A human cannonball, exquisite dancers, stunning multi-media entertainers and dazzling doggies were all part of one of the most entertaining and impressive nights we have seen in a long time on "America's Got Talent." The final 12 to perform before the semi-finals gave us what a reality variety show should - thrills, skills, and something to please most every viewer.
Unique, creative, and fascinating
There are times when the judges are over-the-top in their praise of certain acts, but on this particular evening, they nailed it. The contestants were pretty awesome, and many deserve to go through, so it is unfair that only four are going to move on to the next rounds.
Two of the outstanding ones were William Close, who created a musical extravaganza with a giant stringed instrument, spinning drums, and a singer who belted out The Who's powerful "Love Reign O'er Me." It was breathtaking.
Another highlight was Joe Castillo, a brilliant artist, who uses sand and light imagery to create magical works of wonder. In 90 seconds, we saw him design a seal, a panda, elephant and lion, ending with a vision of a single tear drop:
"That is God's eye with the tear," said Castillo, who feels that He is not too happy with what we have done to the earth and wildlife. Such an emotional and heart-felt moment, executed perfectly. And note to Howard Stern, sorry, but you're wrong about the beret - it is a nice complement to this man's glorious talent.
Howie Mandel said of Castillo: "He's an artist, he's original, he's amazing."
Beautiful mind, graceful ladies, and a little heartbreaker
Mind-reader and magician, Eric Dittelman, certainly pulled off a slight of hand trick, and that was convincing the judges that what he did was extraordinary. No offense to Mr. D, but a skeptical viewer may raise an eyebrow, especially with Howie Mandel as the willing participant. The "Deal or No Deal"routine was clever and enjoyable to watch, but for a savvy TV audience or a David Copperfield fan, the "how did he do that?" part is not really too difficult to figure out.
Lindsey Norton, a 16-year-old solo dancer, along with Unity in Motion, delivered another elegant and graceful routine, while the 10-year-old heartbreaker, Sebastien, a Mariachi singer, wowed the judges with "Besame Mucho": "You have such passion - you are a very special person," said Howard Stern.
Human Cannonball, clogging gentlemen, and acrobatic pooches!
What can you say about a man who risks his life, flying through the air, after being shot from a cannon? While we have seen this type of thing before, it's David "The Bullet" Smith's dedication and zest for taking it to a whole different level that is remarkable. This time, with a group of cheerleaders thrown in for effect, Smith made a 40-yard field goal, landing perfectly in the net, with the football still in his hand! Wow.
All That!, with excellent timing and choreography, clogged to the song "Black Betty," but it was sad to see them reduced to sex symbols after Sharon Osbourne told them to oil up, wear leather and take off their shirts. That was inappropriate and they deserved more respect than to be treated as dancing beefcake.
The show ended with a canine-lovers fantasy scene, as the wonderful Olate Dogs from New York jumped, spun and back-flipped their way into our hearts. The father-son trainers/owners are warm, sincere and obviously love what they do, and their animals are not only adorable and talented, but they are a joy to watch.
And the four contestants will be…?
With only four contestants moving on this week, it's really a very tough call to say who will/should stay. As someone who predicted the last few weeks, I will attempt a shot at this one:
My four would be: Joe Castillo, William Close, Unity in Motion and Olate Dogs. My "upset" guess is David "The Bullet" Smith.
Now it's your turn. Which acts will be voted through on Wednesday night's "America's Got Talent?"
- Arts & Entertainment
- Howard Stern
- William Close
- Howie Mandel