To recap, the first act cut was Ronnie B, who demonstrated a minor bit of weird "wacky foreigner" charm in the auditions, but showed his true colors as a sub-William Hung embarrassment last night. Next to pack his bags was a magician named Shimshi, who chose, strangely, to downgrade his act from sawing a woman into several parts to a card trick-slash-backflip. And toodle-oo to the DC Cowboys, an posse of middle-aged gay cowboy dancers. America then opted for brilliant tenor Neal E. Boyd as opposed to a Derrick Barry, a cross-dressing Britney Spears impersonator. And then host Jerry Springer manufactured some faux tension by having each judge name who they wanted to go on: The James Gang, an interesting if occasionally underwhelming blend of hip-hop and vaudeville or Elite, a little girl who dresses her dad and his friends up as pirates and pretends to beat them up. Tough call, huh?
Surviving until next week (in addition to Boyd and the James Gang) were Jessica Price, a sweet countryish girl who'd prolly be a better fit for American Idol, Extreme Dance FX, an unfortunately titled troupe who perform about as poorly as their name, and The Cadence, a Blue Man-type drum act that isn't, well, blue.
Now, to break down the rest of the "talent:"
- Beyond Belief proved that being the twenty-one best dancers in Mesquite, TX doesn't amount to much in, you know, the real world
- Paul Solas knocked out his version of "My Way," which was tremendously endearing and won over the judges, altho I think he's a better raconteur than singer
- Brutally bad Kazual demonstrated why no one's particularly interested Boyz II Men type groups anymore
- Next was Zooperstars!, a bizarre band of inflatable mascots that have a strangely engaging charm, if not a ton of actual talent
- Mini-von Trapp family castoffs The Wright Kids abandoned their bluegrass roots to cute their way through a nightmarishly psychedelic rendition of Daydream Believer
- One-joke loser Jonathon Arons performed his "I'm a dork with a trombone that tries to drop some sexy dance moves on ya'll" act, much to the delight (inexplicably) of the judges
- Iraq War veteran Daniel Jens soldiered on (sorry, couldn't resist) put away his uniform to bring out his version of "Every Breathe You Take," which proved that without the war story, he's unfortunately an ok bar singer... at best
- The Slippery Kittens performed a Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B burlesque, apparently in an effort to officially retire the term "milf"
- George the Giant, who had primarily carved out a niche as a seven-foot version of Jackass, bored the judges (and I'd wager the national audience) with schtick about escaping from a straight jacket while being mistaken for a pinata by a bunch of annoying kids and their schoolmarm
- Queen Emily closed the show by rearing back and belting an Aretha Franklin-style inspirational; good stuff, altho I'm less impressed than the judges