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America's Got Talent: Top 20 performance show two

by Isabelle Carreau, posted Sep 9th 2009 12:30AM
America's Got Talent(S04E23) There were mixed feelings amongst viewers last week when the America's Got Talent judges announced that they couldn't decide who, between Voices of Glory and Fab 5, should get the fourth place in what was supposed to be a final round of the top eight acts of the summer.

It wasn't much of a surprise when Nick announced at the beginning of this week's performance show that there would be no judges' pick. It wouldn't make sense to have a Top 9, eh? I'm happy that more acts -- aka the same number as last year -- will get to perform in the finals. But what I'm happier for is that America will pick the final five acts to enter the next round. No judges' pick. The results will be solely based on the number of votes.

How did the ten remaining acts perform this week? Which acts should move on? My two cents, Piers' many Xs, and your comments coming up!

Recycled Percussion, Band (Performance show four, Their official website and their MySpace page) - Junkyard percussions rocks! They found some cool stuff to play on this week, and the stage setting was pretty hip, especially when the van's roof separated from the rest of the car. This shows us that they can offer variety in their acts. I've seen percussion bands perform using kitchen utensils, construction tools, and stuff found in a teenager's bedroom; so I know Recycled Percussion could sustain an hour-long show. On a side note, last time they played, I complained that we didn't hear enough of the percussions. This time, I'll complain that we didn't hear enough of the music. AGT so needs to get the volume and balance of act versus background in order.

Lawrence Beamen, Singer (Performance show three and his official website) - I was entertained by Lawrence's rendition of Alicia Key's "Fallin'." Some of the lower notes were a bit off for the song, but, contrary to what Sharon said, I enjoyed his vocal additions at the end of the song; it added to the mood and showed his vocal range. Kudos to Lawrence for taking a chance and singing something out of his normal style. However, it showed us, as Piers pointed out, that he is more suited for Barry White-type songs. By the way, if you wonder who The Hoff was comparing Lawrence too, here is a link to Teddy Pendergrass' Wikipedia entry.

Erik and Rickie, Ballroom Dancers (Performance show four and their official website) - The young duo is good for their age, but they are not experienced or entertaining enough to even be in the Top 20, let alone move to the Top 10, especially when compared to the other dance acts. Would you go watch an hour-show of Erik and Rickie dancing practically the same dance over and over in Las Vegas? As a lot of you keep pointing out in comments, there should be a kids version of the show. This week's performance was on a Michael Jackson song, and this may get them a few votes. You could see throughout their dance that some of their moves were not perfect and that they were not 100% in sync. Piers Xed them, and he was right. I would have worded the why of the X differently but still, he was right. The Hoff and Sharon were way too nice to Erik and Rickie. Yes, they are good for their age, but they were not perfect and shouldn't have been told that they have a very good shot at winning it all.

Jeffrey Ou, Pianist (Performance show three) - Jeffrey tried to be more mainstream this week and mixed piano playing with mad science. It looked promising at first, but things got sour when he started playing ... I was bummed that Jeffrey didn't pick a more recognizable song to connect more with the audience. All the judges commented on his song choice, and they were right to do so, as it may cost him a spot in the Top 10. I expected him to play Beethoven's "Fifth Symphony" or something similar. Imagine the lighting effects if he had chosen that classical song? Plus, it would have helped him get votes because that symphony is well-known. Piers Xed him.

Hairo Torres, Breakdancer (Performance show three and his MySpace page) - It didn't show at all that he was injured during rehearsals. The routine was hip and entertaining. The backup dancers and the soundtrack helped set a fun mood. Hairo performed quite a few daring moves, including some new ones as Sharon pointed out. Piers is right when saying hat Hairo brings fun to breakdancing.

EriAm Sisters, Singing Group (Performance show four and their MySpace page) - I wonder what the other song they were pondering choosing was. In any case, they did well tonight, especially when compared to their previous performances. Piers was right when saying that the start was a bit shaky. They are at their best when singing together. Ditching the dance moves also helped them concentrate on their singing.

Mario & Jenny, Comedy Variety Duo (Performance show three and their YouTube channel) - It was impressive to learn that Mario is the seventh generation of circus performers. The act looked promising at first but quickly went south, especially when Mario started tap dancing. Once again, Piers used his X power and was right in doing so. I enjoyed Mario & Jenny for the danger and originality of their previous acts. This week, their act was mostly dancing and playing the drums. The Hoff said that the duo is ready for Vegas, and he is right. However, are they worthy of being AGT winners? Winners or not, it wouldn't be surprising to see Mario & Jenny get a Vegas gig. They have a wide variety of tricks and performances, and they can own a stage. Plus, they live in Vegas.

Drew Stevyns, Singer/Guitarist (Performance show four, his official website and his MySpace page) - Thanks, AGT producers, for leaving Drew alone on the stage and making sure we would hear some of his guitar playing. Sadly, his vocals weren't at their best tonight. He was off key a lot of times. It got a bit better with the chorus, but he still sounded a bit off. At times, it felt like he was somewhat screaming the lyrics instead of singing them. Nonetheless, I enjoyed his version of the song. Even if this wasn't his best performance, it wouldn't surprise me that he moves on. He'll get a few votes since he is the sole wild card in this round, making him an underdog of sorts. Plus, he's a cutie and showed us in the past that he's not a bad singer.

FootworKINGz, Dance Ensemble (Performance show three, their MySpace page and their official website) - The superheroes theme sounded promising when they announced it during their pre-performance interview. But Power Rangers? Couldn't they do something on the Superman or the Batman soundtrack? They may have upped the pace to 188 beats per minute, but their moves were less daring and entertaining than before. Piers and Sharon Xed them.

Barbara Padilla, Opera Singer (Performance show four and her official website) - Once again this week, Barbara looks amazing, and the stage setting is perfect for her performance. She sounded wonderful, and Piers told her that a superstar was born tonight.

My Top 5 picks: Recycled Percussions, Hairo Torres, Barbara Padilla, Lawrence Beamen and FootworKINGz. The latter may not have done great this week, but I hope they move on so we have a little bit more diversity in the Top 10.

Which acts do you think will move on to the Top 10? Are you happy with the decision that there will be no judges' pick this week and that it'll be a Top 10 instead of a Top 8?

America's Got Talent' Photos

    AMERICA'S GOT TALENT Judge David Hasselhoff.


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


    AMERICA'S GOT TALENT Judge Piers Morgan.


    AMERICA'S GOT TALENT Judge Sharon Osbourne.


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


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


    AMERICA'S GOT TALENT Swinging Rat Pack.


    AMERICA'S GOT TALENT Swinging Rat Pack.




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


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Tough choice. Some of the acts did good. I am going with Barbara Padilla, Recycled Percussion, Lawrence Beamen. They should move on. Hairo Torres, Drew Stevyns, Mario & Jenny will be fighting for the other two spots. Although Mario & Jenny did not impress with their performance, they did prove that they can hold an audience with a variety act. Drew has been improving every week and so has Hairo. As for the rest of the contestants, I was not impressed by FootworKINGz. Their super hero performance did not do it for me. Jeffrey Ou's performance I think left everyone wondering what he was playing. EriAm Sisters I feel have potential but they are not ready yet. Erik and Rickie great potential but too young.

September 09 2009 at 12:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim Kosmicki

Hairo all the way -- he has shown that he can set up a show. Each week he's improved and the skits work. Hairo isn't going to do well on a show like So You Think You Can Dance because he's not going to do the ballroom stuff. This is really the opportunity for someone like him to hit the big time. Although with his other dancers in this skit, he may be setting up a crew for Randy Jackson's show.

September 09 2009 at 9:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent McKee

Jeffrey Ou was supposed to be playing Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody, or at least that's what he told Piers. I'm not a classical music expert, but I've heard the Hungarian Rhapsody on more than a few occasions, and I don't think Liszt would recognize what Jeffrey played as being what he wrote.

Barbara Padilla was magnificent.

September 09 2009 at 4:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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