America's Got Talent visited Tampa, Florida last night for more of the same: an awkward mix of the really talented and really hopeless. While we were treated some surprises - such as two older men with strong pop and lock routines or the guy who reminded me of Luther Vandross - there was a lot of weird and wacky.
Case in point: What person in his right mind says he's amazing at "air sex?"
Let's break down all the acts that aired, shall we?
The Untouchables - The leader of last year's Miami All-Stars returned with a children's group from 8-13, which included his children. They managed to solve the issue that Miami All-Stars had last year: too much happening at once. I think people will like them, but like Miami All-Stars won't win. I have to hope that these kids know things outside of Latin; they showed some strong Contemporary turns, but they lacked a lot of outside content otherwise.
American BMX Stunt Team - I liked the fact that this team had not only way too many people on a stage, but it also had a scooter and a rollerblader for some extra added effect. The definition of BMX really is specifically for bicycles and motocross so the scooter and rollerblader was a point of difference. It was a little bit of people in circles doing a trick at a time at the beginning (I was reminded of Gymkhana from last season), but the second half with some of the team using half the pipes in an almost synchronized way gave it some theatrics. Let's add fire the next time for real excitement and danger.
Lindsey Norton - The acrobatic dancer had a built in fan base with signs and a cute giggle. The performance mesmerized me and I could see the next stage of this with cool (albeit generic) cloud backgrounds and smoke machines. She's dedicated to her acrobatics and it makes it better to watch. In the big picture Lindsey is part of a Vegas act, but she's really talented. She's also good cross-promotion for people to watch the Olympics.
Puppets on Hand - The unmarried puppeteers had a table act that would have made more sense on a smaller stage. It was cute but kind of sad and phallic at the same time. As much as I understood how Howie would like the performance, it should still be a no. The worms reminded me of the one on Sesame Street, Slimey, but without a face. If this was their opening hand, I expect the other hand puppets to be easily manipulated shapes instead of intricate Jim Henson-inspired puppets.
Captain Dan & the Scurvy Crew - Rapping Pirates? Even on paper the concept sounded poor. If I wanted modern day pirates, I want them singing about how I could get a free credit check or switching my cable television providers. Their "flow" was non-existent, but I could imagine it working for SpongeBob Squarepants.
Twiggy the Waterskiing Squirrel - Twiggy may have scared (and peed on) Nick Cannon, but Twiggy was cute to look at. It was so chubby compared to the squirrels I see outside my window. I don't understand exactly how this is an act or what happens next. Can Twiggy go up ramps and do real tricks? It's too YouTube (or if this was 1991, America's Funniest Home Videos) to be a successful Vegas act. If there were more animals, like maybe a Chinchilla that goes down a sand slide or a Guinea Pig that chews the shape of Jesus on wood, I could see it succeed. Twiggy by itself is a no.
Big Barry - The 4'10 performer probably shouldn't have dressed like Tattoo from Fantasy Island. I would have preferred Napoleon. His singing was more ironic than talented because he kept singing about how his fingers were small. He shouldn't have gone to Vegas, but Howie's coaxing managed to keep him around a lot longer than he should ever have been allowed to.