Tonight was the last of the competitions to reach the round of 20 next week. This show started as the prior 3 did with the announcement of which teams made the cut and vote for the fifth winner by the judges. There were absolutely no surprises in this:
Jonathan Burkin, Sarah Lenore, Joseph Hall and the Taubl family all won and I'm sure by a wide margin. On the bubble were Michael Strelo-Smith and Sick Step. I knew Sick Step deserved the last spot and so did the judges. Piers told Michael that he is half as good as he thinks he is. Sharon loved the determination of Side Step. The losers were Michael Strelo-Smith, Matthew Piazzi, Bruce Block(who was strangely declared out without the need to pair him up, almost surely due to the fact that they wanted teams 4, 5 and 6 to take the stage as a group), Texas State Strutters and Sheqida.
Michael Strelo-Smith reminds me of something I want to say something about the bravado that most of the mediocre acts seem to utilize. They are talking about how bad they want it, as if that makes them different from any other act in the competition. All that matters is their talent. We are going to find that in short supply tonight.
Here are the acts in the order they performed:
Dallas Desperado Dancers - doing an aerobic dance routine and buzzed by Piers. He shared his assessment that they are not yet good enough to be an act in Las Vegas. Sharon and David agreed.
Bryan Cheatham - he did a pop song rather than the soul music he traditionally sings. It was a mistake. Piers marks him down for singing out of the side of his mouth and unappealing moves that focused on his upper body.
Flambeaux - the God of Fire had a really strange act. It had zero audience appeal and was just a bunch of exhaled fire and putting a ring of fire above his body. Who cares? Neither the judges nor the audience (which was in stunned silence for the only time all night) did. Sharon said that he "flambeed Flambeaux yourself", quite an alliteration.
Kaitlyn Maher - so we have seen 3 consecutive bad acts. Will Kaitlyn work her magic to get a good singing performance? The sad answer is no. She has a bad night and sings out of tune practically the whole of her song. Piers is very gentle with her and alludes to his desire to have buzzed her but did not feel that he could make it out of town alive if he did. Sharon contradicted my statement about being in tune, but Sharon is noted for incredible pap and baloney, particularly with younger talent. David made a fool of himself by saying that Kaitlyn brings the world together. However, even with her worst performance ever, she is still the best of 4 bad acts.
Dorae Saunders - it's time for Dorae's Tina Turner impersonation to turn the tide. He/she sings "Turn Baby Turn". I have to say that it was mediocre, not close to the talent level demonstrated earlier in the competition. Piers buzzed. He said he/she had good singing and dancing, she looked fabulous, but it is unfair compared to other top acts for he/she to move ahead as a dancer/actress only and non-singer. David asked the question of whether he/she is good enough for a Las Vegas act.
Donald Brasswell - singing "Dream the Impossible Dream" which David rightly calls a very difficult song to "rule" but which Donald did. Piers said that America was right in selecting him from the group of 8 to be the 40th act. Sharon said he sang beautifully. I concur; it was a very good performance.
Indiggo - sisters from Bucharest who sing and dance. They were mediocre singers and mediocre dancers. Piers said they deserved to be shipped back to Romania. Sharon asked about their song, which was from Germany, and was strange and not interesting. Still, Sharon termed them a guilty pleasure.
Tappin Dads - they performed "Puttin on the Ritz". Their formation was designed to minimize exposure for the chumps in the back row. Piers was so positive (NOT) about this group that he stated they would turn Fred Astaire in his grave. Sharon made one of her inane comments that what you lack in talent you make up for with heart. Is this a heart competition or a talent competition? It is that type thinking from Sharon and David that have forced us to watch many mediocre acts that should have been eliminated earlier. This is the 4th one so far in this group of 10.
Eli Mattson - I think his singing/piano combination was very good. Piers thought it was sensational. David said classy and "top 10".
Nuttin But Stringz - this violin duo did something unexpected. Rather than going for the easy path, they selected a classical piece that sounded a lot like Vivaldi to perform with some flourishes and twists. It was super. Piers said commanding the stage and professional. Sharon said they were perfectly in tune.
So, the performances were at three different talent levels, bad, mediocre and excellent. The excellent ones were Nuttin But Stringz, Donald Brasswell, and Eli Mattson. Mediocre were Dorae Saunders and Kaitlyn Maher. Bad were Tappin Dads, Dallas Desperado Dancers, Bryan Cheatham, Flambeaux, and Indiggo. have you noticed anything about the excellent and mediocre ones? They are all musicians (and all but Nuttin But Stingz singers).
I will be summarizing where we stand with the top 20 when we know exactly who are the final 5 to reach that group. Look for it in my next recap next week.
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