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America's Got Talent Anal-ysis - Quarterfinals - Week #2

I'd like to thank the person who emailed me the new logo (THANK YOU!). I'd also like to thank all of you who read last week's episode. Hopefully you'll be entertained by this week's recap. Even more hopefully - I'll be entertained by this week's show.

Our special guests this week are Travis Schario (from last week) and Chico Alexander (Co-Editor on GameShowNewsNet.com). Our first special guests tonight are The Fab Five, who tap dance to 'Fire' by tapping on a scalfold, sliding down fire engine poles and then dancing in the center with jets of flame shooting from the edges of the stage.
The Good: Very clean and technically sound. Much cleaner than any dance act last week. Their looks don't hurt, either.
The Bad: We got too much and not enough at the same time. Too much in terms of pyrotechnics. Not enough in terms of originality. I don't know if you could do any more with a clogging act, but if felt like I saw the same act during the auditions and didn't see anything new.
The Chico: Props to them for going to the party and bringing what got them there. However, at the end of the day, it's just clogging. If you take away the fire and the props, it's nothing new.
The Travis: I'm not going to be as jaded as Chico. The choreography was tight, props were appropriate, song was good.
The Verdict: They definitely stepped up their game to show what they could do. If they were on last week's show, they are in. However, we have 3 other dance groups tonight, and I'd have to see them before figuring out where to put the cloggers.

Charles DeWayne is the second act of the evening. He sings and plays the piano. The choice of song - 'Just the Two of Us'. But can he get more than 2 people to vote for him?
The Good: DeWayne's vocals are really nice on the song. He sings beautifully and with passion. Nice job on the song, vocally.
The Bad: But I didn't like the choice of the song, because I thought it was too safe. His piano playing also lets him down. He noticeably flubs the piano solo and just like Scott MacIntyre on Idol, DeWayne distances himself from the audience by sticking a piano in the way. I think him singing sans piano in front of the audience would have been the better play here.
The Travis: His voice was perfect for the song choice. His talent absolutely shown through. A+ performance.
The Chico: I didn't think he was as dead on as Travis said he was, but what he lacks in vocal ability he makes up in presence and showmanship. A good performance.
The Verdict: Sharon Osbourne is right - it was a great performance on the song, but it would have been nice to hear something more challenging. Based on the history of the voting patterns of the audience, he could return, but he needs to step his game up.

We have our second dancer of the evening. Carol Loo wants to live out her dream. I'm wondering how she got in the Top 40 to begin with, and after seeing her pull out some veritcal cage dancing and Salt N' Pepa moves, I'm still wondering.
The Good: The clothes fit her nicely. You couldn't tell that she was 63 when she was dancing. She didn't look a shade over 58.
The Bad: Watching this was equivalent to seeing Madonna dance after being pumped with 2 quarts of amphetamines. Nick Cannon told her she was shaking what her mama gave her. In that case, I need to go to her mom's house and build a concrete dome around it so no shaking ever escapes her residency again. And a special boo to Piers, who X'ed her when he was the moron who put her in the Top 40 to begin with.
The Chico: She obviously saw the tape of the Platt Brothers and went by their playbook, which is screw the coherence, let's make a show. It didn't work out for her.
The Travis: The choreography was bad. The song was bad. The dancers were not needed. I agree with Piers' X. I was hitting my X when she was in the go-go booth.
The Verdict: A 63 year old gets to live out her dreams on the stage. That's nice. AwwwwBarf. Now please get off my tv set.

This show is going to the dogs. Literally. Tony Hoard and Rory give us dog tricks, complete with Baywatch Intro.
The Good: The Baywatch intro was funny. Rory did a very good job playing his part in the act.
The Bad: The same, however, can not be said about his owner. Tony made a lot of silly mistakes, causing the dog to not catch the frisbee and causing Piers to hit his buzzer. I would have hit it too. Very poor execution by the human.
The Travis: The Baywatch thing was the only thing going for it. Piers correctly buzzed on the first miss. There were easily 3 or 4 more. The dog got confused twice. 4 misses total. Horrible. I pass.
The Chico: There's an old saying in Hollywood - the 2 worst things to work with are kids and animals. One look at the act and you know why the saying is true. America. Is. Not. Going. To. Vote. For. A. Dog.
The Verdict: If Tony was throwing cheeseburgers, then David Hasselhoff catching them with his mouth would have been more entertaining - and David would have caught them all. This is incredibly sloppy. If Tony performed like this in his first audition, he almost assuredly doesn't get to Vegas, never mind the Top 40. This is one of the reasons why all of the acts needed to perform again in Vegas to prove their worth. This is a dog of an act and by being fleabitten, will be sent to the showers.

Can Eleisha Miller improve on her singing? She doesn't have to work on her acting, or charm, or taking lessons from her stage mom.
The Good: The singing does indeed improve. This is a very impressive routine that she's trying to pull off, and props go to her for the attempt.
The Bad: For the attempt - but not the results. The improvement is not good enough - there's still a lot of bum notes. What concerns me more is that the song is both too old and too big for her. An 8 year old should not be singing 'I've Got The Music In Me' - and the screaming that she loves America is less inspiration and more cheesy desperation.
The Chico: An act like Eleisha Miller has to do 3 things - improve on her vocals, tone down the precociousness and be less annoying in general. So far, she's 0 for 3.
The Travis: I agree with Chico and Piers. Next!
The Verdict: If singing is in her heart, then pain and bleeding is in my eardrums. She reminds me of Michaela Gordon, but in a bad way. Michaela got as far as the Top 12 before America released her from the show. Since America's vote skews old this season, I see Eleisha leaving at around this time.

Paradiso Dance has decided that they need to step their game up. They do more balancing and feats of strength-defying dancing acts, to the tune of Beyonce's 'Halo'. Can they be crowned by America?
The Good: The nail their moves. It's a very impressive performance. And we see a giant halo that they use at the end of the routine, which sends Zoey spinning upwards into the night.
The Bad: There was a lot of throwing Zoey around the stage, which was impressive, but not much of the 120 pound Zoey carrying the 200+ pound Dave around. It's those sort of moves that put them on the map, so not seeing anything revolutionary from them in that venue was sort of disappointing.
The Travis: The dancing would have been good if there was ice under them. It was ice dancing on a stage (though I give the woman props for picking up the guy.)
The Chico: I'm still mesmerized on how Zoey picked Dave up. This was the first act that had everything going perfectly. This is a shoo-in for them getting to the next round.
The Verdict: I don't know about shoo-in, but I think they have too much hype to be ignored. I think they still need to see some acts flounder, but they are in good shape to advance.

The second half of the show begins with The Texas Tenors. They are proud to be Americans, and are not afraid to let you know it as they sing 'G-d Bless the U.S.A.'.
The Good: It's a very smart song choice. 'G-d Bless the U.S.A.' bailed out Kristy Lee Cook in American Idol 6 and gave her another week on the stage. The anthem is a staple that's sure to get the public's vote, regardless of how badly it's sung.
The Bad: And it's good for them, because my eardrums are still trying to recover. I would be much prouder to be an American if they got the notes right. Their voices do not mesh well together, which makes it sound like their harmonies were pressed through a cheese grater.
The Chico: Vote pandering aside, you have a group with expectation. Harmony was an expectation. With the vocal overpowering, that was an expectation unfulfilled.
The Travis:I'm not going to say anything about the song, because that would be unpatriotic. If they're calling themselves tenors, they have to match pitches across the board. They don't do it, but I think the vote pandering is going to work.
The Verdict: I hated the performance. It was cheesy and the vocals didn't work. To make matters worse for them, the Voices of Glory have yet to go and are waiting to sing them into the floor. To make matters worse for me, I think that the vocal pandering will work and we'll see them in the semi-finals. Yuck.

Who's up for some acts to come back for their second chance? SQ Entertainment promises dancing AND stunts. Can they show that they have earned their second chance from Simon Cowell and make the next round?
The Good: I give them props for pulling out the stops. It's not a safe performance, and they needed to not be safe. You had the SWAT team coming in with some nice moves, and you had some unique stepping going on.
The Bad: Unfortunately, it's all undermined by the sloppiness of the act. The dancing was not in unison. The line dancing was not symmetrically even and any good will they had with the nice sweeps was upset by some of the missed easy moves.
The Travis: The choreography was sloppy. I didn't get it. Moving on.
The Chico: Finally, a Wild Card act worth bringing back. I thought it was pretty decent. They were going for the America's Best Dance Crew crowd. It's a toss-up.
The Verdict: I completely disagree with Chico. Last Sunday, I saw the debut of ABDC with 9 new crews. All of them would have pounded SQ Entertainment to a bloody pulp. And again, I think that Iconic should have taken that spot, and not SQ. Add the older skewing audience, and I think SQ could stand for supremely quashed, which I think their chances are.

Pete Peterkin promises to bring back Barrack Obama in a way that you've never seen him before. That way includes talking to Snoop Dogg, playing the piano and singing 'Georgia On my Mind'.
The Good: He's got the Barack Obama voice down pat. And he dresses nice.
The Bad: Really slow to start. And I have a joke for you. What did the comedy and the singing have in common? They all felt flatter than my car tires running across a board of tacks. Not funny, huh? Well, neither was Peterkin.
The Chico: I was bored.
The Travis: I have issues with his Obama impression but his Ray Charles impression was spot on. The comedy didn't work for me though.
The Verdict: If Peterkin came out with the charm like he had on the first performance or if the singing was great, then America could see a president moving on. But after that, I think Obama (now spelt O-bomb-a, because it was a bomb) gets stopped in the primaries.

Speaking of bombs, Alizma looks like a good old-fashioned train wreck. But they do have the looks and the violin talent. Can they heed the judges advice and let the violins speak for themselves instead of their vocal chords?
The Good: The outfits makes them look hot and sexy. Blonde. Tan. Black leather clothing and metal chains. Yum. And yes, the violin playing is well done.
The Bad: Unfortunately, they sing Aretha Franklin's 'You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman'. It's bad. Very very very bad. And the high pitch at the end makes all 3 judges hit their buttons and has most livestock in Ohio searching for a bale of hay to stick their heads in to muffle the ensuing musical chaos.
The Travis: If I was Aretha Franklin, and I witnessed that performance, I would no longer be embarrassed to be seen wearing that foppy hat to Barack Obama's inauguration. Where's my button? I need my button...(X)
The Chico: Somebody obviously didn't get the memo that they can't sing. (X)
The Verdict: They remind me of what would happen if they wanted to wash my car (which they could do in those outfits). It's pretty for the 60 seconds that they are doing it, until you have to roll down the window and have to listen to them. As a result, they don't continue any further and you leave them out on the corner. I trust America will put them out of their misery tomorrow.

The Beale Street Flippers are the second group with a second chance. With 2 dance groups already performing tonight, they want to steal the dance vote. Can they?
The Good: They do flip. And they hit all their moves. So technically, they work.
The Bad: All they did was flip. No innovation or originality, and most importantly, no routine, noticeable choreography or showmanship. I was bored and couldn't wait for the act to end.
The Chico: Let's be honest. They are not dancers. They are flippers. The flipping was good. Everything else was awkward.
The Travis: They are male cheerleaders. They need women and a team.
The Verdict: I've seen this all before last week with Acrodunk, and they did it much better than the Flippers. There is an audience out there for this group, but I don't see America rewarding them for it and I expect Mr. Cowell to go 0-4 in returning acts.

Finally, the Voices of Glory end the show with an uplifting gospel. Will it be enough to uplift them past this round?
The Good: The second half of the song had some of the better melodies from anyone this season. They had flashes of brilliance throughout the performance.
The Bad: I hate pounding on kids, but the vocals were both uneven and out of tune. The first half was VERY shaky and uneven, and there were clear spots where the kids were not on the same page as the background musical accompaniment.
The Travis: The girl was the strongest member of the group, but I really couldn't understand a quarter of the lyrics she was singing. Keep it in the church and they'll be ok.
The Chico: They had me until the end. The pacing just died then.
The Verdict: Oh they'll get through this week, if nothing else because of all of the hype they've been getting and the lack of viable challengers in this episode. That being said, if they do this same unevenness in the semi-finals, they are going to be shocked right out of the competition.

Overall Verdict: Not nearly as good as last week's performances. There was a lot of raw talent who had the opportunities to step up. Most of them did not take advantage of it, but the people who did made their marks. Here's the predictions.

Gordon's Top 4:
Paradiso Dance
Charles DeWayne
Voices of Glory
Texas Tenors

Judge's Call: Fab 5 Vs. Eleisha Miller - Fab 5 Advances

Travis's Top 4:
Texas Tenors
Voices of Glory
Charles DeWayne
Paradiso Dance

Judges Call: Fab 5 Vs. Pete Peterkin - Fab 5 Advances

Chico's Top 4:
Paradiso Dance
Voices of Glory
Texas Tenors
Pete Peterkin

Judges Call: Fab 5 Vs. SQ Entertainment - SQ Entertainment Advances

Join us in 24 hours to see who gets the glory.
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