Let's take a look at who took the stage for the first round of America's Got Talent:
The evening began with Breaksk8. The break dancing roller skaters performed to Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal. They brought out the props, the storyline and even some female back-up dancers but overall I think they did themselves a disservice. Too much theatrics and not enough dancing could put these guys out of the competition tonight. And a big boo hiss to the director who decided to shoot the final huge leap over the table from the opposite side. The stage lights completely obliterated the shot so you couldn't see the leap at all. The biggest moment in the number and it was ruined by bad directing.
Thia Megia was up next. The 14-year-old singer delivered The Climb but I wasn't as blown away as I was by her original audition. She had some bad notes and at times she was overwhelmed by her backup singers and music. There's no doubt that the girl is talented, but I don't understand why they put singers in this competition let alone kids. They get away with doing less than any adult in the same position and basically end up staying in on the cute factor. She'll probably make the top five.
Next up were the acrobatic Platt Brothers. They attempted to combine Three Stooges style antics along with some serious tumbling and it was a jumbled mess. Their final moves, which consisted of a series of two-man back flips and a brother tossed into the fly space almost made up for the ridiculous martial arts bit in the middle...almost...but not quite.
Cue the coffins -- it's The Diva League, one of the two wild card picks for the night. The four drag queens and their entourage hit the stage in full vampire garb, prancing and dancing to Disturbia. What I don't get is why they bothered to wear mouth mics when they were lip-syncing to someone else's tune? Entertaining, but they won't be getting my vote.
Manuela Horn got into the competition as a yodeling dominatrix, but she hit the stage last night with an entirely different act. Dressed as a fifties mommy, she attempted to sing a clever, homemaker version of Don't Cha by the Pussycat Dolls, but it was, as Piers said, a total train wreck. She can't sing, she wasn't sexy and it wasn't clever. All three judges hit the buzzer stopping her before the end of the routine and they all expressed their disappointment. This is a perfect example of why these narrow appeal novelty acts never work because there's nowhere to go with them beyond the initial audition.
Now it's time for Grandma Lee. Like the child acts, elderly people also get praised simply for showing up on stage. She does have an unusual set, making fun of the issues of old age, but I'm not a big fan.
Mosaic took the stage next with an a cappella version of Superstitious. I want to like these guys more than I do and I'm not sure why. Like David, I don't think their lead singer is strong enough and there were times when their voice instruments sounded like the noises kids make when pretending to be a drum or a horn. By the end, though, they got it together and it worked. I hope they make it through because I'd like to see something more from them.
Acrodunk was up next with their high-energy basketball routine. This is a routine that I think played better to the live audience than it did on TV. They loaded the stage with trampolines and basketball nets so there were multiples things going on at all times. They also added a group of backup dancers to turn it into a show. They are amazing but with the weird camera angles, again, I felt like I was missing a lot of their act.
Young dancer Arcadian Broad was up next and though the judges praised him, I was underwhelmed. He started off playing the piano, which he does masterfully, but he was put through as a dancer so I wanted him to dance! Finally, Footloose kicked in and I see that he was trying to tell a story. It didn't work for me. Even the dancing portion was off time and sloppy. Another act that won't be getting my vote.
On the other hand, we have Drew Thomas Magic. Wow. Just wow. He moved people all over the place! Using a warehouse theme, he packed his female assistants up to ship to The Hoff, then he climbed into a box that was hoisted way up above the stage floor. By the end, his box was flung open to reveal -- nothing. The packing box opened to reveal three male assistants in their boxers with the girls wearing their original overalls and welders masks. Then Drew popped up behind Sharon and scared the heck out of her. Amazing. Now all Drew needs to do is up his stage presence and he could win this thing.
Kevin Skinner, the guitar pickin' chicken plucker brought it all back to one man in the spotlight with his rendition of Feel My Love. He's not the best singer in the world, but there is something really honest and heartfelt about his performances. My fear is that we'll find out this whole simple country boy act is just that -- an act but for now, he has my vote.
The final group to take the stage was Lake Houston Dance, another wild card draw and seriously, I have no idea why. Dressed in pink sleepers, they performed a messy dance routine to Girls Just Want to Have Fun complete with beds, sleeping bags, and pillows, all of which got in their way. As a small town dance recital number it was terrific, but is this really an act that can play in Vegas? I don't think so.
And that's it. Tonight only five acts will be put through to the next round. My choice? Drew Thomas Magic, Mosaic, Acrodunk, The Platt Brothers and Kevin Skinner. Who do you think should make it through to the next round?
Watch America's Got Talent tonight at 9:00 on NBC with special guest Mariah Carey.
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