kitty… um, we meant bird. But Kitten did enough in order to let the judges fall in love with her act. Perhaps we’ll be seeing them in the next round.

Next out on the stage is Reverse Order, a rock band that all more or less look the same. There’s something about their perfectly quaffed hair that hypnotizes us. They jump out and decide to do their own rock version of Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl” but you can tell that the lead singer is having a hard time trying to hit the high notes. Note: It doesn’t hurt trying to change the octave on the song in order to sing it better. For a rock version of a pop song it still feels like it leans towards the poppy end of the spectrum. Howard tells them right off the bat that they still need more time to develop and we couldn’t agree more.

Next is Rudy Coby, a magician whose broad shoulder pads and funky hairdo harken back to the late eighties. He’s a former designer who turned back into a magician after years of taking himself out of the field. He claims that he can do something different and deliver a unique performance. Instead of some sort of magic act it feels like we’re watching the opening act of a lackluster play that should be heavily updated for modern times. He’s got a cool concept going on, but there wasn’t an immediate hook with the story and it didn’t feel like a magic act for a good couple of minutes.

Time to bring out 7 in Unison. Yep, it’s a dance group — as if we don’t have enough of them cropping up on this show. Does anyone else feel it’s a little bit wrong for teenagers to be dancing seductively to “Fever”? Cause we do. Howie wasn’t wowed at all and doesn’t believe that they’re great. None of the judges are impressed and probably won’t even make it to the next round. Next.

But who’s the person who won the first round of the YouTube/Snapple auditions? We introduce you to Drew Erwin, a sixteen year old who found comfort in playing guitar and singing when a football injury prohibited him from playing. Now he gets his chance. He plays a sweet and slower version of the song “Torn.” He’s got a nice voice and makes quite the impression on most of them, especially given his age. Despite what Howard said, he still did a good job.

Who’s ready for some comedy? Melinda Hill is a comedienne who dedicated the performance to her mother. Her comedic timing isn’t the greatest and her material falters as the act wears on. The crowd isn’t responding as well as she thought they would, and none of the judges were able to swallow what she fed them either. Again, don’t be surprised if you don’t see her make it to the next round.

Who’s ready for some “visual chaos,” because here comes Eric Buss, and we have no idea what the hell we’re going to see. What he gives us as an act that has choreographed magical mixed nuts. All he’s doing is making a mess out of the stage. This act would be slightly better if he had sidekicks somewhere around the Sesame Street line, but in the end this is just a little bit pointless. Howard Stern says his act is completely boring. Ouch.

Then comes Romeo Dance Cheetah, an overly enthusiastic and confident man who believes he’s the god of air guitar. Between that and his delightfully head-scratching taste in clothing, we’re not sure how he’ll be able to captivate an audience by playing an invisible guitar. At some points it looks like he’s playing something else (which makes some of us at home rather uncomfortable). We like The Darkness as much as the next person, but Romeo Dance Cheetah? Not so much, and the judges and the audience agree.

Supposedly one of the best acts from the YouTube/Snapple auditions is a magician called The Magic of Puck. He’s been doing magic since he was a kid and has the judges’ attention. On stage he does a very small magic act. We understand that he’s been performing on cruise ships but this ain’t that. He doesn’t take advantage of the stage space and make something bigger. His dancing napkin trick is pretty cute, but this should have been a larger act.

Now there’s sixteen year old singer Bria Kelly whose got one hell of a vibrato-fueled voice. What is up with these teenagers with crazy-good singing voices on this challenge? She’s got a cool edgy, poppy and country kind of sound going along with her voice. And she’s the only performer whose stepped out on the stage and made the most of those couple of minutes. She looks like a real performer out there and the stage completely suits her.

Now they’re outside for their next act, a musician who uses bells by the name of Cast In Bronze. He claims that he relinquished himself, his face, personality or whatever, due to the bells. Talk about being overly dramatic. His music is pretty good, we love how he put all of the tunes together with the bells but nobody is wowed. Howie gets negative points for making a bell-related joke.

Academy of Villains, another dance group who claims that they’re tougher than other troupes. Will they be able to keep the interest of everyone watching? Wait, we thought they were a dance troupe? Because they’re doing hand and arm gestures for the first minute. When does the actual dancing start? Once it gets going they’re on fire (figuratively). They’ve got the same kind of sharp moves you see all star cheer-leading competition groups have and their tight formations are crazy great. Why did it take so long for them to get out on stage? They finally woke up the audience/judges and the show’s already over.

Do you want to see who made it through the YouTube/Snapple second round of auditions? Check out the results portion of ‘America’s Got Talent’ tomorrow night to find out.

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