And the Winner Is…

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Performance Show, Wednesday, Aug. 16

Wow…it’s finally here…finale week for America’s Got Talent. Can you hear the sound of trumpets? The cheers of the crowd? The sighs of relief?

I’m really excited about tonight’s performance show because I get to hear the Millers again…they are amazing. Prior to tonight, I was rooting for them and the boy band At Last…but earlier today I went online and listened to all the performances again.

The Millers are definitely the act to beat.

But I don’t want to discredit little Bianca Ryan. At this point, I don’t think she should win…but I definitely think big things are in store for this girl.

The lights dim…Regis is in the house…he introduces the judges…blah, blah, blah.

The Hoff says the winner will be the act “who’s got heart, who wants it the most, and who is in the zone.”

Truly, David Hasselhoff is the Socrates of our day.

There is a lenghthy recap of the blunder…er, wonder…that has been the first season of America’s Got Talent.

The finalists come onto stage and bow and thus begins the “million dollar finale.”

At Last is up first. We learn that they worked with eight-time Grammy winner Chaka Khan to prepare for tonight (wow…can you believe the coincidence of Chaka being a celebrity coach on the SAME network that will host Celebrity Duets…featuring Chaka and others…later this month? I mean, go figure.) The guys come on stage and perform “Killing Me Softly with Her Song.” The beginning is very pretty…though a little choppy. A chorus of drummers comes in to back them and end up almost overpowering them. Then there are dancers on stage…and the whole thing ends with confetti everywhere. In the end, I didn’t like this at all. I wanted to like it, because these guys are really talented…but they lacked a tightness toward the end, as things went a little manic. The Hoff is the first judge to weigh in. He said the group didn’t need drums, dancers, or confetti (BAM! I so called it)…and then he adds “because your appeal is your heart, which comes through in your music.” (LAME.) Check from David. Brandy wimps out and said she expected more but liked their blend. Check. Pier said they have potential to win but they will take some beating tonight (HUH?). Check.

Quick Change (David and Dania) comes on stage next with more wigs, wilder outfits, and a bigger attitude. I can’t stand these people. Not only do they do the same show over and over…they think they are the greatest thing since Easy Cheese (and, trust me, there ain’t NOTHING greater than Easy Cheese). We learn in their pre-performance clip that they’ve been doing this for 15 years and that they have a 13-year-old son who stays in Chicago while they are on the road for 300 days a year. (Honestly…did they think that tidbit would win them votes?) Their celebrity coach is Steve Valentine, an actor from “Crossing Jordan” and a close-up magician (whatever the crap that means). Their act begins with a woman singer on the side of the stage yelling, “Let me stand next to your fire” then throwing a fireball. She is joined by other singers…isn’t this supposed to be an act about changing clothes…not singing? Oh, wait, there’s Dania…in perhaps the fruitiest wig I’ve ever seen. Two costume changes later…still no change in the act (other than background music and singers). Another change…and another…and another. Then David changes. Another for Dania and then her final change with the spray of confetti. She seems tired…maybe it’s the monotony of her act…I can’t tell…I’m half-asleep. Then Brandy comes on stage in a polka dot dress (that looks very familiar) and David encircles her with some cloth and…BAM…she’s in a white dress…and David and Dania have managed to prove that they are nothing special…it’s all about the props…and THAT’S why their act never changes. P…friggin’…U. The Hoff says they were fantastic and gives them a check. Piers challenges them and Quick Change David returns the grandstanding by saying, “You’re allowed to judge but not allowed to belittle anyone.” Piers graciously acquiesces with, “You are without any doubt the most hilariously arrogant guy in the competition.” X. Brandy didn’t vote…really, what would be the point?

I almost can’t bear to watch the next act…the Rapping Granny Vivian Smallwood. Ugh. And to make matters worse…her celebrity judge is none other than Dancing with the Stars Dipwad Master P. Just like his participation on Dancing with the Stars…Master P appears to do nothing but talk big in his coaching session with Vivian. She begins on a motorcycle and wearing a wig, a ridiculous polka dot dress, and tennis shoes. The beat begins and she calls everyone up on their feet. Then the dancers hit the stage. She moves with them and pulls off the wig and tosses it (I have no idea what that was supposed to mean…unless it was to mean… “Watch this bizarre shit.”) Of her rhyme, these are the only lines I can make out…”Battlestar Gallatica,” “hot as a cherry bomb,” and something about false teeth. Then she breaks it down and dances…and I have to look away before my brain melts when she does the Granny Snap. Finally, she hollas “What time is it?” and everyone yells “Granny Time!” And I yell, “Time to buy a new watch!” But the only one listening to me is my dog…and she doesn’t laugh. Brandy gives Vivian a check. Piers said she was great but questions if it’s worth a million and gives an X. And David, the player, says, “You’re not worth a million dollars…you’re worth two million dollars.” (I vomited a little here). Check.

Now for the good stuff… the soulful little redhead, 11-year-old Bianca Ryan (pictured above). She worked with two-time Grammy gospel singer Yolanda Adams as her celebrity coach. Just hearing the two of them work together in the coaching session was amazing (Master P…please take note). They were great. On stage, Bianca sits atop a freestanding staircase, wearing a green dress. She begins to sing “Look at Me, I am Changing.” From off-stage, the dry-ice machine is crankin’ out tons of atmosphere. She stands (barefoot) and descends from the stairs while singing. She’s great. I’m not an R&B fan…but this little girl is amazing. If she wins tonight…she will totally deserve it. She belts but also gives emotion…and she really commands the stage. Wow! If this stupid show does nothing else but start this girl’s career…it’s succeeded greatly. The judges look bewildered…Brandy even looks worried. Piers predicts she’ll win the competition. Check. Brandy says, “This girl makes me wanna go practice.” Check. David says, “You remind me of Liza Minnelli…the most versatile star in the world.” Check.

Liza Minnelli is the most versatile star in the world?

I am now officially scared of Mr. David Hasselhoff.

The clogging stylings of the group All That is next. Their celebrity coach was choreographer Dave Scott (Who?). They start on stage in modernized sailor outfits with white pants and white ties and black shirts. A drum corps lines the stairs in the audience and then marches onto stage. The clogging begins good but gets a little clunky. Then a guy on a drum set starts to play and for a few bars…the cloggers truly are All That. But, unfortunately, it dissolves in the end and gets boring. I know I could never do what they are doing…but I’m still not impressed. I think this is why clogging hasn’t become a national phenomenom…those who don’t clog…just don’t get it…me included. David loves it. Check. Brandy likes it, too. Check. Piers says they look like stars. Check.

Little yodeler Taylor Ware is next. She worked with Tom McBride and Tom Reeves from Dollywood (Again…WHO?). She comes on stage and throws her cowboy hat to the audience. There are fiddlers and square dancers on stage. Her performance is everywhere…she sounds a beat behind the music the whole time. I keep crossing my fingers that she’ll catch up…but she doesn’t. However, her yodeling is amazing…annoying…but amazing. And then she holds this crazy note at the end that doesn’t work at all. It was a total mess. But, she gets three checks from the judges and a another telling comment from The Hoff… “You are a young Reba McIntyre.”

Reba yodels?

Me thinks that David’s musical knowledge is a little telling. Liza? Reba? Would someone please confiscate the man’s record collection before he outs himself?

Following Taylor are John and Owen, The Passing Zone. We find out that…awww…they’re married…I’m depressed…but then I see how cute their little families are and I’m happy again…until I hear they worked with Penn and Teller…and I’m depressed again (someone get me a Zoloft). Tonight they are going to pull Hoff into act. They are so cute. John is wearing a polka dotted shirt and, when he drops a sickle, Owen says… “You dropped something again…you know what that means.” And then he peels a little dot off a sheet of stickers and puts it on John’s shirt. I crack up…but then they are just so cute. Then they rig The Hoff up with a hat that they light on fire and four spinning plates on sticks that he holds out to the side. He looks ridiculous and I love it…plus John and Owen are just so cute. Then they juggle sickles around David and end the act by juggling running chainsaws. But the funniest thing was when they ripped on Quick Change and John dumps confetti over Owen’s head and nothing happens. The act isn’t worth a million but it is a lot of fun and the judges agree. Plus…those guys are just so damn cute.

Celtic Spring worked with Tara Barry from Riverdance…and she really worked them. They start on a darkened stage with a spot light…playing an Irish sounding Amazing Grace. It is really beautiful. The drum comes in and they begin their dance…I swear these kids have rubber bands for legs. It’s really nice and I can appreciate how hard they have worked. Though the littlest brother made an appearance…they did follow Piers’ advice to keep the parents off stage. Smart. David and Brandy give them checks, and Piers thinks they are cheesy (I guess he would know.) X.

Ooooo…..commercial break and possibly the best thing I’ve seen all night…the teaser spot for the Sept. 21 season premier of The Office…my favorite show. John Krasinski is so amazingly hawt!

Okay, we’re almost done. Realis takes the stage next. These two acrobats (one male and one female) look like David and Goliath next to each other…either he’s a friggin’ 8’2″ or she is 3’ 1”…or both. Gene Lubas from Cirqe du Soleil is their celebrity coach. They come on stage with drums playing and give a very sexy dance….except he looks like a short order cook and she’s a flapjack that he keeps tossing in the air. I am really impressed when he holds her up above his head with one hand while she is doing a handstand. Then he pops her in the air one more time and the dance is over. All three judges give checks.

Finally, what I’ve been waiting for…the Millers, and I’m nervous that they are going to choke. (We’ve already had a teaser on the show that Piers is going to rip someone a new one…and since the Millers are last…I know it’ll be them.) Their celebrity coach is John Popper of Blues Traveler. Twelve-year-old L.D. Miller starts the set playing some wicked blues harp. This kid has a huge career ahead of him. Then his brother, Cole, joins in singing “Hard to Handle.” L.D. is amazing and totally on his game. He stays center stage and Cole stays to the side…which I’m sure was done to appease Piers. They have a back-up band tonight and they rock. L.D. is ON it…spikey hair, leather pants, and jacket. I want them to win so badly I can taste it. David and Brandy give two checks. But Piers has to be an ass. “You are genius harmonica player. I think you had a brilliant chance…but you blew it.” Piers thinks having Cole on stage made L.D. look bad. I have to say, for a 12-year-old L.D. is pretty cool as he responds to Regis with, “The man thinks what he wants. That’s his opinion. I can’t change his opinion.”

I was so pissed at Piers and so stoked for L.D. that I went and Skyped 10 votes (the maximum allowed) for the Millers before hitting the bed.

Results Show, Thursday, Aug. 17

Regis enters the stage and introduces the judges. The Hoff is in an unbuttoned pink shirt and the fugliest pinstriped suit I’ve ever seen. Brandy looks lovely in a very 1970-something gown. Piers is wearing…the same outfit he always wears.

We get a recap of last night then the finalists come out on stage and are introduced one at a time.

We are treated to another recap…this time of the worst auditions…set to “You’re No Good” by Linda Ronstadt. Who are these people so desperate to be on television that they would sign up for this kind of humiliation?

YIKES!

Regis has broken into a rendition of “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”

Apparently…Regis is one of these people so desperate to be on television that he’s signed up for this kind of humiliation.

This is awful…I cannot stress enough how horrible this is. I can barely type because I’m laughing so hard at this. Wait…magician Nathan Burton has returned to the stage (I am secretly in love with this guy…Taylor Who?). Burton takes the stage from Regis while the music continues. He is flanked by a team of show girls in pink feathers. Then he opens up some magician’s boxes and brings back “favorite” acts…stripper Michelle L’Amour, snapper Bobby Badfingers, Kenny the Knife Juggler, Dave the Horn Guy and, of course, Leonid the Magnificent in full drag with so many feathers that, for a minute, I think Big Bird has pulled a Lance Bass.

Sitting alone in my living room…I’m ashamed to be a witness to this fiasco of a show.

And I can’t imagine how hard the studio audience will have to scrub to erase their shame.

And then this whorish display of nontalent is topped with some guy dressed like Regis who does back flips across stage…and the camera angle switches and we are to believe it was Regis.

My eyes! MY EYES!!!

And now for a little dignity…the Crazy Caliber Talent Showdown.

These contestants aren’t playing for quite a million dollars…they are playing for a Dodge.

Rudi Macaggi stands on his hands and tap dances with shoes on his palms. Then he dribbles a basketball while doing a handstand. And for his big finish…he asks that the music stop and he announces in some accent I can’t quite place, “There is a chance I should fall and crack my head and blood all over stage and someone will have to clean it up.” Then he does a back flip and hooks his ankles from a wire. And to make sure we know for certain that he’s a total nutjob…he yells to the audience, “I like you. I like you I like you.” And lifts his shirt (a la Mardi Gras style) and flashes his bare chest.

Dwayne Flatmo is up next with his mariachi guitar. He takes a hand mixer and plays the guitar with it. Then he picks up a weed wacker and “plays” three guitars propped up behind him on the stage. I’ll give him my own car if he’ll just leave the stage. Ack.

The Great Stamin Show comes up to the mic and plays his teeth by flicking his fingers against his mouth. Pretty fun…pretty weird…pretty amazing he doesn’t break a tooth (that joke feels old).

The Douglas Lee…with hair from “There’s Something About Mary” plays 28 wine glasses tuned with water. He begins with a classical song…segues into “We Will Rock You”…and finishes with barely a shred of dignity.

Dave Nakfoor is a guy who can catch boiled eggs in his mouth as they are thrown at him. Tonight he misses more than he catches…so I guess his “wacky” talent is out of wack.

The studio audience votes…and Rudi Macaggi wins the Dodge.

“I like you,” he reminds us.

Rudi…I wish I could say the same.

Before the results are announced…we have to sit through a performance by The Blue Man Group (who totally gross me out) and two singing chicks who look like Mary Kate and Ashley after a decent meal…Ally and AJ.

Finally, the time has come for the results.

We learn (in a rather brutal manner) from Regis that Rappin’ Granny, Realis, Quick Change, At Last, and the Passing Zone have the lowest scores.

As the audience gives a pity clap, Regis mutters something totally and absurdly inappropriate…“Only one round of applause left for them.” Wha?

Regis then pulls All That and the Millers to the center of the stage (I have a real bad feeling) and asks the audience “Which one gets the million dollars?” and then answers himself, “Neither…but both are runners up.”

Regis is a total turdball for that one.

Then he hands them their sucky consolation prize…keys to a Dodge (presented off stage by Leonid…what a slap and tickle to the face). But the best part is when Regis hands L.D. his set of keys and L.D. just shrugs as if to say “What the hell, old man? I’m friggin’ 12. What the crap am I going to do with a car?”

Viva le friggin’ L.D. Miller!

It’s down to Taylor Ware, Bianca Ryan, and Celtic Spring.

Reg asks the judges who will win but none of them bite. All are very diplomatic.

And the winner is…Bianca Ryan.

She starts crying and Regis hands her a card signifying her one million dollars (I’m sure her Dodge will come in the mail). All she can manage to say is that she feels “awesome,” but you can tell the girl is completely overwhelmed. She has this look on her face like “What have I done? What does this mean? Where’s my mom?”

I actually feel sorry for the little girl who sang her heart out…which is weird because…after seeing her website…it seems she’s already been doing this for quite a while.

For crying out loud…the chick already has her own page on Internet Movie Database.

Hollywood sickens me.

I wonder when the new season of AGT starts?

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5 Responses to “And the Winner Is…”

  1. bamaborntxbred Says:

    Okay, I had to skip the rest of the post (I’ll finish it in a little while) because I just watched The Office promo…I AM CRYING AT WORK. Thanks Shelley. I am so moved by those last couple of scenes. Ohhhh! Why doesn’t Pam see the treasure in front of her!

    I love you Jim! I’d be a better girlfriend than Pam! I don’t have a fiancee!

  2. bamaborntxbred Says:

    The only episode of AGT I watched all the way through was the one where the Millers played for the first time. Piers made the little boy cry b/c he said he should cut his brother loose. I thought the kid was amazing and that Piers was a jerk. Not as good of a jerk as Simon, but still…

    I guess I’m all alone here today. I hope you all had a nice Friday and have a happy weekend.

  3. NOLAgirl Says:

    I saw some of Wednesday’s show, but that’s it! I just could NOT get into this show! Good recap, Shell!

    Now, we await “Celebrity Duets” …. 🙂

  4. suzi-q Says:

    Shell, good humus for a light-hearted novelette???? Your humor is delightful and what this old world needs!!! Can you imagine this, every country of the world sends its most talented ??? people to compete for world title of greatest country based on talent, no weapons but “joy” and all the meanies get doubled over with laughter and DIE after reading your play by play! It would work! I just know it!

  5. TALK! Says:

    thanks, suzi-q.

    btw…i ❤ u 😉

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