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America's Got Talent: Audition Show 6

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jul 9th 2009 6:30AM
Grandma Lee on America's Got Talent(S04E05) "It looks like hunks in trunks will be dunking in Las Vegas!" - Hoff

After a funny entrance by "The Hoff Rider," wearing a black leather duster and cowboy hat, the show got started in Houston, Texas.

I sort of slugged my way through the first part of it, but wow, the ending was totally worth all the crummy acts. Barbara Padilla looks like any other stay-at-home mom, but out of her mouth came this awesome operatic voice. Not only that, she's a cancer survivor. I'm such a sucker for these heartfelt, hopeful stories. She's no newbie, though. Barbara actually has a nice Web site highlighting her talent.

Also not a newbie is Grandma Lee (pictured), who's done some stand-up comedy before coming on America's Got Talent. Pretty darn funny, though.

After the jump, check out my thoughts on tonight's auditions.

Some of the acts I didn't enjoy:

  • Bruce Thomas, hand musician. Any time somebody says they're the only one with this particular talent, you know it's not going to go well. Bruce is a handyman and certainly seems like a nice guy. But when he said, "My hand sounds will definitely clear the air" ... groan ... He played "Yankee Doodle" on his hands, and it just was not good.
  • Ruby Revue, burlesque act. These girls were, as Piers said, "a complete shambles from start to finish." They fell off their chairs, for cripes sake.
  • Crispy Family Carnival, variety. This act consisted of a fat guy getting things stapled and hooked to his body. In particular, some things were hung on his nipples! Good luck with that.

Some of the acts I didn't know what to think about:

  • Eleisha Miller, singer. This 8-year-old girl was cute as all get out and had a giant personality, noting that she was "99% excited and 1% nervous." She played the piano and sang "Proud Mary." While she wasn't the most talented person on the stage tonight, she certainly had guts! Sharon said no, while Piers and Hoff said yes. It's funny because while Eleisha was completely grabbing her time in the sun, her parents backstage seemed totally nerdy and shy. Where does she get it from?!
  • Times 2, singers. These twins knew how to work the crowd, and said their grandmama had them singing in church when they were four. Lots of raw talent and energy, but I don't know if their vocals are all that great (Sharon agreed with me). Though Piers voted no, Hoff and Sharon voted yes.

Some of the acts I enjoyed/loved:

  • The Texas Tenors, singers. Dressed in dapper tuxes, these singers were fun to look at and listen to. They got the crowd going, and Sharon seemed like she had a little crush on one of them. Though he was unemployed, she though she could find a job for him. They're through to Vegas.
  • Acrodunk, acrobatics. This group of five guys were really entertaining and energetic. They did these wild stunts where they jumped off this launching pad and shot a basketball through a hoop. It's a lot more awesome than I make it sound. Sharon said she could have watched them all night, and Hoff said, "It looks like hunks in trunks will be dunking in Las Vegas!"
  • Live in Color, dancing. Just a quick shot of these guys, but they looked fun and they're headed to Vegas.
  • Anna Pipoyan, bellydancing. This teacher danced with a lit candelabra on her head. Nick Cannon said he hoped his wife wouldn't get mad at him him lighting someone else's fire. I don't think Mariah's worried. Anna is headed to Vegas.
  • Eclipse, rapper. This kid is a server at Olive Garden, and the judges loved him. I'm not that big on rappers, but even I have to say he was pretty good. He's through to Vegas.
  • Grandma Lee, comedian. This 75-year-old retired phone operator said she wanted to get a message out to everyone: Live your dream! How funny that they played the theme song for "Murder, She Wrote" during Grandma's preview. She was pretty funny and made me laugh. And the judges loved her and sent her on to Vegas. You, go, girl!
  • Barbara Padilla, opera singer. This stay-at-home mom has an incredible voice. Seriously, she looks like a regular mom, but this beautiful operatic voice came out of her. Awesome! And her story is great, too. She's a cancer survivor, and said "if you have hope, you keep going." Couldn't agree more.

What did you think of tonight's auditions? Got any favorites?



America's Got Talent' Photos

    AMERICA'S GOT TALENT Judge David Hasselhoff.

    NBC

    AMERICA'S GOT TALENT Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and David Hasselhoff.

    NBC

    AMERICA'S GOT TALENT Judge Piers Morgan.

    NBC

    AMERICA'S GOT TALENT Judge Sharon Osbourne.

    NBC

    AMERICA'S GOT TALENT Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and David Hasselhoff.

    NBC

    AMERICA'S GOT TALENT Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and David Hasselhoff.

    NBC

    AMERICA'S GOT TALENT Swinging Rat Pack.

    NBC

    AMERICA'S GOT TALENT Swinging Rat Pack.

    NBC

    AMERICA'S GOT TALENT Indiggo.

    NBC

    AMERICA'S GOT TALENT Shelia-Shelia Of The Jungle.

    NBC



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Smiley Face

There's a saying that goes something like a break comes along when preperation meets opportunity. Well, Neal E. Boyd had been preparing for years, starting with his high school choir instructor. He then took
advantage of the opportunity to audition for America's Got Talent. As I said before, no one deserves to live his dream more than he does. As for other people supposedly being far more talented, you must remember that except for local appearances, Neal E. Boyd hasn't had much experience performing, in front of a television audience. You need to give him a chance to get his feet wet, & get comfortable in front of the camera. That may
take some time getting use to, since it's all new to him. I have a great amount of admiration & respect for him & his perceverance in not letting anyone or anything stand in the way of his dreams. I actually don't know how he or anyone else in the entertainment industry does it. I tried singing & playing piano in a church talent show once a long time ago. I was so nervous, that I don't even remember the performance mucn at all. Everyone said they enjoyed my effort, however the only thing I remember is that I NEVER wanted to do that EVER again! I just thought it was something I should try, or I'd always wonder what it would be like. So now
I know, it isn't for me. Anyway, all I'm saying is everyone should give Neal E. Boyd the opportunity to settle in & show what he's capable of, before passing judgement on him. Actually, if you think about it, it isn't our place to judge anyone anyway. O. K. I'll get down off my soapbox now, & with that I'll say thanks again for letting me share my thoughts & have a nice day. :)

July 12 2009 at 12:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Smiley Face

I have to disagree with the negative comments about Neal E. Boyd. I LOVE him to pieces, & am extremely impressed by his talent. From the second he stepped on stage, & before he even sang a note, I just knew he was going to win A.G.T. last season. In my opinion, no one deserved to win more than he did. I have his recently released CD, & it's one of the best I've ever heard, & worth every penny of the purchase price. His talent not withstanding, he is one of the most genuine people I've seen in longer than I can remember. It's nice to see good things happen to good people, & I wish him all the best! I think this whole world would be a much happier place if we'd all look less for things to criticize & more for the good in people, & you don't have to look any further than the heart & soul of Neal E. Boyd to see what a wonderful, kind hearted compassionate person he is. Thanks for letting me share my two cents worth, & everyone have a nice day! :)

July 10 2009 at 8:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Smiley Face's comment
Smiley Face

There's a saying that goes something like a break comes along when preperation meets opportunity. Well, Neal E. Boyd had been preparing for years, starting with his high school choir instructor. He then took
advantage of the opportunity to audition for America's Got Talent. As I said before, no one deserves to live his dream more than he does. As for other people supposedly being far more talented, you must remember that except for local appearances, Neal E. Boyd hasn't had much experience performing, in front of a television audience. You need to give him a chance to get his feet wet, & get comfortable in front of the camera. That may
take some time getting use to, since it's all new to him. I have a great amount of admiration & respect for him & his perceverance in not letting anyone or anything stand in the way of his dreams. I actually don't know how he or anyone else in the entertainment industry does it. I tried singing & playing piano in a church talent show once a long time ago. I was so nervous, that I don't even remember the performance mucn at all. Everyone said they enjoyed my effort, however the only thing I remember is that I NEVER wanted to do that EVER again! I just thought it was something I should try, or I'd always wonder what it would be like. So now
I know, it isn't for me. Anyway, all I'm saying is everyone should give Neal E. Boyd the opportunity to settle in & show what he's capable of, before passing judgement on him. Actually, if you think about it, it isn't our place to judge anyone anyway. O. K. I'll get down off my soapbox now, & with that I'll say thanks again for letting me share my thoughts & have a nice day. :)

July 12 2009 at 12:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joy

Eleisha Miller will still be going when all the rest are washed up because she's like the energizer bunny. She's enjoying herself & she includes everyone in the audience in her enjoyment & we'll always be part of the act.
Like Grandma Lee - weren't we right in the kitchen with her making cookies? These kind are not like seals balancing a ball - they make us part of their inner circle and they make us feel good. If you just want entertainment & no interaction, you can listen to a CD or watch a video.

July 10 2009 at 6:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joy

I love Barbara Padilla - not only for her singing or that she's a cancer survivor but because of her SWEET PERSONALITY & RADIANT BEAUTY. There's more to entertaining than the talent. Bergamo's Italitan Restaurant at Mercado's in Orlando, Florida has opera singing waiters & waitresses that PACK the place night after night. It's the person inside that shines through and that makes us come back.

July 10 2009 at 6:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
xtinemichele

All I can say is...**sigh**. This season has been so disappointing, but I think I've figured out why. There is not ONE act I would pay to see do their thing in Vegas. Yeah, the basketball dunkers were good, but would you plunk down Vegas-caliber dough to watch them do that for an hour?

Maybe they could assemble the best acts into a variety revue in Sin City...like "The Best of America's Got Talent" or something - and still reward the most talented of the bunch with the prize money. It just seems completely unrealistic that anyone we've seen so far would be a draw in Vegas. I mean, who would think to themselves, "My entertainment choices are Cirque du Soliel, an A-list musical legend (pick your fave - Cher, Bette, Barry, Elton, etc.) or the dudes who dunk basketballs from the cheesy reality show. What to do?"

And I completely agree with you Laura, "pop-era" has no place on this show. (And kids don't either...I refuse to let that go!)

July 09 2009 at 10:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to xtinemichele's comment
Laura Smith

In general, I do agree with the "Best of America's Got Talent" idea. That seems to be what they're doing in Britain, if the Susan Boyle news coverage is any indication. 99.9% of the people on this show have one good talent. They can make a good living with that particular talent -- with Acrodunk my first thought was Harlem Globetrotters halftime show -- but to have a two hour show in Vegas? I don't think so.

This show let its best ever contestant go to its head, and not in a good way. Yes, Terry Fator was amazing. Can he sustain a 2 hour Vegas show? Without question -- That's why Vegas hired him!!!!! *However*, talents like Fator's are rare, which is why so few people are actually successful as Vegas performers.

The idea that anyone who wins this show can sustain a successful 2 hour act in Vegas is a conceit of the show's producers who think that that kind of talent will just drop into their laps every year. And as we saw from the first *and* third seasons of this show (and so far this year), they are very wrong on that count.

Some acts (like a really inventive illusionist) might have a shot. Some of the singers, properly managed, might be able to launch a successful career after a short run in Vegas (the Texas Tenors have real potential as a singing group). But not everyone is a potential Vegas legend. Give them the $1,000,000 and a venue that fits their act. And that venue might be a tour of the top 10. But Vegas? For anybody? No.

July 09 2009 at 2:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Laura Smith

Am I the only one who was not impressed with Barbara Padilla? She reminds me of the cavalcade of washed-up opera singers from last season (including disappointing winner Neal E. Boyd). Any soprano with a smidge of opera training and some high notes can sing "O Mio Babbino Caro", the aria Padilla performed from Gianni Schicchi. Singers like her are a dime a dozen in the opera world, and the fact that she's a 'cancer survivor' should not be the only reason she wins. People with much better and more interesting talents have already been featured on the show. If she wins...grrr...I might give up on the show.

It stuns me that opera companies (with far better singers) around the world are struggling to survive in this economy -- if not outright closing -- and yet the minute someone hears *any* opera of even questionable quality on AGT they're immediately in love. Turn on Great Performances at the Met and hear some real opera talent.

July 09 2009 at 9:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Laura Smith's comment
Eric

Amen! I'm a classically trained pianist, and I've played with students and faculty members that were leaps and bounds above that. I don't know what it is about this show that causes people to think that mediocre singers (and yes, that includes Susan Boyle, Neil Boyd, and whoever the British guy with the band teeth was, who were much worse singers than this lady was). This isn't a hard aria, and it shouldn't make her win.

We need a tv show "World's Got Classical Talent," and feature top performers from the Classical world. I guarantee it would get very low ratings and nobody would watch. But as soon as someone like this appears on a show like this, everyone loves classical music. It makes no sense!

July 09 2009 at 3:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ally

The fate of smaller opera companies and all the opera singers who are struggling to succeed makes me sad too. As well as all classical musicians. I am a simple opera fan, not a singer or a musician. However, in my ignorant opinion, Barbara Padilla is way better than Potts or Boyd and if there is someone singing opera arias on these popular talent shows I'd rather have someone like her than the guys they had before. I'd leave Susan Boyle from the discussion since her genre is Broadway and not opera. To me - and I am no expert - Barbara Padilla sounds like a competent opera singer. Not a great one, not at the level of the Met but not a bad one either though it's diffult for me to say on the basis of part of one aria - at the same time Boyd and Potts' problems were kind of obvious right away. But I'd like to hear her do other arias - unlike guys they had before her. In all fairness to her, I heard producers routinely tell people what to sing so I am not sure how much choice she has.

Let's face it. We cannot expect a truly great opera singer to come on this type of show. This type of show isn't going to help anybody with a serious opera career, only pop-era, so any singer that comes in must've already given up on opera. But I hope this does introduce some people to opera. So I'd rather people be introduced to opera by someone like Padilla (who by the way has master's in music, and according to her web page did sing leading roles with some opera companies) than Potts or Boyd or some of the well-known pop-era stars.

Smiley Face - I am sure nobody has anything against Boyd as a person. And nobody denies he has a good voice. But if you had been an opera fan and had heard many better singers in student productions, productions in small theaters and, of course, world's top singers, you'd know how many opera singers there are who are much much better and who don't get this type of fame or exposure, and you'd understand where his critics are coming from. Some time in fall PBS will broadcast Met documentary "The Audition". (Preview - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odqrkmePyPQ) Watch it and keep in mind that winning such a prestigious opera competition helps but doesn't guarantee a great career, so some of this wonderful singers may not make it; also that even regional finalists of such a competition who'd never got as far as the Met stage areis miles better than Neal Boyd or Paul Potts. Also, if opera music touches you, PBS has operas from the Met almost every Thursday this month (at least in my area, you can check yours).

Eric - love your idea about the show. One problem is that such shows are normally on PBS and not that many people watch it. I think if networks had shown something like this people would watch especially if there is some drama with eliminations, personalities and such. But networks don't show classical music (or classical ballet) nowadays.

July 11 2009 at 7:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Parker

I loved the opera singer. I think Barbara Padilla is the super talent that we've been waiting for this season! She's a better singer than Susan Boyle and better looking too!

July 09 2009 at 8:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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