AGT 8/10 Recap: Playing the Wild Cards Right
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Hello there! Welcome to Wild Card results night on America’s Got Talent. We’re a short week away from the finale, and there is one spot left to fill. Last night some of the best and wackiest acts that America has to offer returned to try and earn that place. Tonight we find out who’s made it in, and who’s going home to try and live down the stigma of losing on a televised sideshow.
Bad News For Badfingers
Regis reintroduces the judges, complimenting Brandy, flattering The Hoff re: last week’s performance, and encouraging the audience to boo the curmudgeonly Piers. We get a recap of last night’s show including Reason Number 42 Why Piers Is Awful: some very harsh comments he made to David and Dania the Quick Change artists. After Double D performed their same act without heeding the judges’ suggestions the change things up, Piers apparently asked the two of them if they were dumb or deaf, causing Dania to cry, and David to put on his rumble face as he sassed Piers back in his own fashion. Also, there was an appearance from a lime green someone called Leonid the Magnificent, who glittered around the stage pitching woo at The Hoff, complete with veil and coy bouquet. I’m sad that I missed this. But I’ll put on my brave face and try to catch one of the hundred Bravo reruns some time this weekend.
Last night the judges gave terrific tappers All That an instant ticket to Finaleville, but eleven other acts wait in limbo. Regis herds them all out onto the stage and exhibits a bit more pathos this week, saying “I’m sorry; you know what this means,” as he cuts N’Versity, Corina Brouder, and Bobby Badfingers from the running. None of the acts seem too disappointed, but Regis asks the judges to offer some encouraging words anyway. Brandy tells them they are each unique, and that they have her support. Hoff chimes in and reminds them all to remember how far they’ve come. He also tells Bobby Badfingers that he’ll see him in Vegas. Was that a covert invitation for a cheesy rendezvous? I hope Leonid wasn’t listening.
Whimsical, Wacky, Weird, Wild, and Worrisome
It’s time now for the Crazy Caliber Talent portion of the show, sponsored by Dodge. Funny, I just bought a Dodge Caliber last week, and now here it is on my TV! What’s that? It was on my TV last week too? Well, what a coincidence. I didn’t even notice. Regis brings out the acts and says he knows we all love, even though we won’t admit it. He’s probably got the Crazy Caliber Contest confused with that cinematic masterpiece, Bring It On Again.
Act Number One commands the stage, and they tell Regis that they are Miles and Matt, aka The Sizzle Twins. They’re “kind of” jugglers, but they’ve put a bit of a twist on that venerable old trade. Their name makes me think the twist’ll have something to do with fire, but nope, it’s just a nod to the spicy salsa music that plays during their act. Their act, by the way, is strip juggling. The guys nimbly remove their shirts as they pass pins back and forth. And if you thought that was the end of it all (this is me), then you don’t know this show. The Sizzlers continue to juggle as they strip down to razzly-dazzly boxers. They end up in nothing but black skivvies complete with flirty red fringe lining their behinds. Thrilling? You bet it wasn’t. But maybe some of the magic was lost on film, because the live audience goes wild for the Twins. Reeg asks Hoff if those are the shorts he wore while starring in Baywatch. ZING! The Hoff tries to reply, but he’s too late. The zing has already been zung.
Our second wacky act is the super-tanned Nikolo Ashford, Karate Master. He announces that tonight he will be breaking some bricks and boards over his unprotected groin. Nik offers to teach Regis the art of endangering his reproductive system for applause, but Regis declines, and his wife Joy is probably somewhere very happy about that. Oh no. Did I just make an allusion to Reeg’s sex life? Oh, I’m so sorry. Have some brain bleach. And please excuse me while I douse myself.
Now where am I? Hey! What’s this? There’s some guy onstage getting hit in the groin with a mallet! Call the police! Oh, wait. That must be his wacky act. Even the audience doesn’t know what to make of this guy. They look on in open-mouthed amazement (fear?) as bricks shatter from the combined pressure of the mallet and Nikolo’s groin. Brandy is visibly shaken by the sight of Nikolo straddling a long plank as his two helpers crack it in two between his legs. (<--- No way to make that not sound dirty.) Nikolo leaves he stage to very generous applause as Regis quips, “Sometimes I think that’s what Brandy might like to do to Piers.” “Exactly,” Brandy replies eagerly. Amateur. You never commit your violent wishes to film. Um, not that I’d know a bunch about getting away with premeditated violent attacks. . .
Right! Moving on to wacky number 3: Jim McDonald from Chi-town. He’s going to thrill us with some hula hooping fantasticness. To the tune of Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music,” Jim twirls his hoops around his arms, neck, hips, and legs. It’s a cute performance, but no way do I think it’ll stand up next to Nikolo’s brick breaking balls.
Paul the Rubberband Kid thinks he’s got a chance though, and he steps up to do some rubberband sharp-shooting, which is exactly what you think it is. Accompanied by The William Tell Overture, Paul fires huge rubberbands at various stationary targets, and then cleanly pings a can off of his assistant’s head. Then he blasts a couple of discs right out of the air. He only nicks the last one, but like any humane gunman, he shoots from a closer range to finish the job. Reeg volunteers to be his assistant, and jokingly asks Paul to put a can over his unprotected groin. Ha! The Reeg is on fire tonight. A can is placed on his head, and faster than you can say “He shot my eye out!” Paul zaps the can off Regis’ head with a precise blow. He scores with the Regis, the judges, and the audience, who all cheer as he walks offstage.
Dave from Michigan is on now. He’s got a bowl of boiled eggs and he knows how to use them. Dave holds the highly esteemed World Record for Catching Boiled Eggs in One’s Mouth Across Long Distances. His record is 65 yards, but he wants to test that and have Regis, the judges, and some lucky folks in the audience toss him a few tonight. The results are hit-or-miss; Dave ends up with quite a bit of egg on his face (Ha! Did you get that?), but he catches most of the egg bombs and does himself very proud by perfectly intercepting the egg launched all the way from the back of the theater.
Now it’s up to the audience to decide who has wowed them the most. They quickly choose Egg Guy Dave to be entered into the Wacky Acts Showdown in next week’s grand finale.
We are next treated to a performance by Penn & Teller, world famous
magicians illusionists. Penn says they are going to demonstrate the difference between their Vegas and their New York style acts. By ripping off their clothes! Off come the Dapper Dan pinstripe jackets they were wearing, revealing snazzy red vests. Then Teller hops into a large, black box that Penn proceeds to break into 4 segments. You’d think Teller’s a goner, but ha ha! By the power of magic, Teller reassembles the box and Teller appears to be whole again. That’s the way things go down in Vegas, the land of enchantment and wonder. But, Penn says they aren’t done yet. They’re going to go through the whole thing again, this time with a clear coffin box, so that the audience can see Teller in all his segmented glory. Penn snidely dedicates this performance to Criss Angel of Mindfreak fame. Ruh roh. Is there tension in the world of illusion? That could make an awesome movie. Magic, and maybe even Magic 2: Electric Boogaloo. I’d pay to see that.
But tonight the magic is free, and the audience watches enraptured as Teller climbs merrily into his clear box, and then slides out of it into a clear pen underneath the box, revealing the horrible secret of the trick we all just saw, spoiling the illusion, and causing thousands of little kids everywhere to become bitter, disaffected souls. The audience cheers for them anyhow. Me? I slowly shed a solitary tear for the loss of innocence everywhere.
A commercial break helps me forget my melancholy, and by the time Regis corrals all the remaining hopefuls back onto the stage, I’m as eager as anyone to find out who will be the last lucky act to make it into the finale. First, Reeg rehashes some of last night’s performances and judges’ remarks. Out of David and Dania, Alexis Jordan, and Jessica Sanchez, who receives a very touching message via satellite from her father overseas, it is David and Dania, the audience favorite who are the first act in tonight’s top two. But little Jessica has her daddy’s love, which is worth more than a million dollars in my book. Yes, I meant that. It’s true! Stop being so bitter. Jeebus. What, did some illusionist ruin all his tricks for you when you were a kid?
Anyway, we get a replay of the high points of Double D’s familiar act. I’ve only ever seen it once, and even I’m less wowed this go-round. But America loves them, and who am I to tell America anything. Regis asks Piers what he thinks about their popularity, and Piers says he now knows why Groundhog Day was so popular in the United States. Does he mean other than the charming deadpan delivery of Bill Murray and the down to earth, endearing sparkle of Ms. Andie MacDowell? Yes, Piers says that David and Dania’s magical survival proves that Americans really enjoy seeing the same things over and over again. A strangely subdued Hoff chimes in to say that millions of people disagreed with Piers, including the whole studio audience. The Hoff looks a little peaked tonight. Maybe someone’s been hassling him. Or maybe all that personal pride he swallowed when he performed last week didn’t go down so well.
Time to find out who joins David and Dania in tonight’s top two. Is it the effervescent Leonid, mini-virtuoso Natasha Le, or their brother in illusion, Nathan Burton? Tricks win out over treats and Nathan Burton joins Double D in the top two. Regis asks Nathan if he resents Penn & Teller for spoiling trade secrets, and Nathan very graciously says he respects P&T. Nathan says that if he makes it to the finale, he will be sure to bring something fresh to the table. He can actually do a little something new tonight. Apparently Nate travels with the little cart of enchantment being wheeled onto the stage. He proceeds to perform the most bizarre stunt I’ve ever seen on television, and this is coming from a girl who sat through the season premiere of Flavor of Love. (Okay, so that’s a lie, but I heard about it.) Nathan goes through his act, which involves a toilet paper gun, and the flushing of a rogue policeman down a huge toilet.
The judges are sufficiently impressed, David Hasselhoff (almost forgot his real name, didn’t ya?) going so far as to compare Nathan to the legendary David Copperfield. But, the final decision is not up to Mr. Hoff. David and Dania, or Nathan. Who did America choose? Regis asks for final comments from the judges. Brandy lavishes compliments on Nathan. And a genial Piers manages to extract a promise from a belligerent David that he and Dania will Quick Change their act should they make it into the finale. But does that promise matter? Sadly for Nathan, yes it does. David and Dania Quick Change are the final act headed for the finale, and possibly that million dollar prize. Will they take it all? Tune in next week to find out.
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by disappointment. . . firstname.lastname@example.org om