Welcome to the first night of the “America’s Got Talent” live shows in New York! By New York, we of course mean New Jersey … and by “live,” we mean mostly live with some pre-recorded segments. The show has a bit of a new look and style compared to some of seasons past — and honestly, we loved the vibe of the whole thing. It’s actually nice to see the show operate in a real theater versus just a gigantic stage, and you feel the organic energy of the crowd so much more this way than you ever did before.
Before we start to even talk about the acts, let’s first give some credit to the judges. The feedback was not only great during this show, but it was entertaining to see them feed off of each other. Howard Stern did dominate a little too much, but can you really be surprised by that?
The Distinguished Men of Brass – Who wants to watch a marching band on a tiny stage? These guys are great at what they do, but the depressing truth is that they are simply not right for this sort of competition. Marching bands just don’t sound great on television, and we can’t see people paying to watch them perform.
Edon – Before this youngster came out on stage, we said that he was the best singer on the entire season — and we still stand by his talent. We wish that the violins and the smoke were each taken down a notch for this performance, mostly because Edon’s voice is really pretty fantastic. Going early in the show may hurt him, but he is beyond worthy of advancing to the next round.
Jarrett & Raja – The first thing we have to say is that we really feel for these guys. Sharon is right in that the magicians needed longer towels and a less cheesy theme to make the trick work, but we still thought that it was a pretty good trick. Magicians are going to be in for a tough go this season — the east-coast crowd is particularly cynical, and they may not take as well to illusions as those in Los Angeles who are more eager to go along with it.
Lil Starr – Watching a six-year old do a few of the famous shuffle moves from LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” was a highlight of our life — and it’s probably the only time all season we have not been annoyed by this dancer. Outside of these few seconds, though, this was really just a few minutes of a girl stomping around on stage. We’re not sure if she was even in time with the music.
Todd Oliver – Howard had some pretty great feedback for Todd — finding a way to make his comedy more topical while keeping the great ventriloquism that he has already mastered. With Terry Fator already in the rear view mirror, we still think that Todd is going to have a hard time winning this competition — even if we do really enjoy watching him now.
American BMX Stunt Team – These acts are always exciting from a danger standpoint, mostly because there’s no guarantee that they are going to be able to make it through the entire act without someone falling on their faces. This act had an even greater challenge than many others in that it had to perform an act meant for open space on a tiny stage … but we are worried in that we have seen every one of these tricks before in some shape or form.
Nikki Jensen – Nikki’s performance of “The Scientist” was almost like she had never heard the Coldplay version of the song before. The melody was almost gone under the heavy instrumentation, and she didn’t do enough with her actual performance to make us want to cheer her on.
The Scott Brothers – Can we vote for this as the night’s most-pleasant surprise? Going into the show, we weren’t really expecting much from these guys, but they reminded us pretty quickly that dance is not just about being young and being able to do flips around the stage. You have to entertain! This act was simply stuffed full of entertainment, and the moves that they did were crisp and really rather remarkable to watch. The fact that they create their own music is even more inspiring.
Michael Nejad – Howard Stern buzzed this guy before he could even show him his “Moves Like Jagger”! Yes, his act is pretty lame, but it’s pretty interesting that he can make a variety of household objects like a shovel and a baseball bat into musical instruments. Is this worth a million dollars? No, and it’s not even worth a thousand. With that being said, we don’t think any of the people in the audience can do what this guy does.
787 Crew – Our favorite dance crew of the season showed in the routine this week that they had already moved on past their mistake from Vegas, and reminded us yet again why they are the pride of Puerto Rico. Do they do a lot of similar things every week? Sure, but we hate this criticism. Singers do similar things every week, and they don’t get this sort of criticism for it.
Shanice and Maurice Hayes – This father / daughter singing duo isn’t necessarily terrible, but they are not exactly good, either. The biggest problem here is that Maurice should just be allowing his daughter to sing on her own, since she’s clearly the stronger of the two singers. When it comes to the criticism, how is Sharon Osbourne getting that this was “perfect”? There were a plethora of people better than these two on the show.
David Garibaldi and His CMYKs – He was one of our favorites during the first two rounds, but he needed to find a way to ensure that he did something beyond just what was just creating a painting in a couple of minutes. Let’s just say that he managed to do that and so much more. We weren’t quite sure what he was doing for the first minute or so of this act, but his fusion of dance, art, and clever mirror tricks led to us seeing one of the most spectacular creations of Mick Jagger we have ever seen thanks to some new styles incorporated into the act. Who would have thought that Jagger would have such a presence in this particular show?
Who was your favorite performance from Monday night’s episode? Be sure to check out some of our other coverage, and share your thoughts with a comment below!