America’s Got "Talent" 7/11/07 Recap – NEVER FORGET the Semifinalists
Prologue. “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory of the Coming of the Hoff!”
Why hello, dear readers! Yes, all twelve of you! Welcome back to another week of America’s Got Talent. I have to confess to you that I have never watched this show before, and I have never watched it since, either. It all seemed so natural when I signed up to do this—I figured I was pretty qualified to recap this show, being an American, and, furthermore, an American who writes words on the internet now and then. (Read: Over-brimming with talent.) But who knew that I was in for a journey that would change my life? A journey that rippled with the rich history of our fair land and its people? A journey that made me ponder, after celebrating my sweet country’s independence, all the brave, fighting men and women who put their lives in peril so that this boy strumpet “Boy Shakira” might gyrate his masculine hips, which do not lie! Sing, Muse, of this mystical July evening!
The mighty judges of this jubilee, which is set in the “City on a Hill,” Las Vegas, are a horrid troll, a witch, and a generic British man. WHAT DOES THIS FOUL REDCOAT KNOW OF AMERICA AND ITS TALENT!?
Previously, apparently, some fellow named “Ivan” attempted to hurl himself through the air over a bunch of chairs, landing face-first with all the grace of the accursed albatross. It was spectacular. I rewound it many times, but I swear it was to catch his name. I swear. Also, there was a young lad named Jason Pritchett, who is a cruise-ship singer and was forced to temporarily return to his . . . you know . . . job. Will the mighty cogs of American capitalism crush another youthful pipe-dream?
To kick off the show, we’re treated to a completely pointless montage of the judges “deliberating” and various shots of the 35 acts, who will soon be cut down to a mere 20 by the loosed lightning of the judges’ terrible, swift sword. And my, these acts are interesting. There are ducks, ventriloquists, little people, Hanson, and John Candy, back from the grave!
Part One. “O Beautiful for Spacious Skies, for Ample Groups of Lame.”
I apologize in advance if I spell these names wrong/don’t spell them at all. They might have been at the bottom of the screen, but there was a “severe thunderstorm warning” icon down there, and you should be more concerned for my safety than the names of these clowns, anyway.
The first group up for scrutiny is a martial-arts group Sideswipe. They’re “on fire” and “high octane” and “A Michael Bay film,” but the judges are concerned that they need to look more like an entertainment act, not a training video. Sharon suggests they be more “dance-like.” Regardless, they are THROUGH TO THE NEXT ROUND!
Next up is Terry, a ventriloquist who has his hand up our current president, if you follow me. The president is also singing “I left my heart in San Francisco,” which I guess is funny considering W’s conservative views and the fact that San Francisco is well-known as a center for alternative lifestyles and HE’S THROUGH!
Anthony Reed and Kevin James are two magicians. At first it’s very unclear which one is which, as they just cut senselessly between the “talks” with both of them. I guess that Anthony is the younger guy who has a lady friend and Kevin is an older guy who enjoys waving around chainsaws. In America, it’s a tough choice between women and chainsaws, but in the end Anthony is OUT and Kevin is THROUGH!
There is a really priceless shot of the Hoff’s waxy face as he says, “You deserve to be here, pal!” to Kevin. I rescind the “horrid troll” comment I made before—he is surely the Golem, the legendary Kabbalistic Crusher here to pound all these auditioning gentiles into submission.
Johnny Lonestar is a real whippersnapper, if you follow me, because he does rope tricks and lasso foolery. I used to work with a well-known choreographer who also dressed up like a rhinestone cowboy and did rope tricks from time to time, but he eventually went on the run because he’s a registered sex offender. Now that you have that image in your head, I’m pleased to tell you that Johnny here is THROUGH!
The Redneck Tenors, a group of portly southern gentlemen who just can’t help but wax operatic, are, unfortunately, OUT! Redneck Tenor #1, whom I’ll just call Cletus Domingo, is dumbfounded, and so am I. I hope these guys at least end up in a big mural with eagles and firefighters someday, because this is AMERICA.
A group of purple-clad young bucks on stilts, the Second-Story Guys, are THROUGH, for whatever reason.
Faultline, a collective of the fruitiest emo kids who have given up on instruments and started an a cappella group, are also THROUGH!
The Popovich Pet Theatre, or however they’re spelled, prove that you can indeed teach old or new dogs new or old tricks and are THROUGH!
The apparently southern girl group Southern Girl (and/or “The Southern Girls?”) are FIXIN’ TO RISE AGAIN!
Now there’s comedienne Coco Brown, who made a joke about soldiers coming back from Iraq and their wives stepping out of the shower with towels on their heads, which of course makes the agent orange act all up, but we all have a good laugh in the end because it gives a whole new meaning to the term “towel-head,” amirite? Unfortunately for Coco, America and the two-thirds British panel is just not ready for this daring Abdullah Ackbar humor and she is OUT!
Next up is The Duttons, a crossover-bluegrass group of approximately 382 people, who are THROUGH!
At this point, I really start to notice the terrible “inspirational” music playing in the background through all of this. It’s currently “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban.
Which is apropos, because it was the song of choice for Michael Strello Smith, who is here with a picture of his grandmother, who was his biggest fan, role model, and other things. It’s very touching, but he also lists her as his “benefactor” which just makes me think of Mark Cuban and how much he owes me for covering his show amidst all those network fiascos and 2:00 A.M. airtimes. Mark, if you’re reading this, I’m only halfway done with college and really could use a hand because those frickin’ Lutherans keep raising tuition and they’re probably just splurging it all on green Jello. Anyway, the well-mannered Michael is, naturally, OUT!
Part Two. “You’re a Grand Old . . . um . . . You’re a High-Flying . . . geez, am I allowed to say it?”
Now for the part we’ve all been waiting for . . . Boy Shakira. Naturally, his talent is having the most tremendous lisp in the nation. Seriously, we don’t really see a clip of him performing, and I’m okay with that. I’ve seen more convincing drag queens with five o’clock shadows. But, yeth, indeed, Boy Thakira ith THROUGH!
Saige is a seven-year-old twerp who’s dressed like a vaudeville act and sings really flat. He’s OUT and I feel no pity for him, either. He’s old enough to know better.
Written next in my show notes is a group called The Rascals, but I have absolutely no recollection of them. Let’s pretend that they were a trio of Norwegian strong-men who sang and ate paintbrushes. Tragically, it’s back to the fjords with them because they are OUT!
Now we have The World’s Most Fey Man, who I think is named Leonin? He really just looks like an angel, but let’s just say that he’s more “Angels in America” than “Himmel Uber Berlin” or even “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I guess he’s been on the show before and juggles torches. From here you can choose whichever joke you like better, because I’m frankly having a hard time deciding which one to use:
1. He puts the “flambé” in “flamboyant!”
2. His act is a real “flaming” spectacle!
However, the judges have made THEIR choice and Jobriath here is OUT!
The Glamazons is a group of big and presumably sassy women who sing and strut around in too-tight clothing. Are you kidding? Of course they’re THROUGH!
The a cappella group Amir sang “It’s Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday,” because . . . yeah! Boyz II Men are still relevant and awesome! OUT!
Cas Haley is a stay-at-home dad who also has a good voice and plays a mean guitar. Forget those judges, I’m a red-blood blue-state orange-alert American, and he has my blessing. Thankfully, he’s THROUGH!
Although in a much different style, Manuel Romero also sings very well and plays guitar, and is also THROUGH!
And, indeed, Calypso Tumblers, for whom the name says it all, are THROUGH, as well, probably out of the sheer fear of the judges.
Part Three. “I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free” – Lee Greenwood/Jerry Springer
O mercy, the end is in sight! Kind of.
The mysterious Butterscotch sings, beatboxes, and could play piano with one hand tied behind her back, because she only uses one hand. She’s pretty calm, which makes the judges angry because she needs to act like a STAR. You know, an arrogant moron. Nevertheless, she is THROUGH! As she leaves, Sharon screeches like the worst mother in the world at her to “Stand up straight, missus!”
You might not remember because it was so long ago, but Jason Pritchett was the guy who worked on the cruise ship and looked alarmingly like Wally from “Time Bandits.” DID HIS BIG GAMBLE COST HIM? The judges call him on the cruise ship, where he answers the phone in his silly outfit and learns that he is THROUGH!
Robert Hatcher is a sewage worker who has cleaned up nicely in a tux to pursue his less smelly passion, singing. After some fake tension from generic British judge, he is through and CLASSY!
A group of high-school-aged twits who think it’s still cool to have Siouxsie Sioux hair and play Elvis covers, Johnny-Come-Lately, are unfortunately, encouraged in their behavior because they are THROUGH! I blame the public school system!
Kashif, a dancer and this show’s resident ambassador of the madness known as Bollywood, is allowed a chance to, as Sharon puts it, “share his world.” THROUGH!
And now it’s all down to the young Julianne Irwin and Fallon, both female singers. (Which is evidently the hardest category to be in. I blame the public school system and Sarah Brightman.) After another really strange and confusing conglomerate section like they did to the magicians, youth wins the day as Fallon is OUT and Julianne is THROUGH!
I gaze up at the enormous face of Hasselhoff. An hour it has taken me to learn what kind of smile is hidden beneath the botox. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving hamburger! Two gin-scented tears trickle down the sides of my nose. But it is all right; the struggle is finished. I have won the victory over myself. I love America.